Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 24

Niklas Kronwall signs the t-shirt of a young hockey player attending hockey school.
(Bill Wellman/HHOF)
Hard-hitting Niklas Kronwall enjoyed a hard-hitting day with the Stanley Cup in Stockholm on Monday, July 28.

Following the days with the captain in Vasteras, the gleaming goblet was greeted by Kronwall in the morning, and taken on a media blitz, hitting two television stations (Channels 1 and 4). Following Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom, it's difficult to imagine that any hockey fan in Sweden didn't know that the Stanley Cup was on their fair soil, but Kronwall ensured the fact through his TV appearances. Joining him at Channel 4 was Red Wing teammate Mikael Samuelsson.

A quick bite to eat at a nearby café preceded a visit to the Globe Arena, where Niklas played for four seasons as a member of Djurgardens IF Hockey (1999-2000 to 2002-03), including championship seasons in 2000 and 2001. The big defenceman said hello to those he knew from his junior days, then took the Stanley Cup over to where a hockey school was in session. Besides honing your skating and stickhandling skills, imagine having your dreams further fuelled by seeing the Stanley Cup in the arms of a local hero!

Kronwall and his proud mother pose for a photo with the Cup. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Later that afternoon, Niklas took the trophy to the home of his parents, where neighbours and family toasted his extraordinary accomplishment. Then, it was over to the arena where the Jarfalla Hockey Club plays its home games. More than a thousand people were on hand to welcome Kronwall to a rink where he spent many fine seasons.

Bouquets of flowers were handed to Niklas as part of a very special presentation, which included the announcement of a Niklas Kronwall scholarship. "Through hard work, humility and great talent, Niklas Kronwall has reached unprecedented heights as a sportsman," began the proclamation. "In 27 years, Niklas has already won two Swedish league championships, the World Cup, Olympic gold and the Stanley Cup, making him a unique athlete who belongs to a very small circle of Swedish hockey. We in Järfälla Hockey are very proud of the fact that Niklas had his hockey education with us, and see him as a great ambassador for Järfälla, both on and off the ice. We want to honour Niklas by introducing a scholarship in Niklas's name. It will go to the under-sixteen (year old) player who we feel best meets the many wonderful traits shown by Niklas Kronwall when he was at the same age: diligent work ethic, good sportsmanship both on and off the ice, having played at least five seasons in the Jarfalla Hockey system and showing the potential to continue hockey at an advanced level." The scholarship pays the recipient 5,000 Swedish Krona, or approximately $800 US.

Kronwall is honoured by the Jarfalla Hockey Club. (Bill Wellman/HHOF)
Following the official ceremony, photos were available with the Stanley Cup, while Niklas handed out autographed photos.

Kronwall's Stanley Cup party was held across the street at the Scandic Anglais hotel, right in the heart of Stockholm's business and entertainment district. Wearing a brand new suit bought for the occasion, Niklas hosted fifty family members and close friends, who dined on steak, salmon, pork, Swedish caviar and pasta salad. The party continued until 2:00 in the morning.

* * *

Well, Mikael Samuelsson surprises an old hockey friend, Andreas Lilja takes the Cup to the top of a historic tower, Mattias Ritola enjoys his time with the Cup and Jonathan Ericsson takes Stanley for a ride in a Viper in the next instalment of the Stanley Cup Journal. Set your dials for excitement!

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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