Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 06
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"I'm the king of the World!"

The Stanley Cup was guest of honour on a boat cruise on the waterways around Newport Beach for the players and management of the Anaheim Ducks and their partners on Sunday, June 10. It was a beautiful evening, and the buffet was superb, the music great and those on board in the mood for a party. The ship leisurely skimmed over the calm waters of Newport Bay. "Hey, why aren't we taking this party out onto the ocean," asked a few of the revelers. The captain was hesitant, but popular demand helped convince him to wheel the vessel out onto the Pacific. "Wait, this is no fun, it's too rocky," came a comment, with a chorus of 'yeahs' punctuating the statement. The captain shrugged, smirked, and turned the vessel back onto calmer harboured waters.

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Monday, June 11, the Stanley Cup was taken back to Scott Niedermayer's beautiful home, shared with wife Lisa and their three sons, Logan, Jackson and Josh. Beginning at 4:00 that afternoon, the Niedermayers hosted the neighbours from their gated community to enjoy a barbecue and see up close the Campbell Trophy, the Conn Smythe and, of course, the Stanley Cup. The kids initiated a ball hockey game and, as they do so regularly, competed for the Gino Cup - the lucky winners getting to eat Doritos out of this particular trophy! The afternoon party continued until just around 8PM.

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George Parros tilts the Stanley Cup as friends and family drink out of bowl of the trophy at the Ducks' team cruise.
George Parros tilts the Stanley Cup as friends and family drink out of bowl of the trophy at the Ducks' team cruise. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
All of the fun and hijinx associated with the Stanley Cup often overshadow how the magnificent and historic trophy is so often used for outstanding benevolent purposes. On Tuesday, June 12, Ryan Getzlaf, Kent Huskins, Chris Kunitz, Brad May, Travis Moen, Rob and Scott Niedermayer, Sammy Pahlsson, Dustin Penner, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne took the Stanley Cup to the CHOC, the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Arriving at 10 that morning, the players took the Cup from floor to floor, visiting the terrific youngsters at the hospital. The first stop was the playroom in the oncology ward. More than two dozen children, some dressed in Anaheim jerseys pulled over their hospital gowns, many of them pulling IV trees beside them like pets, excitedly greeted the Ducks with the Stanley Cup.

One youngster challenged Scott Niedermayer to an air hockey game. "I kicked Duck butt," he giggled, showing a lopsided score that favoured the CHOC patient. As competitive as he is, Scott smiled and didn't seem to mind the thrashing he had taken.

Then, there was Bryan, a twelve-year-old boy who ranks as one of the Ducks' most dedicated fans. Although he had suffered a relapse, Bryan didn't miss a single Ducks' game on TV during the final against Ottawa. Desperately weak from the cancer that has cruelly invaded his young body, Bryan sat in his hospital bed wearing his Anaheim jersey while cheering on his favourite team. When he heard that the Stanley Cup was coming, he perked up a little, and begged that if it arrived at the CHOC, that he get a chance to see it. There was no doubt that the Cup was going to visit his room, but a nurse insisted that because Bryan was in contact isolation, the trophy could not enter his hockey-themed room unless it was sterilized.

Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger, Teemu Selanne, and George Parros of the Anaheim Ducks bring the Stanley Cup to the Children's Hospital of Orange County
(Left to Right) Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger, Teemu Selanne, and George Parros bring a special visitor to the Children's Hospital of Orange County. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
"How do you sterilize the Stanley Cup," asked Teemu Selanne.

"We use an alcohol-based antiseptic," replied the nurse.

Without missing a beat, Brad May chuckled, "Wouldn't be the first time the Stanley Cup was covered in alcohol!"

Like most of the other patients, Bryan was left with souvenirs of the visit — Ducks pucks and autographed photos. The tears rolled down his cheeks as he thanked the players for bringing the Stanley Cup to visit him. The nurse, caressing his bald head, claimed she saw a marked difference in Bryan after the visit. "He is their biggest fan," she stated. "This is the greatest thing for him."

While May, Pahlsson and Selanne visited the oncology floor, the rest stopped in to see children who had gone through surgeries for brain injuries.

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The Anaheim Ducks' Sean O'Donnell enjoys the view from the roof of his house with the Stanley Cup
With the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, Sean O'Donnell enjoys the view from the roof of his house with his new best friend. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
In the afternoon, Sean O'Donnell, George Parros, Chris Pronger and Selanne dropped by the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. "Coming here puts things in perspective," said Teemu, shaking his head slowly. "We're just chasing around a little piece of rubber. How can we have any complaints?" The boys left the hospital with the kids incredulous at what had just transpired. "We come here to see if we can make the day just a little better for these kids," smiled Selanne. "It's not easy, but it's the least we can do." Chris Pronger didn't leave empty-handed. His shoulder was bothering him so much that he was given an icebag as he left.

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As if to remind everyone that it's not just people who get sick and need to battle back from adversity, Sean O'Donnell took the Stanley Cup home to his beach house on Tuesday, June 12 to visit Buddy, his black Labrador retriever. Buddy lost one of his front legs to cancer, and although at ten years of age, time has slowed him down a little, the playful Lab still gets around just fine, thank you very much. Waiting there with Buddy were teammate George Parros as well as Chris Drury of the Buffalo Sabres, who won the Stanley Cup with Colorado, and Glen Murray, a Boston Bruin. After Buddy excitedly sniffed the Stanley Cup up one side and down the other, the boys gave him a good ear rub, then set off to a local nightclub. They celebrated until close to 4AM, joking that Parros was getting his off-season conditioning by tipping the Cup so that fans could sip from the bowl.

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The Anaheim Ducks' Sean O'Donnell's black Labrador retriever Buddy eats from the Stanley Cup.
Sean O'Donnell's black Labrador retriever "Buddy", enjoys one of his favourite meals after trading in his bowl for the bowl of the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The staff of the Anaheim Ducks got a serious treat on Wednesday, June 13. Invited to get a photo with the Stanley, every office, cubicle and photocopier was vacant as personnel from the Ducks' extended behind-the-scenes family posed on the Honda Center ice with the Stanley Cup, Clarence Campbell Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy. After a special hospital visit, the Stanley Cup was escorted to the home of Rob Niedermayer.

As a photographer took pictures of Rob and his friends on the beach with the Cup, it drew a sizeable crowd curious as to what was going on. The younger Niedermayer brother then had another plan. "The only way I got to know the great neighbours I have living around me was when I took my dog to the dog walking park," he mused. So, Rob took the Stanley Cup to that park where, as planned, he was greeted by almost a hundred people and their dogs.

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Tuesday, we follow the Stanley Cup back to Orange County as the plans are readied for an exciting summer itinerary. Wear your sunblock and join us here at the Stanley Cup Journal then.

The Anaheim Ducks' Rob Niedermayer hoists the Stanley Cup in his backyard
Rob Niedermayer hoists the Stanley Cup in his backyard. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)

Kevin Shea is one of the authors of 'Travels With Stanley', an educational travelogue consisting of photographs and text by the Keepers of the Cup.

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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