Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 10
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Imagine the past twelve months in the life of Ryan Carter.

Ryan signed a contract with the Anaheim Ducks on July 12, 2006. After a productive season with the Portland Pirates in his first year of pro, he got the call he'd been waiting for since he was firing balls around on the streets of White Bear Lake, Minnesota. On May 17, in a Conference Final contest against the Red Wings, Ryan Carter made his NHL debut. He played three games in that series, and then got to play in the Stanley Cup Final when Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle include his name on the gamesheet on June 4.

On Friday, June 29, Ryan Carter took the Stanley Cup home to White Bear Lake as part of the Anaheim Ducks' summer of celebration.

To begin, he took the Cup to his parents' home where a professional photographer snapped portrait shots with the Stanley Cup. Then, Ryan, his Dad and a friend drove to a small area airport where two small planes had been gassed up and were ready to make a special sidetrip.

Ducks' centreman Ryan Carter and his father prepare to depart for Minnesota State University Mankato. (Bill Wellman/HHOF)
Ryan had starred with the Mavericks for two seasons (2004-05 and 2005-06) and wanted to return to his alma mater. As the crow flies, it is 100 miles from White Bear Lake to Minnesota State University Mankato. Candidly, the planes were small and not much larger than that darned crow, but three people climbed into each of the two planes for the trip.

The planes landed and several of Carter's coaches and teammates were there to greet the returning hero. A limo bus took them first to a restaurant where Carter had worked while in college. Then, they proceeded to the Civic Center, where June 29th had been declared 'Ryan Carter Day' in Mankato. It was a warm and wonderful civic reception, including speeches from many who knew the young forward.

Hundreds of fans packed the Civic Centre to recognize the achievement of the Anaheim Ducks' centreman Ryan Carter.
(Bill Wellman/HHOF)
Ryan walked through the campus, fondly recalling stories and friends. They stopped in a couple of the campus pubs and pictures were taken with the Cup. One final stop was made at a restaurant owned by one of Ryan's friends, then it was back on the bus and off to the airport for the return trip to White Bear Lake.

Back home, a limousine arrived and took Ryan and his Dad, as well as his Mom, sister and girlfriend, to the Best Western Hotel where a party was beginning to take shape. Seventy-five friends and family members enjoyed a meal with Ryan and the Stanley Cup.

The next stop was the local rink in White Bear Lake. A huge reception was about to unfold. Although a number of fine hockey players have been produced in White Bear Lake, including Hall of Famer 'Moose' Goheen (born in 1894) and NHL star Doc Romnes (born in 1907), never before had a player from White Bear Lake brought the Stanley Cup to town.

At a local rink in White Bear Lake young hockey players were thrilled to meet Ryan Carter who graciously signed autographs for those that adored him. (Bill Wellman/HHOF)
All of a sudden, the lights were turned off. A fog machine added an interesting veil to the festivity. Then, with 'Jump' by Van Halen wailing prominently, out from behind the Zamboni gates marched a colour guard of young hockey players, followed triumphantly by Ryan Carter, holding the Stanley Cup over his head as the spotlights focused on the local boy made good. As Carter paraded the Cup around the ice surface, youngsters clamoured all over him, reaching to touch the hallowed trophy they, too, dream about.

Speeches ensued, and after former coaches appropriately recognized and honoured their prodigy, White Bear Lake proclaimed June 29, 2007 'Ryan Carter Day.' Fans had photos taken with the Stanley Cup as the young Duck signed autographs steadily from 4:00 until 6:00 PM.

About 12 miles south-west of White Bear Lake sits St. Paul, and Ryan took the Stanley Cup there next. At the Taste of Minnesota, he was introduced on the stage to a thunderous ovation, just before George Thorogood rocked the Twin City.

Ryan Carter hoists the Stanley Cup on stage at the Taste of Minnesota. (Bill Wellman/HHOF)
From 7:00 for about three hours, the Carter family plus friends enjoyed a terrific celebration dinner in St. Paul. Then, Ryan climbed aboard a party bus to do a little bar-hopping. Ryan stopped first with the Stanley Cup at one St. Paul bar, then made the short trip west to Minneapolis, the other Twin City, to visit two other clubs. It was a productive yet exhausting day for Ryan Carter, who packed in the night (and the Stanley Cup) at 2:30 early that morning.

* * *

Tuesday will arrive before we know it and when it does, come visit Quebec with us as the Stanley Cup Journal spends time first with goaltender Sebastien Caron and then with the Ducks' Director of Amateur Scouting, Alain Chainey.

Kevin Shea is one of the contributors to 'Travels With Stanley' by The Keepers of the Cup, a book of geography and history lessons taught through the travels of the Stanley Cup (Fenn Publishing).

All Photographs are property of the Hockey Hall of Fame and may not be reproduced without prior written consent. For more information regarding use of our photographs please contact us.

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