Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2011, 17

Dan Paille proudly hoisting the Stanley Cup following a ride on Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls.
Dan Paille proudly hoisting the Stanley Cup following a ride on Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
It was Daniel Paille's day with the Stanley Cup on Wednesday, July 27, and he spent it in the Niagara Peninsula where he was born, raised and played his minor hockey before joining the Guelph Storm, his junior club in the Ontario Hockey League.

Dan greeted the Stanley Cup at the Queen's Landing Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 7:30 on the morning of the 27th. Joining him were his wife Dana, Mom Suzanne and his Dad Ray, as well as his childhood friend, Dan Girardi, now of the New York Rangers.

The group had a bus waiting, which took them to Niagara Falls. What awaited was a tour through the Niagara Gorge courtesy of the Maid of the Mist. While the people wore plastic rainwear to fend off the mist from the roaring Falls, the Stanley Cup insisted that it would go commando, and faced the water like the 119-year-old it is.

Dan Paille and his wife Dana arrive at the Welland Arena with the Stanley Cup.
Dan Paille and his wife Dana arrive at the Welland Arena with the Stanley Cup. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
After approaching the majestic Falls, where you can barely be heard above the roar of the descending water, the Maid of the Mist circled back and concluded the trip.

Safely on shore, Dan and the clan were welcomed by Niagara Falls, Ontario mayor, Jim Diodati.

Accompanied by a police escort, the bus and its passengers (and precious cargo) arrived in Welland, Daniel's hometown.

The first stop was at Welland City Hall, where Mayor Barry Sharpe presided over a Council meeting.

A motion was put forward that July 27, 2011 be declared Daniel Paille Day in Welland. The motion was seconded, and when they went to take the vote, each Council member said, 'Go Bruins' instead of 'Aye' or 'Nay.' As you might imagine, the vote was passed unanimously.

More than 2,500 fans came out to the Welland Arena to meet Dan Paille and the Stanley Cup.
More than 2,500 fans came out to the Welland Arena to meet Dan Paille and the Stanley Cup. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Outside City Hall, Daniel posed for photos with the Stanley Cup in Civic Square, and then ventured over to the Welland Arena where more than 2,500 fans were waiting to meet the local hero. Daniel signed autographs and posed for pictures much of the early afternoon.

A requisite stop for Daniel was Foyer Richelieu, the retirement home where his grandmother resides. The residents made quite a fuss over Dan, anxious to meet him and see the legendary Stanley Cup.

Afterwards, Paille took the Cup over to Dan Girardi's house. The two had grown up together and played hockey in Welland. Although on the ice they are opponents (Dan's Bruins were never particularly friendly with Girardi's New York Rangers through history), off the ice, they remain the best of friends. Having said that, Girardi was only too happy to host the Stanley Cup, but as superstition dictates, he refused to touch the Cup so that he did not jinx his chances of winning the trophy himself.

Rich Peverley looks on as his daughter Isabella enjoys some cereal from the bowl of the Stanley Cup.
Rich Peverley looks on as his daughter Isabella enjoys some cereal from the bowl of the Stanley Cup. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The final stop of the day was Daniel Paille's private celebration party. More than 250 guests gathered at Welland's Boston Pizza for a dinner of pizza, pasta, chicken and salads. Daniel was only to happy to mingle through the room, stopping for photographs on a consistent basis.

* * *

Rich Peverley took his turn with the Stanley Cup on Thursday, July 28.

Rich had his family gathered at his home in Guelph, Ontario that morning. When the Stanley Cup arrived, Rich, his wife Nathalie, their two-year-old daughter Isabella, dog Bear and Rich's parents Lyle and Nancy were thrilled to receive it. Numerous pictures were taken around the house to start the day.

The next stop was at the Guelph Police Department, where Chief Robert Davis greeted the victor and his spoils.

Rich had a terrific public appearance next at the Sleeman Centre. Every one of the 1,500 attendees received a raffle ticket, and as Rich signed autographs and fans took pictures with the Stanley Cup, numbers were drawn and lucky recipients went home with signed gloves, sticks and a jersey.

Rich Peverley addresses the 1,500 fans in attendance at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, Ontario.
Rich Peverley addresses the 1,500 fans in attendance at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Close friends and family gathered at The Greek Garden for a meal of calamari, pitas with hummus and Greek Salad. Opa!

The day concluded at the Cutten Fields Country Club, where the celebration was strong. Joining Rich were NHLers Bryan Little and Mark Popovic, who had been teammates with Rich on the Atlanta Thrashers.

* * *

As Stompin' Tom sang, "My back still hurts when I hear that word: Tillsonburg, Tillsonburg." We'll visit the town of Tom's tune on Tuesday when the Stanley Cup Journal returns.



Rich Peverley and Chief Robert Davis of the Guelph Police Department.
Rich Peverley and Chief Robert Davis of the Guelph Police Department. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)

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

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