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Missing Stanley Cup Final puck is found

New Jersey's Patrik Elias discovers the puck in his equipment bag after returning from a vacation.

Kings fans, your nightmare is over.


The New Jersey Devils' Patrik Elias returned from his long vacation, unpacked his equipment bag and there it was, the missing puck from the closing moments of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.


Bounty hunters, feel free to stand down.


Elias had told the Newark Star-Ledger on Wednesday that he thought he did not have the puck but would check again. The Kings organization, trying hard to recover the memorable puck from the Cup-clinching game on June 11, heard from Elias on Thursday.


The story, clearly, had taken on a life of its own.


"It's like a lot of traditions, and it became one of them that the puck has gone to the winning team," said Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi. "He called me and said he wanted to make sure it got to its rightful owners. He was a real class act.


"It's a feel-good story for hockey that he did that and for our organization to show our appreciation with a donation to his charity [UNICEF]."


One more question lingers. How do the Kings regain possession of the puck?


Lombardi joked, saying: "It'll be like the CIA briefcase with handcuffs on it. I might just do that."


— Lisa Dillman