Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 22
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After seemingly circumnavigating North America through June and July, the Stanley Cup spent the first day of August 2007 flying to Sweden, where it spent the day with Sami Pahlsson.

Pahlsson, one of the NHL's premier defensive forwards, was born in Ange, but spent most of his developmental years in the hockey-mad city of Ornskoldsvik. With the Stanley Cup reserved for him, Sami decided to incorporate both into his celebration.

Anaheim Ducks centre Samuel Pahlsson and the Stanley Cup the ice of Kastberg Arena, his boyhood hockey rink.
Anaheim Ducks centreman Samuel Pahlsson returned to the ice of Kastberg Arena, his boyhood hockey rink, with hockey's ultimate prize. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
The plane carrying the Stanley Cup landed in Sundsvall, Sweden late that morning, and was met by Samuel Pahlsson and a friend of the Pahlsson family, who drove it through central Sweden to Ange. Sami was ecstatic to receive the Stanley Cup, and took the championship trophy first to the Kastberg Arena where he had played as a boy.

From there, it was a sizable celebration in the town's square. Inger, Sami's mother, remarked, "Oh my! There has never been this many people in the square — not even when the King of Sweden visited about five years ago. Every one of the 3,000 people who live in this town must be here today!"

Presentations were made to Pahlsson, as well as several other elite hockey players from the town. Fans were then allowed to get photographs with the Stanley Cup.

Thousands of Ornskoldsvik natives rejoice as Samuel Pahlsson of the Anaheim Ducks hoists the Stanley Cup at his celebration in the town's square.
Thousands of Ange natives rejoice as Pahlsson hoists the Stanley Cup at his celebration in the town's square. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)"
At 2PM, Sami took the Cup to several places of personal importance in Ange. They stopped for pictures by a railway bridge that sported a huge sign congratulating Sami, briefly stopped at the family's sporting goods store and then ended up at the Pahlsson family home.

Half an hour later, Sami and Stanley's Cup left for the summer home he and his wife Johanna own in Ornskoldsvik. The city, located on the coast of the chilly Gulf of Bothnia, is almost directly north of Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

The reason many North American hockey fans know what little they do about Sweden is because of the MoDo Hockey Institute that is based in Ornskoldsvik. Originally sponsored by the MoDo pulp factory, the Swedish Elite Series team has spawned a plethora of stars, including Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Niklas Sundstrom and, of course, Sami Pahlsson.

The Pahlsson gang celebrated Sami's Stanley Cup championship with a backyard party. A local band entertained with a great live performance, and then Sami's father, Olle, got up and sang some Swedish folk songs, which were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. The food was plentiful and delicious, with coldcuts, cheeses, breads and olives served up for guests.

Anaheim Ducks centre Samuel Pahlssson poses with the Stanley Cup at his summer home in Sweden
At his summer home, Pahlssson poses with the Cup ahead of a sign that reads when translated to English: "GOLDCOAST". The sign acknowledges his Gold Medals in the World Championships & Olympics in 2006, his Swedish League Gold in 2005, and most recently his Stanley Cup in 2007. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
It wasn't long before the chilled champagne was brought out, filling the bowl of the Cup so everyone could have a celebratory drink.

The party continued all afternoon and through the evening with much singing and dancing. At midnight, they fired up the barbecue for a meal of Swedish sausage. Although the Stanley Cup left at 3AM, the party continued all night.

The next day, Thursday, August 2, Sami took the Stanley Cup to a restaurant near the Swede Bank Arena where MoDo plays. The Mamma Mia Restaurant is decorated in the jerseys of many of the greats who played in Ornskoldsvik through the years.

Mamma Mia served Sami a wonderful salmon dish, while others couldn't resist the meatballs. When he took the Stanley Cup into the kitchen to greet the staff, they insisted on filling the Cup with spaghetti.

Sami Pahlsson enjoyed a terrific celebration with the Stanley Cup, but he and Johanna have one other reason to celebrate. The couple is expecting their first child! Till luka, from the Hockey Hall of Fame!

* * *

On Tuesday, we'll take you on Teemu Selanne's unbelievable party marathon in Helsinki. See if you can keep up when we meet you back here for the Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is a contributor to the Hockey Hall of Fame's new book, 'Travels With Stanley' (Fenn Publishing)


Anaheim Ducks centre Samuel Pahlsson fills the bowl of the Stanley Cup with champagne at his backyard party in Sweden
Pahlsson generously fills the bowl of the Cup with champagne for a guest at his backyard party. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)

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