Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2011, 08

A reception was held for Doug Houda and the Stanley Cup at the Iron Horse Golf Club.
A reception was held for Doug Houda and the Stanley Cup at the Iron Horse Golf Club.
(Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The Stanley Cup left the Jacobs' family and was flown by private jet from California to Montana for a day with Boston's assistant coach, Doug Houda.

Doug is a native of Blairmore, Alberta and spent 561 games in the National Hockey League between 1985-86 and 2002-03, toiling on the blueline for the Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and then back to the Buffalo Sabres.

At the conclusion of the 2002-03 season, Houda retired as a player and was hired as an assistant coach by the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans.

In July 2006, Doug was hired in the same capacity by the Boston Bruins, and at the conclusion of his fifth season, shared in the excitement of his team's Stanley Cup victory.

Doug Houda helping a friend enjoy a drink from the Stanley Cup
Doug Houda helping a friend enjoy a drink from the Stanley Cup. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Whitefish, Montana is a town of 5,000, and the summer residence of Doug and Shelly Houda and their children, daughter Toni and son, Chris. Doug chuckled and explained, "If it wasn't for Canadian tourism, I'm not sure that Whitefish would exist!" To reinforce the point, he indicates that Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald, a Hanna, Alberta native, owns a place nearby.

The Stanley Cup was picked up at the airport on Tuesday, July 5 and Doug took the historic trophy to Whitefish Lake Golf Course, where the Cup was displayed beside the first tee.

After stops at the homes of friends, Doug and Shelly arrived at their home with the Cup, enjoying some time and taking some photographs.

Bruins assistant coach Doug Houda and family posing for a photo with Lord Stanley at their home in Whitefish, MT.
Bruins assistant coach Doug Houda and family posing for a photo with Lord Stanley at their home in Whitefish, MT. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Next on the itinerary was a chance to share the Bruins' Cup with the community at large. Doug took the Stanley Cup to the Stumptown Ice Den in Whitefish where, for three solid hours, more than a thousand fans turned up to meet Doug and to see the actual Stanley Cup up close and personal, snapping photos while there. Proceeds from the public event were directed to the Glacier Hockey Association.

Back at their house briefly, the Houdas, along with a handful of friends readied themselves for a relaxing trip around the lake on a pontoon boat. It was a sensational day, and as they floated over Whitefish Lake, Doug stopped and greeted friends at their docks, carrying the Stanley Cup over to show them.

Back home, the group relaxed, examining the spot on the bottom ring of the Cup where Doug and the Bruins will soon have their name engraved.

The Houdas sharing their day with the Stanley Cup with family and friends
The Houdas sharing their day with the Stanley Cup with family and friends.
(Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
A reception was held at the Iron Horse Golf Club, where family and friends, including former teammates Murray Craven and Geoff Sanderson, as well as friend, former NHLer Rod Buskas, dined on roast beef, ribs, salads and fruit.

Doug made evening stops at a pair of Whitefish bars — the Bulldog Saloon and The Great Northern — and then returned home to conclude the day.

The Stanley Cup spent the night at the Houda residence, and the next morning, all were greeted by another stunning summer day. After a leisurely brunch, the Stanley Cup was scrubbed to a gleam and readied for its next adventure.

* * *

Join us back here on Friday and find out who the Stanley Cup has been hanging out with.

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

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