October 5, 2013
Duluth News Tribune
Denfeld, Lowell students show the Stanley Cup some love
By John Myers
Lord Stanley’s Cup made a surprise appearance at Denfeld High School on Friday, where students and staff found out that it pays to have kids in your school whose dad works for the Stanley Cup champions.
The Stanley Cup, the trophy given for a year to the National Hockey League team that wins the playoff championship, was in Duluth thanks to Norm Maciver, the assistant general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks that won the playoffs in June.
Maciver, a former All American hockey player for the UMD Bulldogs, still lives in Duluth. And, like every player on the Blackhawks, Maciver got to bring the cup to the place of his choosing for a couple days.
That place, as it was when Chicago won it in 2010, was Duluth.
The 35-pound cup first stopped in the office of Denfeld Athletic Director Tom Pearson, where his son, Eric, was waiting, wearing a Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu No. 9 jersey.
“Cooooool,” 7-year-old Eric said when his dad pointed out Wayne Gretzky’s name on the cup from the 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers championship team. That was way before Eric was born, of course, but even a 7-year-old hockey fan knows about the Great One.
The cup then made its way to Ed Lewis’ pre-calculus class where his students, including Steven Maciver, Norm’s son, were taking a quiz. They didn’t seem to mind the interruption. Students whipped out their smartphones and took selfies and Instagram shots of their friends smiling near or kissing professional sports’ most hallowed trophy.
“They’re saving a spot right there for the Minnesota Wild,” said a smiling Michael Benjamin, pointing to an empty space on the trophy’s latest rung. Benjamin said he plays basketball but is a big hockey fan. “I go to all the Bulldog games.”
Down in Eric Holmstrom’s biology class, which includes sophomore Jenna Maciver, students seemed unsure how to react. By then, word was spreading through the school thanks to gossip and social media that the Stanley Cup “was in the house.” The classroom was filling up with people not at all interested in biology.
Norm Maciver and Mike Bolt, the cup’s official keeper from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, laid down the rules: You can touch it, you can kiss it, you can even hug the cup. But you can’t raise it over your head. That’s reserved only for players on each year’s winning team.
Like all good hockey fans, I’ve been chasing the Stanley Cup,” said Chris Olcott, a Denfeld teacher’s assistant who rushed into the room. “I’ve been one room behind for the last half-hour… but now I’ve caught it.”
Olcott, like most everyone else who saw the 97 percent solid silver trophy, had her photo taken with it.
“It’s just so cool,” she noted.
Bolt was willing to offer a little history for anyone willing to listen. Originally called the Challenge Cup, the top bowl part of the trophy has been around since 1893. The 1907 Kenora Thistles were the first team engraved inside the bowl and the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires were the first to have each player’s name engraved on it. Now, every player on every winning team gets their name on the trophy. After 56 years, that ring of names is retired to the Hall of Fame in Toronto to make room for a new band and new champions.
The cup, escorted closely by Bolt, also stopped by Lowell Elementary School before going on to a publicized appearance at Amsoil Arena, where hundreds of people stopped by a free event to get a better look. The cup ended its Duluth tour at a private party at Northland Country Club.
The cup, and Bolt, were scheduled to head back to Chicago on a 6 a.m. flight today.