Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2010, 13

Andrew Ladd, Colin Fraser and the Stanley Cup wakeboarding on a private lake.
(Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
In the second round of this year's playoffs, Chicago ripped the heart out of the Vancouver Canucks by beating them in six games to dash their Stanley Cup dreams. It was a hard-fought series; just one of four won by the Blackhawks in the 2009-10 post-season. And then, on July 12, the Hawks tempted fate by taking the Cup right into enemy territory, as several British Columbia-born players enjoyed their personal time with the Stanley Cup.

It almost seemed like the hurt of losing the Stanley Cup was too deep for Vancouverites, and that the city couldn't tolerate even the slightest reminder of anything to do with the Stanley Cup. Just a week before the Cup arrived in Vancouver, it was proposed that Stanley Park, the 1,001-acre urban oasis that graces Vancouver, be re-named Xwayxway, a Squamish term meaning 'place of masks.' Stanley Park was named after Lord Stanley, the governor general of the Dominion of Canada from 1888-1893, in his first year of service to this nation. Lord Stanley, of course, donated hockey's championship trophy toward the end of his time as governor general. Coincidence?

Colin Fraser along with friends pose for team photo with the Stanley Cup following a road hockey game outside his childhood home.
(Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Colin Fraser shows off the Stanley Cup to a young fan during a civic reception at Central City Plaza in Surrey, BC. (Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)

The Fraser family and girlfriends pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup outside the family home. (Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 12, the Stanley Cup arrived in Vancouver and was greeted by Troy Brouwer (from North Delta), Andrew Ladd (a Maple Ridge native) and Brent Seabrook (the pride of Tsawwassen). The three B.C. natives were once minor hockey teammates with the Pacific Vipers. In fact, as astonishing as it is, Colin Fraser (from Surrey) is also an alumnus. "It was a summer hockey team and we played from about the age of 9 to 14 or 15, and then went our separate ways," reminisced Seabrook. Former Canucks John Grisdale and Harold Snepsts coached the boys.
Colin Fraser and his girlfriend pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup outside the Fort Langley train station. (Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
All four played for Canada at the 2005 World Junior Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The trio took the Stanley Cup to Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, a rehabilitation centre for children faced with health challenges. The children, many of whom didn't hide the fact they were Canucks fans, were thrilled to meet the players and had their little hands all over the Stanley Cup. The boys played ball hockey with them, and during the two-hour visit, they met Stuart, who had been in an accident last February and had been in a coma. Stuart really tugged at their heartstrings, but the little hockey fan really got to them when he looked up at Troy, Andrew and Brent and told them, "Watch out! One day, I'm gonna meet you on the ice!"

Troy Brouwer enjoying some cereal at the Brouwer's North Delta Home. (Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Troy Brouwer took the Cup to a private lake for a lesson in wakeboarding. Troy remained a spectator, riding in the boat with Lord Stanley's treasure while fans looked on from the shore.

Afterwards, the Stanley Cup was taken to the home of John and Pat Fraser, Colin's parents, and through the evening, the Brouwer, Ladd and Seabrook families joined the Fraser party.

Wednesday, July 14 was reserved for Colin Fraser. Originally from Sicamous, B.C., the Frasers moved to Surrey when Colin was three. Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he was traded to the Hawks in February 2004, and turned pro with Chicago's AHL franchise. Colin made his NHL debut with a single game in 2006-07, played 5 games in 2007-08 and became a regular with the 2008-09 season. The centre played 3 games during the successful post-season run. On June 24, the Edmonton Oilers acquired Colin Fraser. "I did win it with the Blackhawks. Now, I can hopefully help Edmonton win a Cup."

The day began with a game of road hockey outside of his childhood home, not unlike the ways he started hundreds of days as a kid. Colin's childhood friends joined him, and his team lost, something that didn't happen often through the years.

Troy Brouwer and the Stanley Cup are paraded through the streets of North Delta, BC. (Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Fraser then made his way with the Cup to the Central City Plaza in Surrey, where a civic reception was to unfold from noon to 3:00PM. Escorted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and to the drone of the bagpipe, Colin was ushered to the stage. Mayor Dianne Watts welcomed Colin back to Surrey, and pointed across the street to the North Surrey Recreation Centre where he played for several years. Four of his former hockey coaches stepped forward, and Fraser was genuinely rocked. "They got me to where I am today," he said. Chuckling, Colin added, "I've got to apologize to all the Canucks' fans for beating you guys out of the playoffs. Sorry!" The overflow crowd good-naturedly booed, but they were there to support one of their own, regardless of the colour of the jersey. Before snaking his way through the crowd with the Stanley Cup, Colin Fraser thanked the city for its unwavering support through the years, and mentioned that it was terrific to catch up with friends he hadn't seen in years.

For the next couple of hours, family, friends and fans took turns meeting Colin and getting pictures with the Stanley Cup.

* * *

Troy Brouwer and his wife Carmen along with their dog pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup.
(Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
It's but a 20-minute drive from Surrey to North Delta, and while the paths to victory taken by Colin Fraser and Troy Brouwer were similar, their styles are miles apart. Brouwer, a late draft pick for Chicago in 2004 (the 214th selection, to be precise) has learned to use his size to become a very effective goal scorer, collecting 22 during the regular season. He potted two goals in the opening contest of the Stanley Cup final against the Flyers, giving the Hawks a 6-5 win, and completed the playoffs with 4 goals and 8 points in 19 games.

Brouwer's day with the Stanley Cup was Thursday, July 15, and while it was Troy's day, there was no doubt that it was also a day for Troy's Dad, Don.

A frequent question of champions at the time of a Stanley Cup celebration is, 'Who were you playing for?' In Troy's case, it was his father.

On April 4, 2010, Troy scored the game-winning goal in a 4-1 matinee victory over the Calgary Flames. That same day, Don Brouwer was rushed to Surrey Memorial Hospital with a brain aneurysm, and he underwent emergency surgery.

There were but four games remaining in the regular season schedule, and Troy missed them as he cared for his Dad, who was unable to talk or walk at the time.

Troy Brouwer is interviewed by members of the local media at the Brouwer North Delta home.
(Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Troy worked hard through the playoffs, and was in and out of the line-up, but on June 9, when Commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, Brouwer had but one person on his mind. While his father couldn't be at the game, his Mom, Kathy, was in attendance as were his in-laws. But as soon as Troy's wife, Carmen, could clamber down through the stands to ice level, she handed Troy her cellphone, and through the din of the crowd, he was able to hear his father congratulating him. "He kept telling me how proud he was of me," Troy admitted. "But it was tough when someone that important to you can't be there to share the moment with you."

When the Stanley Cup arrived at the Brouwer's North Delta home, Troy handed it first to his father, who became very emotional.

After some family photos, it was time for the North Delta parade. Troy arrived at 84th Avenue at 1:00PM and climbed aboard a Zamboni, which carried the Chicago winger and the Stanley Cup down 112th Street to the parade's conclusion at the Sungod Arena.

Troy Brouwer and his wife Carmen sharing a moment with Lord Stanley.
(Mike Bolt/Hockey Hall of Fame)
In the car ahead of the Zamboni were Troy's parents, Don and Kathy. "They have been such an influence in my life, and I'm glad they could be here to share it with me," Troy later said. Also in the parade, and wearing the requisite Blackhawks' jersey, was Delta mayor Lois Jackson.

The parade pulled up in front of the arena, and Troy descended the ice resurfacing machine with the beloved Cup. He went inside the arena to visit with some youngsters who play minor hockey in the town.

* * *

The Stanley Cup stays in the Vancouver area when we return with the Stanley Cup Journal on Tuesday. It'll be Brent Seabrook's turn, and we'll find out how he celebrated Chicago's victory then.

* * *

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

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