User menu

Main menu

Outrageous Tales of the Stanley Cup

stanleyCupKeeper_article04.jpgWhat are the most common questions you get from fans?
"Is it the real Cup?" Yes. "How much does it weigh?" 35 pounds. "What happens when it fills up with names?" The rings at the top come off and go to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Then we put a new ring on the bottom. So this year's winner will be on the cup for 62 years.

What kind of action has it seen?
It's been used to chill champagne... Doug Weight [of the Hurricanes] made an ice-cream sundae in it with his kids... {C}The Devils made a margarita in it at a nightclub—they even salted the rim... Guys have taken it fishing, putting bait in the bowl... [Former Ranger] Ed Olczyk fed a Kentucky Derby winner from it. But the best is when a player walks into a bar with this thing. It's like a major celebrity walking in. It only likes being hoisted by the winners, though—you have to earn the right to hoist it.



Who Is the Keeper of the Cup?
Get to know the man who spends his whole life defending Lord Stanley's hardware.

How do you get a job like this?
Start by not being a very good hockey player. Every kid in Canada who's ever played the game dreams of winning this; and very few even get to the NHL, much less win it. So the next best thing was to get a job at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where I've been since 1995. {C}One day our curator asked me, and it was an honor to accept. This is my ninth year with it.

What qualities do you have that made you an ideal Cup keeper candidate?
You'd have to ask my boss, and I'm sure it'd be a pretty sarcastic answer. There's the trust thing, for sure. You've got to like to travel. You've got to like the long hours. {C}I did a few different special events jobs at the Hall of Fame, and I would work from four or five in the morning until really late at night, depending on the event.

Are you ever home?
There's no doubt, the travel wears on you a bit. I like seeing the world. I'm not home very often. But I'm not married and I don't have any kids, so that does allow me the privilege of getting a phone call at 11 at night saying, "I need you on a plane at 6 A.M."

What's the worst part of your job?
Airports, especially now. My job is to make sure the Cup gets on the plane, but I can't walk it on like we used to. The bigger the aircraft, the harder it is for them to assure me it's on board. There is only one Stanley Cup. There is no replica. This is the one that will be on the ice depending on how the final series plays out.

Ever had to deck a drunk fan?
Again, we're around bars and alcohol, and you do get the odd jerk who'll mouth off to you. But big deal, I can take it. As long as this thing stays safe, I don't care how much this guy's chirping in my ear. I'd like to smack them, but I can't. I had to push a fan away once because I thought he was going to urinate in it, but that's about it.

Speaking of which, is it true that Claude Lemieux took a dump in it on The Howard Stern Show?
No. I've heard two things: They put chocolate pudding or a chocolate bar in it. Personally, I don't know why someone would think that was funny;people drink and eat out of this thing. I would not have allowed it if I were around in '95 when it happened. I always say, you want to keep winning this, you respect it, because in 1940 the Rangers burned the deed [to the old Madison Square Garden] in the Cup and then urinated on it to put out the fire—and it was 54 years before they won it again. But 99 percent of the guys, if not 100, are very respectful around it.

Any other unusual Cup sightings?
I was in a bus with [Ducks forward] Corey Perry {C}on the 401 to London, Ontario. There was a major accident, and traffic was not moving for like two hours. {C}These kids outside were sitting on top of their parents' car and could see the Cup in the bus, so they were going like this [mimes lifting the Cup], like, "Hoist it! Hoist it!" Well, Corey goes a step further and takes it right out onto the highway. Next thing you know, we're having a tailgate party in the middle of Canada's biggest highway.

Who's downed the most booze from the Cup?
[Ducks forward] Teemu Selanne is the warmest, most sincere man you could ever meet—but he is also one hell of a drinker [laughs]. {C}We were at his place in Anaheim, and he had eight to 10 of his buddies there. They went through about 12 bottles of Scotch, right out of the Cup. If I drink half a bottle, I'm going to fall down, and I have a tolerance. Not Teemu. No problem. One of the best drinking clinics I've ever seen.

Has the Cup ever put you in harm's way?
We went to Afghanistan this past March and had a missile attack our first night. We first arrived in Kandahar in flak jackets, the whole thing. Later on, I get back to the barracks and hear an air-raid siren, but I was dying for a shower, so I figured I'd just sit tight. I got into my room and—true story—sat down on the Cup case and read Maxim. I swear. I go into the shower, and when I get out a bunch of the guys are around going, "Mike, where were you during the missile attack?" I told them, "Sitting on the Cup case reading Maxim." And they said, "Holy crap, you're dedicated to your job!" [Laughs] Truth be told, if I had known better, I would have ditched the Cup and been like George Costanza pushing women and children out of the way.

So is it true that if a player keeps it at his house, you have to stay there, too?
We're there the whole time, yeah. People ask, "What if a player wants to sleep with it?" I say, "Move over."

Ever woken up to something you might have wished you hadn't?
We're sworn to secrecy on a couple of things… I don't care if it's Maxim, you're not getting it out of me. You can use your imagination.