Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 22
The Stanley Cup Journal

(July 28, 2003) — He made a promise to himself that he'd never, ever forget that feeling. In fact, truth be told, there are two feelings that Jamie Langenbrunner never wants to forget. One is the elation of winning the Stanley Cup; the other is sharing the Stanley Cup with his community.

The Cloquet High School hockey team gets a photo with their star alumnus, Jamie Langenbrunner.
"When I was ten or eleven years old, Corey Millen came back to Cloquet," remembers Langenbrunner. "I stood in line for a long time to get his autograph," smiles Jamie, recalling the exalted status of a United States Olympian returning to his hometown and receiving a hero's welcome. "I still have the picture, too. 'To Jamie, Best of luck, Corey Millen.'" Millen, the local boy who made good at the time, joined the NHL with the New York Rangers in 1989-90, and ironically, he and Jamie, two boys from Cloquet, Minnesota, played together with the Dallas Stars in 1995-96. But the impact of that visit and that autograph stayed with Langenbrunner, and when his twenty-four hours with the Stanley Cup was discussed, there was no doubt that he'd take the Cup back home to share with the residents of Cloquet.

Jamie and his brother Shane share the Cup and its contents with friends in Moose Lake, Minnesota.
Cloquet is thirty minutes south of Duluth in the beautiful vacationland area of Minnesota at the gateway to Arrowhead Country and the Land of Agates. For a town of just 11,000, Cloquet has had three visits from the Stanley Cup in the last four years. When Jamie Langenbrunner carried the Cup into town last Monday (July 21), it was his second visit to Cloquet with the trophy. He had previously brought the Cup as a member of the 1999 Stanley Cup-winning Dallas Stars. The trophy had an elongated stay that time as fellow Cloquet resident Derek Plante and Brett Hull, who summers in the area on Pike Lake, all were members of the championship Stars. Hull returned with the Stanley Cup in 2001 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

Langenbrunner tips the Cup so wife Elizabeth can sample the champagne. Jamie's son Landon will have to wait until he's a little older.
The Stanley Cup arrived in the area at one o'clock Monday afternoon. Jamie, his wife Elizabeth and their kids Laine, Landon and Mason, live on Moose Lake in a serene location ten minutes from Cloquet. Jamie started the day by entertaining close family and friends with the Stanley Cup at his home. Then, on the way into town, Langenbrunner and his pals stopped at a Subway Sandwich place and brought the Cup into the restaurant for fans to see. When the posse stopped for gas, one of Jamie's pals left without paying and had to hustle back with his compensation when he realized he had accidentally pumped and dashed. Jamie then visited a car dealership to show the sales team the Stanley Cup. Finally, he visited his grandfather, who beamed like the butcher's dog when his grandson pulled up with the Stanley Cup. It really hadn't seemed that long ago that Grandpa had watched Jamie's first awkward strides, and now here he was, a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

At five o'clock, with the rain soaking the line comprised of hundreds of fans, Langenbrunner pulled up with the Stanley Cup to the Cloquet Area Recreation Center. Close to 5,000 fans waited their turn to get the autograph and a photograph of the 2003 playoff scoring leader. What was slated to be a three-hour signing session stretched into four hours, but that was fine by Jamie. "Hey, I remember what it was like when I was a kid," Jamie said, his smile never evaporating. "I remember waiting for Corey Millen's autograph for hours. I want the kids to get a chance to see the Cup. This is mostly for them. Some of the adults get pretty excited too, but for me, it's all about the kids. It's a lot more fun seeing their faces when they get up close to the Stanley Cup."

Langenbrunner took the Stanley Cup into one of the dressing rooms to show the kids. Jamie reminded them, "Once you've set your goal, you must never, ever give up." Punctuating his point was a photograph on the wall. The shot showed Langenbrunner and Derek Plante holding the Stanley Cup in 1999. Both are wearing their Cloquet Lumberjacks' jerseys, representing the high school both attended, although not at the same time. Jamie was Minnesota's High School Player of the Year and collected All-State honours at Cloquet High School in 1992-93.

At 9PM, Jamie took the Cup over to the Wood City Grill and Bar, a restaurant he owns in Cloquet. The visitors were delighted to have the Stanley Cup appear. Then, down the stairs he went for a private party where he and his guests partied with the Stanley Cup until two Tuesday morning.

It was a short night. By 8AM, Jamie was showered and shaved and carrying the Cup into the pre-school where his Mom works. After visiting with the children, the Cup was packed and taken first to the local police department, then to the fire department. Then, the itinerary took Jamie and the Cup to his parents' home. Mr. and Mrs. Langenbrunner had invited a number of people over to see the Stanley Cup, and Jamie was only too pleased to sign autographs and have pictures taken with neighbours and family friends.

Late Tuesday afternoon, it was back to Moose Lake. At their home, tents had been set up to house invited guests. Jamie and Elizabeth had planned well. In 1999, a thunderstorm had rolled in and put a damper on the party. There'd be no such impediment this year. They also had a shuttle bus running back and forth between the hotel in Cloquet and their home on Moose Lake.

If it looks like a barn and sounds like a barn, chances's the renovated party pad of Jamie's neighbour.
After midnight, Jamie and some friends carried the Stanley Cup down the road to a barn owned by one of his neighbours. From the outside, you'd expect the rustic structure to be filled with the aromatic scent of hay and horses. But this was no ordinary barn. Carpeting, washrooms, a sauna and pool table greet visitors. And on this night, the Stanley Cup! The party continued here for another three hours.

It had been an extended and tiring couple of days and the Stanley Cup was scheduled to be in New Jersey on Wednesday by noon. Jamie gave the heralded trophy a final kiss and raised it over his head in triumph one last time. Then, it was off to bed. Like the ten year old who dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup after meeting Corey Millen so many years earlier, Tuesday night, Jamie was likely dreaming again. Except this time, it was about returning to Cloquet with the Stanley Cup again in 2004.

Jay Pandolfo took his turn with the Stanley Cup next, and you'll read about his day in Burlington, Massachusetts when you return to the Stanley Cup Journal on Wednesday.

Kevin Shea is a freelance writer and researcher from Toronto.

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