Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 08
The Stanley Cup Journal

Brad Richards and Chris Dingman dropped by video network VH1 where they were interviewed by Rachel Perry during the Top 20 Countdown.
Chris Dingman and his fiancée Chelsea were already on board the plane in Tampa that would fly them to nitty gritty New York City. Brad Richards arrived with the Stanley Cup shortly afterwards. While checking in, another passenger at the check-in counter next to him did a double-take. "Are you on the Tampa Bay Lightning?" As the young lady behind the counter was informing Brad that the large container he was traveling with was overweight and would need special handling, the passenger said, "Wait a minute. You're Brad Richards! You look so much bigger on TV!"

It was then that the attendant at the counter realized that Richards' heavy container held a pretty special cargo, and she waived the Stanley Cup and its case through without additional charge or handling.

The flight to Newark went quickly, and Richards and Dingman checked into their hotel. Brad was concerned that his shirt was wrinkled and gave it an additional pressing before he left for the television studios of VH1.

The interview with VJ Rachel Perry, whom Brad remembered watching from her days on MUCH Music in Canada, was held at The Blue Fin in Times Square. Between current videos from the VH1 Top 20 Countdown, Rachel interviewed Chris and Brad as they sat beside the Stanley Cup.

Dingman and Richards sat with fans during a segment of MTV's Total Request Live. Chris and Brad requested that they win the Cup again next spring!
After lunch, the Lightning champs went over for an interview on MTV's Total Request Live. While they waited for the producer to bring them over, Brad and Chris noticed a photo booth. There were photos that had been taken there with Christina Aguillera, Tara Reid and Jessica Simpson, so Richards and Dingman decided they had better get their photos taken in the booth with the Stanley Cup. Of course, no photo booth pictures are ever taken normally, so the Lightning stars made the goofiest faces conceivable.

The MTV studio was filled with young adults excited about seeing Brad Richards, Chris Dingman and the Stanley Cup. They cheered wildly through the entire segment while videos by Blink 182, Hilary Duff, Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne were requested and played.

After MTV, Brad flew back home to Prince Edward Island while the Dingmans hung out in New York City. They had the evening free and the Stanley Cup - it made for a great night!

As the thunder boomed and lightning flashed around them, Chris and his fiancée dropped into Robert Emmetts, a fabulous restaurant overlooking Eighth Avenue. Then, it was off to Tribeca and a brilliant meal at Nobu, Robert DeNiro's incredible new-style Japanese restaurant on Hudson Street. While Chris and Chelsea enjoyed dinner seated next to the Stanley Cup, another table sent over a bottle of champagne.

Mike Alstott of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lifted hockey's championship trophy in the offices of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
At a nearby table sat twelve girls communally celebrating their twenty-first birthdays. You could see they wanted to come over to see the Stanley Cup, but were hesitant to take that step. Finally, they got up their nerve and approached Chris about seeing the Cup. Dingman was only too pleased to hold the Cup up for scrutiny. "What a birthday," blurted one excited reveler. "Nobu, sake and the Stanley Cup, all in one night!"

Chris and Chelsea then took the Stanley Cup over to Hogs & Heifers Saloon. The basis for the film 'Coyote Ugly,' the bar is famous for having assembled more bras than a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Big ones, smalls ones, celebrity bras - you name it, you'll find it hanging over the bar. The bartenders implored the bar to drink up and have a good time, then bounded onto the bar and did a line dance for the patrons. And, as always, the Stanley Cup was at the centre of the activity.

The next morning, the Stanley Cup left New York and returned to Tampa. At four o'clock on Friday, June18, the Cup visited the St. Pete Times Forum where Sean Henry, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Lightning entertained a group of friends and colleagues. Among the group was Mike Alstott, the star fullback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers' Number 40 was very excited to get his picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

Country superstar Tim McGraw sits next to hockey's Holy Grail and says, 'I Like It, I Love It.'
The Stanley Cup stayed at the Forum for a huge event that evening. It was the Tim McGraw concert, one of the early dates on his sold-out 'Out Loud Tour.' While wife Faith Hill was off with the kids, Tim wandered over in his trademark black t-shirt and hat. "Well, I reckon we don't have much hockey in Louisiana, but this is definitely cool," smiled McGraw, currently on tour supporting his new single and video, 'Live Like You Were Dying.'

The Warren Brothers opened the show, and when they came off stage, could barely believe that the Stanley Cup was there. "Is this really it," they asked, as they marveled at all the incredible names engraved into the surface of the trophy.

About thirty minutes before the end of Tim McGraw's terrific set, the Stanley Cup was taken sidestage. The Warren Brothers took the Cup out onto the stage, hoisting the gleaming trophy behind Tim McGraw as he performed, which elicited the loudest applause of the evening. As the crowd erupted into a roar, McGraw wheeled around and saw the reason for the cheers, then grinned like the proverbial Cheshire Cat, although one sporting a cowboy hat.

On Monday, the Stanley Cup Journal returns to spend time with assistant coach Craig Ramsay, then takes off for NASA.

Kevin Shea takes up space at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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