Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 13
The Stanley Cup Journal

After the final chords of 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' rang to an end,
self-confessed Parrothead Jim Pickard, the Lightning's assistant equipment manager, thanked the band in a most special
way at a party in Odessa, Florida.
It was the Fourth of July and destined to be a day of celebration in Florida. For one thing, the state, like the rest of the country, was celebrating Independence Day. For another, the Stanley Cup was in the house.

Jim Pickard is one of the assistant equipment managers for the Lightning; a veteran of seven seasons with the team. Jim was equipment manager with the defunct Oakland Seals, later joining the New York Islanders and also working with the St. Louis Blues before starting with Tampa Bay.

Jim and his wife Lori, son Ben and daughters Lori, Mary Beth and Heather picked up the Stanley Cup Sunday morning and took it for photographs on Ben T. Davis Beach, at the east end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway. This is the closest beach to Tampa's downtown core, and lies between Tampa and Clearwater. Positioned on the stunning white sand, the sun dazzled as it struck the patina of the Stanley Cup.

Pickard packed the Cup into its case and drove off to the family's home in Carrollwood, Florida. There, he entertained family and friends, including former Tampa player Sergey Gusev, with terrific stories from hockey's recent past. Jim recalled having to maintain the white skates worn by Gerry 'the Hawk' Odrowski, Norm Ferguson, Carol Vadnais and the rest of the flamboyant Oakland Seals. He told stories about the New York Islanders' dynasty that won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships between 1980 and 1983. "Bryan Trottier — what a warrior," stated Jim, shaking his head in awe. "But I have to say that Clark Gillies was one of my favourites. He is a great, great guy!"

Scout Steve Baker hosted a Stanley Cup party for friends and family in Cohasset, Massachusetts.
Pickard wound up the socializing at his home and took the Stanley Cup to Castellano & Pizzo, an Italian delicatessen that offers wild game, including venison, wild boar and pheasant. But it offered a lot more that day, too. A band was playing Jimmy Buffett songs, much to Jim Pickard's great pleasure. "Yeah, I am definitely a Parrothead," he admitted. Rick and Kathy Paterson, who both work for the Lightning, arrived at Castellano & Pizzo as did Ray Thill, Tampa Bay's equipment manager and John Ahlers, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim's television play-by-play voice who covered the Tampa Bay Lightning for three years. Those in attendance drank champagne from Lord Stanley's mug. As the Stanley Cup was being packed away for the night, the horizon lit up with the sensational artistry of exploding fireworks.

Monday, July 5 arrived early. Actually, it arrived at the same time as every day, but after a night of celebration, it simply felt ungodly. The Stanley Cup was on a 6:30AM flight from Tampa to Boston's Logan International Airport. It was met by Tim Reardon, a police officer and friend of Steve Baker, the Lightning's Amateur Scout in New England.

After a quick stop at the Cohasset Police Station, Reardon and the Stanley Cup pulled into the driveway of Steve Baker's home. Baker, who was the New York Rangers' netminder for 57 games in the early 1980s, assembled his family and had a professional photograph taken.

The Stanley Cup was then taken to Cohasset Harbor Resort, where it was displayed outside for the townsfolk. Four hundred came by to see the hockey hardware until the rain started to fall and the Cup was moved inside to a gorgeous room overlooking the harbour. Close family and friends stayed to celebrate Steve Baker's part in the Stanley Cp win, and the former goaltender roared with laughter when a keg was rolled out painted to approximate the mask he popularized with the Rangers — one that showcased the Statue of Liberty.

Tommy Mulligan, head medical trainer for Tampa Bay, patiently trains his eyes on a familiar friend.
"I just want to thank all of you for coming out to celebrate with my family," Steve humbly began. "I am so grateful to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for giving me the opportunity to show the Stanley Cup to my dearest friends and closest family. I realize that not every scout gets such an opportunity when his team wins the Cup!"

Cohasset has another integral tie to the hockey world. Mike O'Connell, the head coach of the Boston Bruins, lives in the same town. Mike was unable to attend the Stanley Cup celebration in Cohasset but hopes to be there next year — when he hosts the party!

At 3:30, the Stanley Cup was driven to New Bedford, Massachusetts, the hometown of head medical trainer Tommy Mulligan. Tom and his wife Kellie decided they would share the Stanley Cup with his mother Rita, Dad Jim and siblings Dan and Kathy along with a small group of friends. The Cup sat in the backyard of the Mulligan home — the same home in which Tommy grew up — as friends dropped by to celebrate. "I can't believe the Stanley Cup is sitting here in my yard," exclaimed Tom incredulously. "How many times did we play for this trophy as kids," he asked his pal Tom Giammalvo rhetorically. Tom's Mom quickly replied, "A lot! I remember all the broken pickets in my fence!" Everyone laughed at the memory.

Kellie Mulligan missed some of the Stanley Cup celebration attending to their infant Tyler, who was teething at that moment.

The party continued until 2:30 that morning. Sure enough, it wasn't any of Tommy's pals who survived until the end — it was Tom's mother Rita!

Tom Mulligan fulfills a promise and places the Stanley Cup in the lap of his friend's Dad.
The next morning, Tommy Mulligan had to make good on a promise, and he was only too happy to do so. His friend Tom Giammalvo's father is battling brain cancer, and Mulligan promised that if the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, he would bring the trophy to Mr. Giammalvo. Fulfilling his promise, Tommy drove up to the Giammalvo house. Sure enough, there sat Mr. Giammalvo in his favourite chair, waiting for the Cup's arrival with a pillow on his lap so he would be able to hold the cherished prize.

The beautiful trophy was then taken to nearby Lakeville, Massachusetts so Tom Mulligan could celebrate with more friends. Massive amounts of food awaited the Cup's arrival — pizza, lasagna, chicken wings, salads and more. Every time Mulligan looked over, there was something different in the bowl of the Cup: first beer, now wine, then Spongebob Squarepants. Good thing Spongebob enjoys a good party too!

A group of kids played hockey on the front driveway while Tommy posed for photos with the Cup in the back. The party was in full gear when the Stanley Cup had to be tucked away. Sure enough, Tom Mulligan looked in the bowl one last time before the Cup was packed up to go and discovered some nicely packed apple turnovers. "Food for the road," smiled one of the guests.

On Monday, read all about assistant coach Jeff Reese's turn with the trophy when you return to Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is the Manager of Special Projects and Publishing for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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