Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 14

Mark Hartigan (left) and former teammate Joe Motzko (right) pose with their respective championship trophies. (Mike Bolt/HHOF).
The Stanley Cup made Plymouth rock.

On Saturday, July 5, Mark Hartigan enjoyed his second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. In August 2007, having won the Cup as a member of Anaheim's Ducks, Mark took the Stanley Cup to Fort McMurray, Alberta. Curiously, a month prior, he had become a free agent and was picked up by the Red Wings. Great move! This summer, he got a day with the Cup again and chose to spend the time at Plymouth, Minnesota, located on Lake Minnetonka, not far from Minneapolis.

Long before the Stanley Cup arrived, the lake was already famous. Discovered by a couple of teenaged boys who had paddled up Minnehaha Creek in 1822, it was officially named Lake Minnetonka by the state's governor in 1852, using his anglicized version of the native word for 'big water.' In 1855, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow referred to the area in his epic poem, 'The Song of Hiawatha'.

Mark, along with his father, brother, his wife, daughter and his wife's family, in from Saskatchewan, waited anxiously for the Stanley Cup to arrive, and were overjoyed when it pulled into the driveway. This is a challenging time of year for the Hartigan family, as his mother, Debbie, died during the 2007 playoffs, and this celebration was dedicated to her memory.

Hartigan's family and friends gather around for a celebratory shot with Mark and the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF).
Family and friends gathered at Hartigan home. Joe Motzko, who was Hartigan's teammate on the 2007 Stanley Cup champion Ducks, brought a surprise date. He had been a member of this year's American Hockey League champion Chicago Wolves, and brought the Calder Cup to the celebration. It's not often that the two championship trophies are at the same place at the same time, so the cameras flashed like crazy as Mark and Joe held their respective trophies.

Baby Ava Lynn, Mark and Melissa's 11-month old daughter, got her picture taken seated in the Stanley Cup.

The Hartigans have a friend, Jack, who owns a beach house right on the canal, and he had kindly volunteered his place for the celebration. As the party heated up, the Stanley Cup sat outside near the water, and boaters floating by rubbed their eyes in astonishment to see the Stanley Cup. It turned into a non-stop parade of water vessels drifting by so their owners could ogle the Cup and get a souvenir photo.

Next up was a trip by boat over to Lord Fletcher's, an incredible dining establishment right there on Lake Minnetonka. The patio is the size of a football field, and every square inch was claimed as the Stanley Cup visited.

After hanging out there for several hours, Mark and his entourage returned to Jack's house, where the party continued until 4:30 the next morning.

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Detroit Red Wings amateur scout Dave Kolb cradles the Cup outside Hobbs Ice Arena. (Mike Bolt/HHOF).
Dave Kolb, one of the Red Wings' amateur scouts, spent Sunday, July 6 with the Stanley Cup in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The morning began with some quiet time at his friend Jeff's house. But the real celebration came from noon until 3:00, as Dave took the Stanley Cup to the Hobbs Ice Arena, where he once played the game. "Those early experiences made me fall in love with the sport of hockey," he said, looking out at a long winding line waiting to spend $10 to get a photograph with the Stanley Cup. Kolb had arranged that all proceeds go to the Future of Ice campaign for expansion of the arena.

As the last photograph was taken just past 3:30, Kolb took the Cup over to Mogie's Pub on historic Water Street, where patrons got the chance to see hockey's historic trophy up close and personal.

Later that evening, it was back to his friend's house, where those gathered spent a great deal of time poring over the names engraved on the patina of the Stanley Cup. Afterwards, several beers were emptied into the bowl of the Cup, and each of the friends sipped from the chalice of champions.

* * *

Make sure you're settled in for Tuesday's Stanley Cup Journal, as we'll visit with Kris Draper as he celebrates his fourth Stanley Cup championship.

Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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