Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 25
The Stanley Cup Journal

Fredrik Modin wraps one arms around his son Jesper and the other around the Stanley Cup at his cottage near Sundsvall, Sweden.
Monday, July 26, the Stanley Cup flew from Prague to Sundsvall Midlanda Airport where it was greeted by Tampa's big forward, Fredrik Modin, along with his wife Linda and two-year-old son, Jesper.

Sundsvall is a town of 95,000 residents located on the east coast of central Sweden. The port city was an important producer of pulp and paper in the late 1800s, but today is as well known for producing excellent hockey players (Modin and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg, for example) as it is for its metal manufacturing. Freddie and his family return to Sundsvall each summer.

Climbing into a classic Pontiac Bonneville, the Modins took the trophy, escorted by police officers, to the arena in Njurunda where Freddie played his minor hockey. Four thousand hockey fans crammed into the arena and witnessed a small exhibit celebrating Fredrik Modin's career, which included jerseys from Sweden's national team, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Lightning, as well as the Stanley Cup, situated there on a table in the arena. Freddie posed for photographs through the afternoon. Just before it was time to leave, a special ceremony took place in which Modin's Number 33 Tampa Bay jersey was raised to the rafters to honour the local celebrity.

Surprise! Fredrik Modin perches himself on the anniversary gift given to him by his wife Linda at their Cup celebration.
Back in the Pontiac Bonneville, the Modins took the Stanley Cup home. A quiet celebration took place, with Modin's parents and father-in-law waiting to see the trophy to which their son so proudly contributed.

On Tuesday (July 27), the day began with professional photographs of Fredrik, Linda, Jesper and the Stanley Cup. The day was relatively quiet until six o'clock that evening when Freddie hosted a private party at his cottage just outside Sundsvall. The location is exquisite — situated on a bay leading to the Baltic Sea. The water goes on seemingly forever — beautiful in its tranquility and peaceful in its demeanour. It is abundantly evident why Fredrik returns here following each hockey season.

Freddie gulps champagne from the Cup's celebrated basin. The birch schnapps came later.
A tent was set up in the backyard with an array of wonderful foods — ribs and potato salad included. "Close your eyes, Fredrik," Linda teased. "I bought you a present!" "What is it?" Freddie asked. Linda took her husband by the hand and led him around the corner. "You can open your eyes now!"

Freddie blinked. "Ofattbar," he grinned faster than one of his slapshots. "This is fantastic!" There sat Linda's gift to Freddie — a Polaris four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. "It's your anniversary present early," Linda said, giving her husband a hug. The couple will celebrate their anniversary next month.

The Stanley Cup has witnessed more sunrises than a waitress on the morning shift at a donut shop. Here is one of the more beautiful, looking out at the Baltic Sea from Sundsvall, Sweden.
Later, the guests rode Sea-Doos across the water while others went tubing on the edge of the Baltic Sea. Freddie's father caught some herring and brought them back to include with the feast. Fredrik then brought out some homemade birch schnapps to tag team the champagne that was being consumed. "If you don't try my birch schnapps, I'll be insulted," Modin laughed. The guests all took shots. The Swedish guests drank the liquor with great gusto. The North Americans could barely sputter out a word after their mouthfuls. "Harsh," was as polite a phrase as can be used in this journal.

By 2AM, the sun was beginning to rise on the incredible horizon, adding a distinct glow to the celebration. Freddie threw some hotdogs on the grill for his guests. Two hours later, fog had enveloped the cottage area. It was as good a time as any to pack the Stanley Cup into its case and pat the dirt down on another fantastic celebration. The revelers returned to the cottage where they noticed some interesting photos of Cup celebrations held earlier this summer.

Friday, the captain and a coach get their days with the Cup as we visit with Dave Andreychuk and Craig Ramsay in the Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is a manager at the Ishockey Bankettsal om Berommelse.

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