The Stanley Cup spent two very different days in London, Ontario.
London is home to Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and quite a few other NHLers, so this isn’t the first time the Cup has visited. It’s most recent trip was with Corey Perry when the Ducks won it in 2007 and the city was anxiously awaiting this year’s visit.
Doughty’s day started out simple enough, but picked up a bit when his grandfather brought out his homemade wine, which was in a huge jug bearing a Guelph Storm (Doughty’s junior team) logo. It was a nice moment and Doughty’s mom got emotional when talking about it later. She told us that because the parents had to work, the grandfather was the one who drove Doughty to the local rink every day when he was a kid.
Much of the rest of Doughty’s day was spent sharing the Cup with others including a trip to city hall for a meet and greet with city officials. That’s where Carter and Doughty hooked up to climb atop one of the London Police Department’s tactical vehicles and paraded the Cup through the downtown area. Arriving at the John Labatt Center, home of the London Knights, Carter and Doughty brought the Cup to center ice for more pictures. After more stops for even more pictures, Doughty’s day wrapped up with a sizable celebration at the house. In attendance were a number of his Kings teammates and of course several of those other NHLers with London roots.
The next morning brought the Cup to the home of Jeff Carter and for the next five hours, that’s exactly where it stayed. Carter was surrounded by his immediate family and a very small group of friends. Lots of photos, lots of food and lots of memories being shared. We met Carter’s girlfriend, Megan, who wanted to convince us that the little white poodle running around the yard belonged to him. Her story was that she met Carter when he was out walking the dog one day. When questioned about this, Carter’s only answer was the he “inherited it…sorta.” Apparently it is Megan’s dog after all, but she finds the thought of a guy Carter’s size owning a dog like that about as amusing as we did.
Carter has the reputation of being a pretty quiet guy, usually very reserved, so the most interesting part of this day was actually being able to get a feel for who he really is. More than anything else, Carter seems to be a family guy. The best moment at the house came when he filled the Cup with champagne, and helped each of his family members drink from it. Once the Cup left the house, the first stop it made was the office where Carter’s mom has worked since he was a kid, because that is what any good son would do, right? From there it moved on to the local hockey rink, where Carter’s dad coached him for most of his youth. Carter and his dad posed together for photos on the bench with the Cup. This place wasn’t only the first place Carter played hockey, it was where his dad played as well, so there is a lot history in that building for the family. This led to what has to be the funniest moment of this trip. Carter squeezed into his North London peewee hockey jersey and hoisted the Cup for a photo that made the day, and had all of his buddies making Tommy Boy references.
After one more stop at the family’s local watering hole to surprise the owner, and family friend, with the Cup. The Carter gang headed out to the uncle’s farm to carry the celebration into the night. Just a little more time for the family to savor Carter’s accomplishment.