Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 17
The Stanley Cup Journal

The Stillman family at Millennium Park with Steve Larmer and the widow of Steve Chiasson at the dedication of a
permanent memorial to the former Hurricane.
The Stillman family was joined at Millennium Park by Steve Larmer and the widow of Steve Chiasson at the dedication of a permanent memorial to the former Hurricane who played alongside Cory in Calgary. Chiasson died tragically in a car accident on May 3, 1999. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Cory Stillman has the distinction of being the only Stanley Cup champion in 2006 to have also won the Cup the last time it was awarded. As a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Cory was a key member of the 2004 Stanley Cup championship as well.

At that time, Cory earned his day with the Cup and made plans to take the legendary trophy back to Peterborough, Ontario. The Stanley Cup Journal takes you back to the peculiar circumstances of July 15, 2004.

And then the rain started. And it fell, and it fell. The torrential showers continued to pour so feverishly that storm drains overflowed, Jackson Creek rose well above its banks and businesses and homes were flooded. Peterborough streets became flowing rivers. The accumulation of precipitation was substantial, and was blamed on a peculiar weather system that began on the West Coast and was making its way east across Canada. Except, only the Peterborough area experienced the storm at that magnitude. The city was tossed into chaos. Commuters trying to head into the core of the city were re-routed, and then sent home. Local police insisted that residents not venture into the streets and were implored to stay home. A state of emergency was declared in Peterborough by Mayor Sylvia Sutherland in tandem with Police Chief Terrence McLaren.

And Cory Stillman was standing there with the Stanley Cup.

Cory had planned on bringing the Stanley Cup to Memorial Gardens in Peterborough, where it would be displayed for local residents to experience. "Should we go," Cory asked. At first, he was told to wait until 1PM, but when police asked locals to stay out of the downtown core, the opportunity was cancelled. Employees of Memorial Gardens had things put into perspective when they saw a canoeist paddle past the front door of the arena. Had he been gathering pairs of animals, they'd have been much less entertained.

Leap ahead to Thursday, July 27, 2006, Cory's day with the Stanley Cup as a member of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. It was almost as if fate intervened. Cory Stillman would be able to take the Stanley Cup to Peterborough after all, albeit two years later than intended.

The Stanley Cup and Cory Stillman go parading through the streets of Peterborough in 2006
After an anguishing two year wait, Peterborough received the Stanley Cup courtesy of Cory Stillman, seen here riding in a truck through the streets of the Ontario city. In 2004, the Lightning celebration was washed out by a storm. In 2006, Cory was able to fulfill his original intent. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
On the 27th of July, Cory, wife Mara, children Riley, Madison and Chase as well as the family's Golden Lab, received both the Stanley Cup and the Prince of Wales Trophy, designating Carolina as the Eastern Conference champions of 2005-06.

Their first stop was Peterborough's Millennium Park, where the Stillmans stopped to honour the memory of dear friend and Cory's former teammate, Steve Chiasson. From 1994-95 until he was traded to Hartford in 1997, Chiasson and Stillman played together with the Calgary Flames. Chiasson moved to Raleigh when the Whalers became the Hurricanes, but tragically, died in a car accident on May 3, 1999 after leaving a team party that followed the Hurricanes' elimination from the playoffs that spring. The franchise still mourns his death, as does Cory.

With Chiasson's widow in attendance, as well as former NHL star Steve Larmer, a Peterborough native, the City of Peterborough commemorated Chiasson in Millennium Park with a small statue and plaque, which reads: 'A gift to the Peterborough community from friends, family and fans of the late NHL star, who played his minor hockey in Peterborough.'

Cory and Mara then took the Stanley Cup to his parents' Peterborough home for a backyard party involving family and friends. Mosquitoes thick as thieves finally thwarted the evening, wrapping up the subdued celebration at 9PM.

Cory then took the Cup to Zeke's Keg, a lovely piano bar. "This is going to be a nice, quiet evening," vowed Cory. "No photos, no hoisting the Cup ..." No sooner had the last syllable departed his lips but Stillman was being besieged for photos. With a shrug, he grinned, poured some drinks and hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head for a fireworks-type explosion of flashes from cameras and cellphones.

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The Stanley Cup and the Prince of Wales Trophy go cottage-hopping along Lake
Catchacoma
Brandishing both the Stanley Cup and the Prince of Wales Trophy, Stillman went cottage-hopping along the shores of Lake Catchacoma. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Friday, July 27 was the long-awaited visit of Cory Stillman and the Stanley Cup to the Peterborough Memorial Centre. From his parents' home, a police escort led to the starting point of a parade honouring Cory and the Cup. Stillman was perched on a pick-up truck with his three children as well as the Stanley Cup and, led by a police cruiser with lights flashing and siren wailing, was driven through downtown Peterborough to the historic arena. A massive crowd had already gathered, counting some 4,000 fans, waiting in line to see hockey's legendary trophy and local hero, Cory Stillman.

Fans patiently waited for over three hours in a line that snaked through the arena's lobby, past the Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame and led to a table at which Cory signed autographs while fans could get a photograph of the Stanley Cup. From 11 until 2, Cory happily signed autographs and fans took pictures. But it was quickly realized that not everyone waiting in line would be able to get to the Cup, so Cory carried the trophy up and down the line so that even if waiting fans couldn't reach the front of the line during the allotted time, everyone would at least have been able to touch the Cup and snap photos of Cory carrying the Stanley Cup in their vicinity.

At 2, Cory packed the kids and the Cup and with Mara, drove up to their cottage on Lake Catchacoma in the Kawartha region north of Peterborough. After unpacking, the Stillmans boated across from their cottage to a beautiful beach where family pictures were taken. Then, it was back to their lovely cottage for a private party. Among the 25 guests feeding on salads, salmon, pork, pasta and potatoes was local summer resident Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators.

Who could ever have imagined that Lake Catchacoma would have been a Stanley Cup destination in each of the previous three years that the NHL awarded the magnificent trophy - Scott Stevens with the New Jersey Devils took the Cup to their Catchacoma cottage in 2003, while Cory did likewise in 2004 and again in 2006! Mike Fisher kept his distance from the Stanley Cup, not wishing to jinx chances for him and his Senators in 2007.

Lake Catchacoma, located in the Kawarthas, has been recipient of Stanley Cup celebrations in 2003, 2004 and now, 2006, thanks to Cory Stillman.
Lake Catchacoma, located in the Kawarthas, has been recipient of Stanley Cup celebrations in 2003, 2004 and now, 2006. Cory Stillman is the only player this year to have played on the last Stanley Cup championship, too. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
The friends and family watched a highlight DVD featuring Stillman and the Hurricanes. Then, as darkness began to descend on the cottage area, Cory decided to take the Stanley Cup and Prince of Wales trophies on a boating tour of Lake Catchacoma. Two boats were taken - one carrying the Prince of Wales and the other, Cory with the Cup. The occupants of the boats seemed to enjoy a friendly rivalry. While one would chant, "Prince of Wales! Prince of Wales!", the other would reply "We've got the Cup! We've got the Cup!"

Among the stops during Cory's cottage-hopping was to local resident -- recently retired NHL star Scott Stevens. The residents of Lake Catchacoma are very friendly towards each other, and Cory and Scott chatted for some time. "I'm not going by Fisher's house," laughed Cory. "No way! In the past, Scott visited my cottage and I went on to win the Cup. I'm not taking any chances that a Cup visit will help Mike and the Senators win. We intend on keeping this baby in Carolina in 2007!" After a circuit of the lake, Cory routed both trophies and boats back to his cottage, where he and his guests relaxed during an enjoyable evening on their deck with the Stanley Cup.

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Tuesday, we follow Kevyn Adams during his day with the Stanley Cup. Kevyn and the 'Canes share a special Stanley Cup poem you'll enjoy here in the Stanley Cup Journal!

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Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and On-Line Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame. His fifth book, 'Lord Stanley-The Man Behind the Cup,' co-written with John Jason Wilson, will be published in October 2006 by Fenn Publishing.
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