RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING — Last Wednesday, the Stanley Cup made its last known public visit in Washington, DC to celebrate the Capitals’ Stanley Cup championship in June.
That morning, Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s non-voting Democratic representative in the House and a member of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, allowed fans, staffers, and Capitol police the opportunity to take photos with the NHL’s championship trophy in her office at the Rayburn House Building for a little over an hour.
Mike Bolt, one of the Keepers of the Stanley Cup, looked on from a leather couch, answering questions mostly pertaining to how intimate fans could get with the championship trophy in their photos.
“You can put your hand around it. Go ahead,” Bolt encouraged a nervous group.
“Can I lift it and hold it over my head?” one bold fan asked.
“You can when you win it,” Bolt retorted with a smile.
As fans filed in and out of the room, I chatted with the knowledgeable Hockey Hall of Fame employee for nearly 20 minutes. Bolt challenged my previous Cup superstition of not touching or taking a photo with the trophy until the Capitals won it all, citing a childhood photo of TJ Oshie when he was only 12. “Sure, that superstition is fun, but it’s not really a true thing because everywhere we go, somebody’s always touching it. You said you wouldn’t touch it, and that’s your own thing, but we’ve had other Capitals fans touch it over the years – even this year before they won.”
I learned in my conversation with Bolt that the Cup weighs 37.5 pounds. And that while Bolt had aspirations, like many young Canadian children, of winning the trophy as a player himself, he’s now had the opportunity to hold the Cup more than the game’s greatest players.
Funny how that all works out.