Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 18

Fore! The Stanley Cup soaks in some down time after an intense
three-day tournament at a local golf course. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The Stanley Cup has visited the beautiful city of Vernon, British Columbia on a couple of previous occasions, but never resists when it sees a return on the itinerary. During the summer of the Red Wings, the Stanley Cup spent July 19 through 22 in Vernon, visiting GM Ken Holland, goaltender Chris Osgood, amateur scout Bruce Haralson and part-time scout Marty Stein.

Ken Holland has been on the hockey radar since the early-1970's. After serving as goaltender for his hometown Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League, Ken starred with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Canada Hockey League, winning 23, tying 4 and losing just 10 games during the 1974-75 season. His netminding caught the eyes of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who drafted Holland in the twelfth round, the 188th pick, of the 1975 NHL Entry Draft. Proving his merit, Ken backstopped the Tigers with 22 wins, a tie and 11 losses in 1975-76.

Holland joined the Broome Dusters (playing in Binghamton, New York, which is in Broome County) in 1976-77, and was named to the North American Hockey League's Second All-Star Team that season. The team was well-known as the inspiration for 'Slapshot', arguably hockey's most loved film. But the NAHL folded at the end of that season, and Holland and his Dusters moved to the American Hockey League, replacing the Providence Reds, and were renamed the Binghamton Dusters.

Ken Holland and the Stanley Cup pose with family and friends, while enjoying the beautiful weather.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The Maple Leafs never signed Ken, and he continued to play in the AHL as a free agent. He signed with the Hartford Whalers' organization in September 1979. In all, Ken played five AHL seasons in Binghamton, including a team name change from the Dusters to the Whalers in 1980-81. His tenure there was interrupted by a season with the Springfield Indians of the IHL in 1979-80, but was made more memorable when, on November 16, 1980, he was summoned to Hartford and played his first NHL game as a member of the Whalers. The next season, 1981-82, he was named to the AHL's Second All-Star Team. In 1998, Ken Holland was inducted into the Binghamton Hall of Fame.

In 1983-84, Holland joined the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL, and during that season, played 3 games with the parent Detroit Red Wings. But at the conclusion of the 1984-85 season, retired from active duty and joined the Red Wings as an amateur scout for western Canada, a position he maintained until July 1989 when he was promoted to director of amateur scouting. From there, Holland was elevated to assistant general manager in June 1994, where he stayed until he was named Detroit's general manager on July 18, 1997.

With this year's victory, Holland will have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup four times: 1997, 1998, 2002 and, of course, 2008.

The Stanley Cup arrived in Vernon on Saturday, July 19. All four members of the Red Wings family shared time with hockey's most heralded trophy. That afternoon, the Cup was the guest of honour at the first day of the Holland Derby, an annual golf tournament held at nearby Predator Ridge Golf Resort. This is a serious three-day tourney held at an amazing local golf course. Among the hockey participants were Ken Holland, Chris Osgood, Tyler Wright and Brent Gilchrist, who was part of the Wings championship in 1998. Brent retired after the 2002-03 season, and was the winner of this year's tournament. "The Holland Derby is harder to win than the damned Stanley Cup," he joked.

The Cup was placed on the 18th hole, and teams had their pictures taken with Lord Stanley's legacy front and centre. Later, Osgood and Holland shared drinks from the Cup with their fellow golfers.

The Stanley Cup enjoys first class seating as it takes a tour of Kalamalka Lake with Ken Holland and friends.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The Cup then stopped at the Holland house, where much of his wife Cindi's family had congregated for a celebration. Their kids, Brad, Greg, Julie and Rachel, were all excited to have the Cup in their home once again.

On Sunday, the team's GM enjoyed a day with the Stanley Cup. With some visiting friends from Detroit, Ken took the Cup out onto Kalamalka Lake by boat and enjoyed a blissful day. He took the Cup over to his mother's home, and with Lee and 400 others, enjoyed the day with photos, watching the British Open and enjoying Little Caesar's pizza.

After stopping again at his house, Ken took the Stanley Cup to Alexander's Pub on the beach to share with other hockey fans.

The Wings shared the Stanley Cup with local fans on Monday, July 21, exhibiting the cherished trophy from 9AM until noon at the Wesbild Centre. For a $10 donation, fans got their photo with the Stanley Cup. Proceeds from the event were split between the Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association, the Vernon and District Minor Baseball Association and the Rienie Holland Foundation for Parkinson's Disease, in memory of Ken's father, a longtime supporter of local sports.

* * *

Join the Stanley Cup Journal again on Friday when we visit with Marty Stein & Bruce Haralson.

Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

All Photographs are property of the Hockey Hall of Fame or Getty Images and may not be reproduced without prior written consent. For more information regarding use of our photographs please contact us.
 
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