Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 07
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After spending Thursday night in Toronto following the NHL Awards, the Stanley Cup was flown back Friday morning to California for more sun, sand and celebrations with Anaheim's Ducks. It shouldn't have come as any huge surprise, but also on the Toronto to Los Angeles flight were Lisa and Scott Niedermayer as well as Chris Pronger.

The Cup was taken from the airport over to the beautiful, big home owned by Sirpa and Teemu Selanne. The 36-year-old Selanne was able to revitalize himself in the sunshine of Orange County, and led the Ducks in both goals scored (48) and points (94) during the regular season. Yet, Selanne had gone 1,041 regular season games through fourteen seasons without ever getting the opportunity to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. "I'm so happy that I finally won something," said Teemu, reflecting on being close but falling short of winning an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship or a Stanley Cup…until June 6, 2007. "The Stanley Cup is the biggest trophy for a hockey player and that's why it's so special!"

Teemu packed up the Stanley Cup and took it over to the school attended by his sons Eemil, Eetu and Leevi. A former kindergarten teacher in Finland himself, the Finnish forward took the Stanley Cup from classroom to classroom, then proceeded to the school's auditorium. The students were in the midst of a special ceremony to honour those receiving scholastic awards, and Lord Stanley's Cup punctuated the importance of results coming from hard work.

The Anaheim Ducks' Teemu Selanne and his kids in his Dodge Charger with the Stanley Cup.
A big fan of auto racing and car collecting, Teemu Selanne and his kids pile in his Dodge Charger with the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
From school courses to golf courses, Selanne visited a couple of local 18-hole emporiums. The first was a quick visit with the golf pro, who had a few shots taken with the Cup, but the second stop turned into a Gong Show, with a massive crowd that overwhelmed even Teemu, who is usually prepared for just about anything.

Selanne has a passion for cars, both collecting and, at one time, racing. Although priorities have shifted now that the boys are getting so busy, he still enjoys cars and has a not-so-secret 'need for speed.' With the Stanley Cup comfortably belted into the backseat, Teemu took the Stanley Cup in his Dodge Charger to his beautiful home, where he was hosting a party for friends. The Stanley Cup was placed by the pool in a setting that included a waterfall that served as an amazing tropical backdrop.

The Stanley Cup was repeatedly filled with champagne as guests toasted their host with a chant that inevitably evolved into, 'One more year! One more year!' Although Selanne refused to divulge his intentions for 2007-08, it is clear that everyone hopes that he'll play another season…especially his teammates!

While thoroughly cleaning the inner bowl of the Cup, Teemu discovered that the Montreal Wanderers, Stanley Cup champions almost exactly 100 years prior (March 25, 1907), had the names of team members engraved inside the bowl atop Lord Stanley's chalice. For fun, Teemu and each of his friends assumed the name of one of the team members from a century ago. Selanne became Ernie Russell, who just happened to be the Wanderers' scoring machine, collecting 42 goals in just 9 regular season games, including twice potting 8 goals in a single game. The nine or ten others celebrating with Selanne picked out their names as well: one was Dickie Boon, another Cecil Blatchford and another chose Hod Stuart. As you might imagine, several of Teemu's friends fought over the chance to call themselves Pud Glass.

Much to their amazement (and great enjoyment), the boys discovered that five bottles of Scotch fit very comfortably into the bowl of the Stanley Cup. While enjoying the camaraderie of friends in the company of the Stanley Cup, Teemu Selanne admitted that as much as he was enjoying the evening, he was thrilled beyond belief to have the chance to take the Stanley Cup home to Helsinki this summer.

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The Anaheim Ducks' Teemu Selanne with a neighbour's infant and the Stanley Cup.
This newborn Ducks' fan may not remember this moment in the bowl of the Stanley Cup, but his elated father will not soon forget. The fortunate father and son are neighbors of Ducks’ forward Teemu Selanne. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Saturday was reserved for Kris Loomis, the Ducks' events manager, who was entrusted with co-ordinating activities with Anaheim's players and staff this summer. While sitting on a patio enjoying breakfast at the Beach Garden Café, with the Stanley Cup positioned nearby, many locals were dumbfounded to notice hockey's greatest trophy in their midst and insisted on being able to touch and take pictures of the Cup.

The trophy was then taken out to the pier for some beach shots. A number of surfers caught a glimpse of the Stanley Cup while hanging ten and ended up wiping out. "Dude, I was catching some sick waves out there but I swallowed the chowder when I saw the Cup," said one surfer boy, his skin bronzed from the Orange County sun. Traffic on the beach stopped, too, and watched with amusement (and amazement) as the Stanley Cup was positioned on the lifeguard's tower.

Later, the Cup was taken to beautiful Dana Point Harbor, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. The man-made harbour is spectacular, and the residents leaned on their car horns in tribute to seeing the Stanley Cup in their area. Again, the Cup was taken down to the beach for photographs in the sand by the sparkling ocean.

The Anaheim Ducks' Teemu Selanne and friends with the Stanley Cup
Teemu Selanne gives us a preview of what’s to come when he brings the Cup to his home in Helsinki, Finland this summer. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
A quick stop at the Fashion Island Shopping Center in Newport Beach included placing the Stanley Cup on a merry-go-round, then allowing fans to take pictures of the trophy during its stop.

Saturday night was spent with Chris Pronger, his family and friends. Jim Pronger, Chris's father, was celebrating his sixtieth birthday on Monday, June 18, and flew in from his home in Dryden, Ontario. Chris's brother Sean also came in for the Stanley Cup celebration. Sean actually made his NHL debut with Anaheim in 1995 and was a Duck (Mighty, at the time) for the first three years of his NHL career.

The camaraderie was almost as thick as the steaks, served up with great salads and very, very fine wine. Murphy Karges, the bass player in Sugar Ray, who enjoyed monstrous radio hits with 'Fly,' 'When It's Over' and 'In the Morning,' dropped by to say hello and to see the Stanley Cup up close and personal. The group sat by an open fire, telling stories and celebrating both a special birthday and a special victory.

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On Friday, we'll discover how the Stanley Cup played a role in a highschool graduation, and visit the sets of 'Last Call With Carson Daly' and 'The Best Damn Sports Show Period.'

The Stanley Cup takes in the view of the Pacific Ocean from Newport Beach, California
The Stanley Cup takes in the magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean from Newport Beach, California. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)

Kevin Shea is one of the contributors to 'Travels With Stanley,' a terrific series of history and geography lessons taught through the Stanley Cup's travels through the years.

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