Chronicles of Stanley: Daley, Kunitz keep it low key; West Kelowna celebrates Schultz

[The Chronicles of Stanley is an occasional series this summer that tracks the Pittsburgh Penguins as they each get their special alone time with the Stanley Cup.]

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Trevor Daley had his day with the Stanley Cup planned long before he ever won the trophy itself as he told Dallas News SportsDay:

“[The celebration] was planned out a long time ago. Many, many years ago that was planned out. I’m going to bring the cup back home to where I grew up and around my neighborhoods that I grew up around playing hockey. I can’t wait. Like I said, I’ve been thinking about that day for a really long time. Now that it’s come true it’s amazing.”

Although the planning had been envisioned by Daley long ago. The actual logistics were carried out by a long-time friend of the defenseman. From the Toronto Sun:

Daley gave out autographs and took plenty of pictures with fans of all ages – just what organizer
Ryan Land had hoped for.

“It’s amazing,” Land said of the turnout. “It’s breathtaking.”

Land, 35, told the Toronto Sun he has known Daley for over 20 years, and grew up with him in Regent Park.

He said it took him two weeks to get everything together.

“The day after he won the Stanley Cup, he called me and said ‘the Cup is coming home,’” he said. “Two weeks later, he called me with a date and said ‘plan me a Stanley Cup party and here’s what I want to do.”

Land said Daley visited Regent Park earlier in the day and surprised the kids with the Cup.

Here are the kids Land mentions. They were playing at the rink Daley used to call home while playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL when the champion arrived.

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Next to the youth hockey players and sharing the Cup with firefighters, the player kept the celebration relatively low key at Spice Route Asian Bistro in Toronto.

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Daley’s time with the Cup was bittersweet. Recall the on ice celebration of the Penguins after they won. Captain Sidney Crosby handed the Cup off to Daley second. From Sportsnet:

“He had been through some different playoffs, but getting hurt at the time he did, knowing how important it was, he had told me that he went [to see] his mom in between series and stuff, she wasn’t doing well, she wanted to see him with the Cup,” Crosby told reporters after Sunday night’s Cup-clinching victory. “That was important to her. I think that kind of stuck with me after he told me that. We were motivated to get it for him, even though he had to watch.”

His mother passed away a week later after seeing her son hoist the Cup.

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Last week, Stanley held court with Kunitz briefly at gathering in Chicago. This week the two headed back to the familiar confines of Regina, Saskatchewan for the third time in Kunitz’s career.

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Not including the vibrant yellow shorts, think Kunitz is rocking enough bling? Stanley Cup, gold medal and only one of two rings. (He’ll get the third later on.)

For his public celebration, Kunitz used the opportunity to raise money for a good cause.

From the CBC:

Kunitz showed off Lord Stanley in Regina’s City Square Plaza. He also teamed up with Saskatchewan Cancer Agency to raise money for the Allen [sic] Blair Cancer Centre from the proceeds raised with the sale of special edition photos autographed by Kunitz.

According to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, the event netted $3,000 in donations.

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Beyond the festivities in Downtown Regina, Kunitz kept his celebration relatively private; celebrating with family and friends, and taking a special trip to visit his ailing grandmother.

From the Regina Leader-Post:

Although “Grandma Minnie” may not have understood what all the fuss was about, it was an emotional moment for Chris.

“My grandma is not doing the best anymore,” he explained. “She has moved a few times to different locations. We got to take the Cup over to her. All the memories that I have of her (made it special). To watch her drink some water out of the Cup today is something I don’t think I’ll ever, ever forget.”

– – – –

Is it still sinking in that Justin Schultz is a Stanley Cup champion? Kind of unbelievable for the down on his luck former Edmonton Oiler.

Just in case time corrects itself and he goes back to being an Oiler, Schultz maximized his time with the Cup in West Kelowna, British Columbia. The city spared no expense with the celebration.

After spending time signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at the local rink, Royal Lepage Place, he hit links with Stanley by his side.

[Insert requisite Edmonton Oilers golfing joke here.]

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Then he spent some time pool side with his buds. Nothing says Stanley Cup champion like a can of Bud Light.

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Glad to see Schultz hasn’t fixed his smile yet. Feels appropriate to be missing at least one tooth when in the company of Lord Stanley.

It was time for the Cup to move on from the care of Schultz and the defenseman did not want to let go. Who knows when he’ll get to have this moment again.

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HEY. WAIT. His front tooth is back.

Must be the magic of the Stanley Cup. It repairs dental work.