The Colorado Avalanche won their first Stanley Cup since 2001 on Sunday night after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game Six at Amalie Arena.
The Avalanche’s celebrations got underway quickly and it didn’t take long for the team to get careless with the Cup. You guys, it’s bent already!
Avs forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel was the culprit after tripping to the ice while joining the team photo. Aube-Kubel braced himself for the fall with the 130-year-old trophy driving the base hard into the ice. Whoops.
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) June 27, 2022
The damage was, uh, definitely noticeable.
Well, that didn't take long 😂#StanleyCup | @Avalanche pic.twitter.com/ZSfX4Bd9KD
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 27, 2022
Aube-Kubel’s gaffe led to what is easily the greatest photo captured in the National Hockey League this season.
Another beauty mark. https://t.co/IaSmgAVhzf
— The Stanley Cup (@StanleyCup) June 27, 2022
This is far from the first time the Cup has suffered some sort of damage in the pandemonium of celebrations thrown after a team has taken home the storied prize. In fact, the Washington Capitals ended up bending the rim of the Cup in 2018 due to their insistence on doing completely awesome Cup stands. Worth it, in my opinion.
Alex Ovechkin did a keg stand out of the Stanley Cup 😂
(via @tonyandjoes) pic.twitter.com/sCaqxLwLkC
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 9, 2018
“It happens every year, the bowl gets damaged – basically it gets ‘out of round’ if you know what I mean,” keeper of the Cup Phil Pritchard told RMNB four years ago. “It happens because it is a 125-year-old trophy and not designed for guys to hoist like [they do]. It is nobody’s fault, it just happens every year. It has become part of the lore of sports’ greatest trophy.”
Pritchard is definitely correct. The Cup gets dinged up a whole bunch. The following reporting is from 2018 when Ian and Cara worked on documenting all the bumps and bruises the trophy has taken over the years.
1905 Ottawa Silver Sevens
The Ottawa Silver Sevens won the Stanley Cup so many times that by the later years it didn’t even mean anything special to them. A Sports Illustrated article from 1977 written by Arnold Schechter reminisces on some of the Silver Seven experiences. The best came from the 1905 win.
After the battle, the Silver Seven retired to the bar in the Russell Hotel for a celebration. It was reported that Forward Harry Smith, Alf’s ebullient brother, had, on a dare, drop-kicked the Stanley Cup into the Rideau Canal, returning with a hangover the next morning to reclaim the trophy from the dry bed of the waterway. “We only took it home to show it to mother,” said the Smiths, who also admitted, “We did throw it around a little.”
The team drop-kicked the Stanley Cup into Ottawa’s Rideau Canal, leaving it overnight and returned in the morning to reclaim it. Luckily it was in a dry part of the canal so there wasn’t severe water damage.
1999 Dallas Stars
After the 1999 win, the Dallas Stars partied with Pantera. That might seem like an incredibly random matchup, but the Stars managed to build a friendship with the Arlington, TX band and they really like to party.
When the Cup managed to get a massive dent in it, the Stars spokesperson said it was dropped in the locker room while celebrating. But, other stories circulated back to this party.
. . . Guy [Carbonneau], Luds (Craig Ludwig), and Matty (Richard Matvichuk) were upstairs. They were yelling something out of the window that I could not make out.” He went on to explain that Carbonneau tossed the Cup out of the window, but said it looked more like he accidentally dropped the Cup than intentionally threw it. The cup then hit the lip of the swimming pool and fell in. While the keeper of the Cup claims that didn’t happened, the source I spoke to simply said, “Didn’t see him,” and that reactions were a mix of party attendees laughing, indifference, or shock.
Vinnie Paul was more direct: “It really got dented when Guy Carbonneau threw it off my balcony into my pool.”
2008 Detroit Red Wings
After the Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup parade in 2008, the team went back to party at Chris Chelios’ restaurant in Detroit. The Cup was pushed off the table and got a big dent in it that the team paid to have smoothed out. It wasn’t until later at the NHL Awards that it was revealed the damage was way worse than original believed.
2011 Boston Bruins
The damage the Cup endured in the summer of 2011 cannot be hidden under some false story, as there is actual video evidence of it when Michael Ryder took the Cup to his hometown of Bonavista, Canada. As the Cup was sitting on a table during an outdoor event, the table’s legs collapsed and the Cup took a tumble. The top part suffered a great deal of damage and had a oval opening.
2016 Pittsburgh Penguins
After the Penguins won the Cup in San Jose in 2016, the Keeper of the Cup posted a photo of Matt Cullen walking onto the plane to head back to Pittsburgh. The bottom of the Cup visible in the photo had quite a big ding in it. No one knows what happened, but it probably took a spill during their locker room celebrations.
Matt Cullen carries the #stanleycup onto the plane, back to @penguins country as a champion. @NHL @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/XvWkujNReQ
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) June 13, 2016
The NHL typically makes teams that damaged the Cup pay for the repairs, having the 1962 Toronto Maple Leafs foot the bill after fire damage and the 1987 Edmonton Oilers repair it themselves at a local body shop. It is unclear whether it is preferred the repair has to come from the damaging party before returning it or if the NHL bills the team that damages it.
So, don’t worry about it, Nicolas. You aren’t the first and surely will not be the last.
Screenshot via Sportsnet
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.