Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 05
The Stanley Cup Journal

- 'AND (see you real soon!) REY (why? because he LIKES you!) CHUK' The Lightning captain sporting a different sort of protective headgear waves to the crowd at Walt Disney World with pals, Pluto and Mickey Mouse.
Dave Andreychuk is still trying to shake 'It's a Small World After All' out of his head!

The Stanley Cup visited Walt Disney World on Saturday, June 12. Captain Dave Andreychuk was invited to bring his family and hockey's most cherished prize to the extraordinary theme park just seventy-five miles away from Tampa for a parade down Main Street USA in honour of the world champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

After opening Disneyland in Southern California in 1955, Walt Disney made a decision that would ultimately impact on millions of people around the world through the course of three decades — he decided to construct a theme park near Orlando, Florida that would expand on the dreams he had realized with Disneyland.

The Cup leads a long procession of festive fans down the streets of Disney World.
The Disney brothers, Walt and Roy, bought up 27,000 acres of swampland and began to create what would become the premier entertainment facility in the world. Sadly, Walt Disney never got the opportunity to see his dream realized. He died mid-December 1966; five years before the grand opening of Walt Disney World on October 1, 1971.

The original location has since grown to 30,500 acres — about forty-seven square miles — and it is here that the Stanley Cup was honoured with its own special celebration. The honour was to have taken place the day before, but out of respect to the funeral of Former President Ronald Reagan, the special event was postponed a day.

Dave Andreychuk, his wife Sue and kids Taylor, Caci and Brooke, took the Stanley Cup to Downtown Disney, arriving by nine that morning. At ten, sporting Mickey Mouse ears where a hockey helmet usually sits, Andreychuk and his family were the grand marshals in the parade that began at Splash Mountain and curled around Walt Disney World.

As the vehicles were readying for the parade, Brer Rabbit was plunging down Chick-a-pin Hill with Brer Fox and Brer Bear in close pursuit on Splash Mountain. Minnie and Mickey Mouse joined the entourage along with Pluto. Just like the Cup keepers who handle the Stanley Cup, Mickey and Minnie always wear white gloves, although it's likely more cartoon coincidence than hockey etiquette. Moments later, Goofy lumbered over attired in his hockey gear and was thrilled to get his picture taken with the Stanley Cup. When the photographer shouted, 'Say cheese,' Mickey Mouse was especially excited. With that, his hockey-playing pal gave a (you'll excuse the reference) goofy chuckle.

Stanley has met numerous characters over the years, but none more famous than these four Disney regulars.
There was a massive turnout on an extremely hot day for the Stanley Cup parade at Walt Disney World. One of the organizers mentioned, 'This is one of the best turn-outs we've ever had with an athlete!' That statement carried a lot of weight, as Tiger Woods, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among those who have been guests of honour at Walt Disney World parades.

As the Andreychuk family waved from an antique car, cannons shot streamers of Lightning blue, black and silver into the sky, making the event even more festive. A Tampa Bay Lightning Zamboni trudged along the parade route behind the celebrants. The crowd clapped and cheered and had a brilliant time.

When the parade had come to its exciting conclusion, the Lightning captain met with the Disney staff and had photos taken. Then, Andreychuk and his girls were taken through Magic Kingdom and got a chance to go on several of the amazing rides — Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Swiss Family Treehouse, Country Bear Jamboree and, of course, It's a Small World.

Saturday, June 12 was a sweltering Florida day. After decades of enduring the often bitter cold of biting Canadian winters in the earliest days of its existence, the Stanley Cup was now enjoying the opposite end of the pendulum's swing, basking in the sizzle and sunshine of Tampa. It had already been an eventful day, riding with Dave Andreychuk and his family in the Walt Disney World parade down Main Street USA.

From Downtown Disney, the Stanley Cup was driven to the North Tampa home of forward Tim Taylor at four that afternoon. Taylor, who had previously earned a Stanley Cup ring as a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97, is very much enjoying the fruits of being a Stanley Cup winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He and his wife Jodi and their children Brittany and Wyatt sat with the Stanley Cup in their home and marveled at its opulence. Although this wasn't Taylor's official day with the Cup, he relished the opportunity to spend a little additional time in the presence of hockey's Holy Grail.

Tampa's Tim Taylor took the terrific trophy to Hunter's Green Country Club, a private eighteen-hole golf course in Tampa. Dave Andreychuk showed up just as a local television station was airing a news item about the Stanley Cup at Walt Disney World. The golfers teased Dave no end about his Mickey Mouse lid.

Martin St. Louis tops Lord Stanley with libation as teammates (left to right) Brad Richards, Fredrik Modin and Tim Taylor provide direction and supervision.
Taylor and Andreychuk were joined by several of their Lightning teammates, including Jassen Cullimore, Freddie Modin, Stan Neckar, Brad Richards, Cory Stillman, Darryl Sydor and Martin St. Louis. Also joining Tim Taylor and his Tampa teammates at the tee was Tim's brother Chris, who spent the better part of last season with the Buffalo Sabres. Tim and Chris married sisters -- Tim married Jodi and Chris married Jodi's sister, Lisa.

Members of Hunter's Green got the opportunity to get their photos taken with the Stanley Cup. While they were at the course, Taylor glanced over and noticed an alligator in a pond on the golf course. Locals told Tim that a 'gator sighting was not unusual, but to a boy from Stratford, Ontario, an alligator on the golf course means grab your balls and run!

The Lightning players returned to Taylor's home at dinner time. While a few of the boys were playing Golden Tee golf and the rest were enjoying a casual array of sandwiches and pizza, a familiar voice cut through the clatter. 'Congratulations boys! Feels good to be a champion, doesn't it?' When they looked up, the Lightning were face to face with baseball star Wade Boggs, who was sporting the World Series championship ring he earned as a member of the 1996 New York Yankees. Although he established himself with the Boston Red Sox and won a ring with the Yankees, Boggs played two seasons in Tampa Bay, concluding his career with the Devil Rays in 1998 and 1999. 'You know what boys,' Boggs continued. 'The Lightning's Stanley Cup win has put hockey on the map in Florida!'

Baseball great Wade Boggs, a champion with the New York Yankees in 1996, shared some moments of elation at Tim Taylor's team party.
The Lightning sat around and got a chance to really discuss their victory. Brad Richards admitted that all the hoopla around the Lightning's Stanley Cup win didn't fully sink in until he attended the NHL Awards in Toronto on June 10. "When I heard each of the presenters and trophy winners congratulate Tampa Bay, then I fully realized, 'Hey, we really did it!' We won the Stanley Cup!'" Dave Andreychuk spoke about how he could feel the team getting closer to hockey's Holy Grail. "When I signed (as a free agent) with Tampa Bay in 2001, I was excited because I'd be getting extra ice time and could maybe help out some of the young players they were bringing in. But after the first year (2001-02), you could feel something. Something was brewing here. Then last season, I knew we had the elements of a winner. Now here we are - the Stanley Cup champions!"

Some of the Lightning played golf at midnight using fluorescent balls. When Brad Richards wasn't playing lightning-fast riffs on air guitar, he was hugging the Stanley Cup. And when Brad would go back to approximating solos from guitar gods, Dave Andreychuk was hoisting the Cup over his head with a grin as wide as the Gulf of Mexico.

In casual conversation, the Lightning discussed preliminary plans for the Stanley Cup. 'Man, I am so excited to take the Cup home to Sweden,' laughed Freddie Modin. Brad Richards replied, 'I know! For me, taking the Stanley Cup to PEI will be incredible. It'll be great for the province - maybe then people will remember that PEI has produced more than just potatoes!' Tim Taylor shouted, 'Yeah Brad, they produced Anne of Green Gables, too' at which, the players broke into wild guffaws.

On Monday, sit courtside at the Detroit Pistons' game when you join the Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is a manager at the Hockey Hall of Fame who wonders, 'If Pluto is a dog, what the heck is Goofy?'

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