'Keeper Of The Cup' Talks About His Summer With The Champion St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues’ summer of celebration is coming to an end. Training camp for a new season is underway, and the team’s time with the Stanley Cup is nearly over — at least for now.
“The Stanley Cup champion gets approximately 100 days to travel with the cup,” said Phil Pritchard, whose official title is vice president and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame but is better known as the "Keeper of the Cup."
“That name kind of came around by hockey fans,” he said. “It just got created.”
But it fits. Pritchard goes everywhere the Stanley Cup does, and this summer that odyssey spanned three continents and five countries. The highlight for Pritchard was the first stop in July in head coach Craig Berube’s hometown of Calahoo, Alberta.
About 85 people live there, but more than 3,000 converged in the northern Alberta community on the day Berube showed up with the Stanley Cup.
“A police officer told me it’s their first traffic jam they’ve ever had in the city. For a Stanley Cup moment, that’s pretty cool.” Pritchard said.
Meet Chief Kurt Burnstick of Alexander, First Nation in Calahoo, AB.— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 2, 2019
"To see a First Nation person like Craig Berube put his name on that Cup, it means a lot to us." #stlblues #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/CRb51slPgl
Blues forward David Perron had a full menu for his day with the Stanley Cup in Quebec.
𝓒𝓾𝓹 𝓓𝓪𝔂 𝓜𝓮𝓷𝓾— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 30, 2019
Snack: Chocolate milk
Lunch: Poutine#stlblues #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/26q5sMT0ci
Playoff MVP Ryan O'Reilly introduced his grandmother to the Stanley Cup.
Granny O'Reilly had the best day last week. https://t.co/h6bye4iWHa #stlblues pic.twitter.com/X7t8vEJ2Er— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 29, 2019
Carl Gunnarsson took the cup home to Sweden.
The #StanleyCup has made its way to Europe. https://t.co/U3wNl9y6NC #stlblues— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) August 13, 2019
The Stanley Cup made an onstage appearance at a St. Louis summer tradition.
There have been a lot of amazing acts on @TheMuny stage, but none quite like this.— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 20, 2019
📷 @scottrovak pic.twitter.com/wp3eb4mUNE
With making stops throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, you’d think there are several versions of the Cup zipping around the world at any time. But Pritchard says that is not the case.
“Whenever you see the Stanley Cup outside the Hockey Hall of Fame, it’s always the real one,” he said.
Pritchard realizes how the jobs of several people at the Hall of Fame are part of the tradition linked to the biggest prize in hockey.
MORE: Following Blues’ Stanley Cup Win, St. Louis Public Library Is Growing The Team’s Official Archive
“We’re historians for the trophy. We’re public relations for the trophy. We are security for the trophy. We’re transportation for the trophy,” he said.
“It’s a traveling partner, but so much more.”
Even though its summer with the Blues is coming to an end, Pritchard’s travel buddy will be back in January when St. Louis will be the site of the National Hockey League All-Star Game.
Follow Wayne on Twitter: @WayneRadio
Send questions and comments about this story to email@example.com