Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 08
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A hockey tournament was in full motion at the Ducks' practice facility on Father's Day, Sunday, June 18, when the Stanley Cup arrived. Placed in the lobby, for ninety minutes, players, parents (especially Dads!) and friends got their pictures taken with hockey's biggest prize. Spotted in the corner was Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford, whose son was participating in the tournament, but who stayed out of the Stanley Cup spotlight in spite of being a winner himself in 1996 when the Colorado Avalanche copped the Cup.

Newell Brown, an assistant coach under Randy Carlyle, was granted the opportunity to take the Stanley Cup for a very special family occasion. Newell and his wife Lori have two children, Erika and Adam. During the playoffs, Erika had graduated from high school back in Ohio, but because duty called, her father was unable to be there to witness his little girl's special achievement. Instead, Erika was the guest of honour at a family party in celebration of her graduation, with the presence of a special guest — the Stanley Cup! "Sometimes, we have to make decisions that affect our family," stated Newell as pictures were being taken in the background. "I wouldn't trade my job for the world, but there are times when the family suffers a bit, so I thought I'd do something special for Erika."

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Anaheim Ducks assistant coach Newell Brown and his family celebrate with the Stanley Cup in Orange County, California.
Anaheim Ducks assistant coach Newell Brown and his family celebrate with the Stanley Cup in Orange County, California. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Camp Pendleton is a massive Marine Corps base covering 125,000 acres of incredible Southern California coastline about forty miles north of San Diego. The camp's actual name is Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, sort of like the Stanley Cup's actual name being the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup.

Camp Pendleton provides training facilities for both active and reserve Marines, Army and Navy units. More than 60,000 military and civilian personnel go to work at the base every day. After the Ducks went to war against the Ottawa Senators during the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, it was a chance for Chris Kunitz, Dustin Penner and Scott Niedermayer, along with his two oldest boys, to visit Camp Pendleton, the busiest military base in the United States.

During the initial stages of their Monday, June 18 tour, while getting an overview of the vehicles on site, the Ducks got the opportunity to ride in an amphibious tank that took them out into the ocean. Ducks truly do love the water, it seems.

The Anaheim Ducks' Chris Kunitz, Dustin Penner and Scott Niedermayer pose with military and civilian personnel at Camp Pendleton Military Base.
Chris Kunitz, Dustin Penner and Scott Niedermayer pose with a lucky group of military and civilian personnel at Camp Pendleton Military Base. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Penner and Kunitz got the chance to fire M4 light machine guns, which can fire at a rate of a thousand rounds a minute. Because Logan and Jackson Niedermayer were too young to go into the firing range, they stayed with their Dad outside. The Ducks took aim and fired at the target, which happened to be a photo of Osama bin Laden. Amazing accurate, Chris Kunitz hit the target with both of his shots, but Dustin Penner missed the target altogether. "Can't hit the target on the ice and you can't hit it here, either," mocked Kunitz, smiling at his teammate.

The boys took the Stanley Cup to the base's canteen, where they allowed those at Camp Pendleton to take pictures of the Stanley Cup, signing autographs as well.

The Hockey News, long considered the bible of the hockey world, had arranged to have photographs taken of the Stanley Cup for an upcoming issue. The weekly publication arranged to have the shots taken around a magnificent beach home that, at one time, had belonged to basketball star, Dennis Rodman. While there, the Ducks arranged to have photographs taken that will end up on next season's tickets.

Afterwards, Kunitz and Penner took the Cup out for a drink, ending up back at Sharky's in Newport Beach.

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The Stanley Cup on the firing range at Camp Pendleton Military Base.
LOOK OUT STANLEY! The Cup takes aim at a cutout photo of Osama bin Laden at Camp Pendleton Military Base. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Orangewood Children's Foundation began twenty-five years ago in Santa Ana, with a vision to assist children from Orange County who were victims of abuse or neglect. Taking the Stanley Cup there on Tuesday, June 19 for a visit brightened the days of many area youngsters, some who don't see much brightness in lives that have experienced too much in too short a time.

Changing the pace, in the afternoon, the Stanley Cup tagged along with Anaheim goalkeeper Jean-Sebastien Giguere as he taped an appearance on The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Airing on Friday, June 22, guest host John Cena welcomed NBA Draft prospect Glen Davis as well as Giggy and the Cup. Cena and J-S talked hockey with a special segment on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Afterwards, it was time for hockey to interact with baseball, as Ryan Getzlaf, Brad May, Chris Kunitz, Dustin Penner and Chris Pronger visited their brethren, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels, sitting in first place in the American League West, were preparing for their game against the Houston Astros when the Stanley Cup arrived at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The players were very excited to see hockey's championship trophy in their dressing room and made quite a fuss, but no one was more pleased than manager Mike Scioscia.

As the Ducks made their entrances onto the playing field, the public address announcer introduced each player by name. Chris Pronger and Chris Kunitz carried the Stanley Cup, receiving a glorious standing ovation from the Anaheim faithful. Pronger's shoulder is still sore and Kunitz's hand still injured, so while they held the Cup, their teammates took turns throwing out the ceremonial first pitch(es). Getzlaf and May had good stuff as they fired the ball near the strike zone but sadly, Dustin Penner wound, delivered and skidded the ball on two bounces to the Angels' catcher. No one was laughing harder than him, though, although he certainly had competition. Sadly, the boys' enthusiasm didn't translate to the diamond, as the Angels went down to defeat, 9-5, at the hands of the Houston Astros.

Carson Daly and Anaheim Ducks' defenceman Chris Pronger with the Stanley Cup at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.
A tanned Carson Daly (left) and Anaheim Ducks' defenceman Chris Pronger (right) with the Stanley Cup at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
While the game was in progress, the Ducks watched most of the game from the owner's suite, although they did march down to the pressbox for interviews at one point. Later, the Ducks took their place in the ballpark's retail store, while fans lined up to the top of the stadium. Unfortunately, there was simply no way to accommodate each of those who wanted to get a picture with the Stanley Cup.

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Wednesday, June 20 began with the Stanley Cup's visit to the Jewish Community Centre, then on to the Taller San Jose, St. Joseph's Workshop in Santa Ana. Taller San Jose provides young adults between 18 and 28 years of age and lacking in skills and education, the chance to complete their education and develop skills that will allow them to find jobs. The visit by the Stanley Cup was met by a very enthusiastic reception.

From Santa Ana, it was off to tape 'Last Call With Carson Daly' over at the NBC Studios in Burbank. Assistant captain Chris Pronger was accompanying the Stanley Cup. Also on the show was brilliant musical guest, Lily Allen. Daly asked Pronger about his suspension in the Final, and was told that Chris had to turn his back to the TV with the sound down, that it was far more nerve-wracking NOT to play than it ever is on the ice.

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The Stanley Cup left California Thursday morning, destination Columbus, Ohio, where it will take part in the NHL Draft. You'll want to read all about this weekend as well as a bird's-eye view of the NHL Awards last Thursday, June 21, so we'll meet you right back here at Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is one of the contributors to 'Travels With Stanley' by the Keepers of the Cup.

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