Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 05
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With victory still ringing in their ears, and the magnitude of the win still not fully comprehended, the Anaheim Ducks spent the first of several full and chaotic days with the Stanley Cup on Thursday, June 7.

In the morning, Scott Niedermayer took the Cup to his children's school for a very special 'show and tell' session. Afterwards, the Keepers of the Cup accompanied the championship trophy to NBC's 'Tonight Show With Jay Leno' where they were met by Ducks Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Brad May and Chris Pronger. Other guests on the show that evening were comedian Don Rickles, actor Josh Flitter (one of the stars of 'Nancy Drew') and the band Dashboard Confessional, who performed their hit, 'Stolen'.

After the introduction by Leno and the subsequent prolonged applause from the audience, the Stanley Cup was carried on stage by the three veterans, all sporting their jerseys. At one point, Brad May handed the Cup to the host, who held it like a newborn baby, then handed it back. "You've brought a lot of pride and honour to California," nodded Leno. He then asked the boys where they were from. Brad and Chris responded, "Canada," but J-S said, "Montreal," bringing a ripple of laughter from the crowd. Jay then asked Giguere how he celebrated the victory, to which Jean-Sebastien replied, "We celebrated with our family and got really drunk!" Again, great guffaws from the audience.

Jay Leno then asked if it would be appropriate for 'Tonight Show' announcer, John Melendez, to drink from the Cup. Chris Pronger replied that only players were allowed to drink from the Cup, then tossed Melendez the cup from an athletic supporter. The crowd laughed once again.

With the sun setting along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, members of the Anaheim Ducks pose on the beach with Lord Stanley's Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The day had been nothing less than sensational, in every respect, and about fifteen of the boys from the Ducks showed up with the Stanley Cup at Sharky's in Newport Beach. It was a brief visit, but the guys took the opportunity to take the Cup down to the beach for a shot with a magnificent sunset as a backdrop.

Mercury-quick forward Todd Marchant was scheduled for a TV interview with ABC, so the Stanley Cup arrived to make the clip that much better.

It was time to stop for dinner, so many of the Ducks accompanied the Stanley Cup to Cannery Seafood of the Pacific in Newport Beach. Displays in the lobby show heritage sports artifacts, including autographs from baseball legends Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Cy Young. With yachts gracefully sweeping across the Rhine Channel in the background, the players mingled over drinks with guests who got the opportunity to see the famous Stanley Cup up close and personal. The teammates enjoyed an outstanding dinner.

Neighbors and friends of Anaheim Ducks' goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere got up close and personal with hockey's ultimate prize. (Bill Wellman/HHOF)
Later, the celebration carried over to the Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa, where DJ Echo was hosting his birthday bash. The VIP area was filled to capacity, as party-goers drank champagne from the bowl of the Stanley Cup. The revelry continued until just after 2:30 Friday morning.

On Friday, June 8, the Stanley Cup spent the afternoon and evening at the home of Ducks' owner Henry Samueli, his wife Susan and their three children. Samueli, born in Buffalo, New York, co-founded the Broadcom Corporation, a world leader in semiconductors for both wired and wireless communications. Their magnificent home is located near Newport Beach on a cliff overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. The players and guests feasted on the finest of porterhouse steaks, succulent lobster, ice cream floats and a cake that resembled the Stanley Cup. Champagne specially labeled for the celebration washed down every tasty morsel.

Henry Samueli rose and addressed his team. "I really became a hockey fan for the first time about two years ago. On June 20, 2005, I purchased the Ducks from Disney and since that date, the team has broken franchise records for points in 2005-2006 and now here we are in 2007, the Stanley Cup champions! As a present to you, I'd like you to turn around." Just then, the most extraordinary fireworks display began, the colourful explosions synchronized to music. No one present had seen anything like it before!

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Jean-Sebastien Giguere took the Stanley Cup home to his neighbourhood on Saturday, June 9, where he shared the trophy with local hockey fans. A visit to a swim meet at the local community centre had to be cut short when what was to be a quiet surprise turned into a chaotic occasion with almost a thousand kids arriving to see the legendary Cup.

A first look at the official team photo of the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.
(Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
The team then held a meeting at the Honda Center, the home of the Anaheim Ducks, where they went over rules, suggestions and scheduling of the Stanley Cup through the course of the summer. A team photo was taken with the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy (won by Scott Niedermayer as the playoff MVP) and the Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champions. Families then got photographs taken as they posed around the logo on the ice surface.

While the boys were inside going over details, fans were preparing for a celebration rally outside the arena. Some began arriving as early as 4:30 that morning in order to stake a prime spot to cheer with their hockey heroes. Tailgate parties were taking place, with the Ducks providing free hotdogs, chips and soda for the royal class of loyal masses.

Rob Niedermayer and Chris Pronger arrive in style at the team rally outside the Honda Center grasping the Stanley Cup and the Clarence S. Campbell Trophy respectively. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
A vehicle took the Niedermayer brothers and Chris Pronger, along with the trophies, to an off-site location so they could make a spectacular entrance, which they most certainly did! At 6:30 that evening, led by a procession of local firetrucks, a double-decker bus pulled up to the stage carrying the majority of the team, each wearing their Anaheim jersey. Then, a helicopter spirited the captain and two assistants over the Honda Center, lowering them gingerly onto Katella Boulevard. With Wagner's powerful 'Flight of the Valkyries' blasting in the background, out stepped Chris Pronger carrying the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, Scott Niedermayer cradling the Conn Smythe Trophy and Rob Niedermayer holding aloft the incredible Stanley Cup, each welcomed to wild cheering from the 15,000 Ducks' faithful.

The captain passed the gleaming Stanley Cup to his teammates, lined up along a red carpet, as the Hermosa Beach power-punk powerhouse, Pennywise, played 'Bro Hymn', the Anaheim Ducks' theme.

The 38th Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was on hand to congratulate the Ducks for being the first team to bring the Stanley Cup to the state of California. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the Ducks to his own film legacy. "I come from action movies. We didn't have much dialogue, but we had a lot of action. That is what this team represents -- little dialogue but lots of action!" While the exuberant crowd screamed their approval, the muscle-bound governor added, "California is the leader in so many things. Now we are the leader in ice hockey!" Apparently, Schwarzenegger telephoned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper after Game Three and joked, "We'll be back!" After the final game on Wednesday night, the Governor called his political colleague and laughed, "Hasta la vista, baby!" Some jokes just never grow old.

Henry Samueli, the Ducks' owner, who bought the team from Disney two years earlier, added his own movie parallel. "I know that Disney doesn't own the team any more, but even they couldn't have choreographed such a magic season!"

Team general manager Brian Burke thanked the sea of assembled fans, as did Chris Pronger and the Niedermayers. Rob stated, "I don't think I ever had a better feeling than I did on Wednesday. We couldn't have had a better script!"

Captain Scott Niedermayer hoists the Cup much to the delight of the 15,000 rowdy Ducks' fans who attended the team rally. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
He also referenced the 2003 final when his Anaheim Mighty Ducks faced his brother's New Jersey Devils, and added how great it was to now be playing with Scott on the Stanley Cup champions in Anaheim.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere drew a monstrous round of applause when he addressed the fans, then Teemu Selanne stepped forward to thank everyone for their overwhelming support. The first word had barely tumbled from his lips when the crowd began chanting, "One more year! One more year!" The Finnish Flash smiled, but did not indicate if he was, if you'll excuse the expression, finished.

The rally dispersed after an entertaining two hour celebration that again concluded with a spectacular fireworks display. While the fans and players headed back to their homes, Brian Burke hosted the coaches and the Stanley Cup at his home.

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On Friday, we'll accompany the Stanley Cup to an Anaheim hospital and then enjoy the Ducks' team cruise, all here in Stanley Cup Journal. See you then!

Kevin Shea is the Hockey Hall of Fame's Editor of Publications and On-Line Features.

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

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