Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 13
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Sebastien Caron never imagined he would get the opportunity to spend a day with the Stanley Cup this summer. Candidly, having played just 88 minutes as a Duck (his fourth team in 2006-07 following the Chicago Blackhawks (1 game), Norfolk Admirals of the AHL (9 games) and the Portland Pirates of the AHL (17 games), Caron felt greatly honoured to be given the Stanley Cup. And he made the best of his time with Lord Stanley's legacy.

Sebastien, his wife Tracy and their young son Andrew, met the Stanley at the airport in Mont-Joli, Quebec and drove to Amqui, a town of 6,000 in eastern Quebec at the base of the Gaspe Peninsula. Although the family now lives in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, you never lose the incredible emotion of returning to your hometown as a conquering hero.

Arriving in town, the Carons went straight to the community centre, where 500 people were seated in a banquet room anxiously waiting on Sebastien's arrival. Stepping into the hall with the Stanley Cup, Caron went straight up onto the stage, where music was played between speeches of congratulations. Afterwards, the beaming netminder set up an area in front of the stage where he posed for pictures with the Stanley Cup. A wonderful meal was served, consisting, as we were told, of a traditional Quebecois holiday dish of a potato and beef stew.

Sebastien Caron and his wife Tracy pose with the Cup in the netminder's hometown of Amqui, Quebec.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
At 10:45 that evening, Sebastien took the Cup to the bar in the Hotel Amqui. "My Dad comes here every Friday from 5 until 7," he said. Fans and friends of his father approached, wishing to see and touch hockey's incredible championship trophy.

Pub La Terrasse was the next stop on the itinerary for Caron, staying there from midnight until 2AM for a celebration of his Ducks' triumph over Ottawa.

Sebastien Caron's day of celebration with Stanley coincided with his son's second birthday on July 1st 2007.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
The next day, Sunday, July 1, Sebastien combined the Stanley Cup celebration in with his son's second birthday for a joyous outdoor party that started at noon. Two hundred friends and family enjoyed a buffet and some great music. From there, the Cup was led by a police escort to a campground in Amqui, where, from 3 until 4PM, close to a thousand fans got to see the Stanley Cup.

Sebastien's grandfather has not been feeling well lately, so the adoring grandson drove an hour-and-a-half to Rimouski to show his grand-pere La Coupe Stanley. It was an important moment for the two of them.

The proud aunt (left) with Sebastien Caron (right). (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Sebastien Caron joined the NHL as a draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins after a junior career that, in 2000, included a berth on the Memorial Cup All-Star Team and the Hap Emms Trophy as the best goaltender during the Memorial Cup tournament. He debuted in the NHL with Pittsburgh in 2002-03, but is still working on establishing himself as a starting NHL netminder. Although he spent three months practising with Anaheim, the task of supplanting Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Ilya Bryzgalov and even young Mike Wall is formidable, and Sebastien will lug his pads to Switzerland next season, anxious to prove to the NHL that he deserves a shot at 'the show.'

* * *

Alain Chainey, Anaheim's Director of Amateur Scouting, lives in Ste-Foy, Quebec, right by Quebec City, and after overseeing yet another successful Entry Draft for the Ducks, he earned the opportunity of celebrating with the Stanley Cup, too.

A friend of Alain's met the Stanley Cup at the Mont-Joli airport, and couldn't get it to Quebec City quickly enough. Alain met his friend and the Cup at a hotel, where they ordered a very expensive bottle of champagne in order to toast the Ducks' victory while they examined the great names engraved on the Stanley Cup since it was first awarded in 1893.

Anaheim Ducks Director of Amateur Scouting Alain Chainey pours an expensive bottle of champagne into the bowl of the Stanley Cup. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
The next morning at 8:30 on Monday, July 2, Alain took the Stanley Cup to Bar l'Envers to show friends. He then took the Cup to his hometown, Thetford Mines, a car ride of just about 90 minutes. They stopped first at the Bistro Bar, where a private party for 150 friends and family congregated to celebrate with Alain. At 1PM, the Stanley Cup was taken outside, where the street had been blocked off for the occasion and a street festival was in progress. With live music in the background and a ton of fun, close to a thousand local residents had their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. But while that was occurring, a storm rolled in, and at 3:30, Alain was forced to protect the Stanley Cup by taking it back into the Bistro Bar. Pas de probleme. Those waiting their turns for a photograph simply moved the line inside and the party continued…drier!

The afternoon wound down at 5:00 that afternoon, and the Stanley Cup was bid adieu and driven to the airport. A helicopter then flew the Cup and its Keeper back to Quebec City.

* * *

Todd Marchant took his turn with the trophy next, and on Tuesday, you'll find out about a trip to Buffalo here in Stanley Cup Journal.

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).

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