Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 44
The Stanley Cup Journal

(September 24, 2003) — Prior to the opening of training camp, the New Jersey Devils had a number of functions at which they appeared with the Stanley Cup. On Monday September 8, the Devils hosted a sponsors' banquet at Winners Restaurant in the Continental Airlines Arena. Tommy Albelin, Jeff Friesen and Ken Daneyko were on hand to get their photos taken with sponsors and the Stanley Cup.

Mike Rupp and Brian Rafalski took the Stanley Cup to the Newark Beth Israel Hospital, where they visited a number of children, including little Ryan, all decked out in the colours of his favourite hockey team.
Later that afternoon, Brian Rafalski and Mike Rupp took the Stanley Cup to visit the children at the Newark Beth Israel Hospital, stopping at each room to say hi. The kids were so excited to meet hockey players and to see the Stanley Cup, and as ambassadors, Rupp and Rafalski were superb, chatting and answering questions and leaving each child not only with wonderful memories but also with a plastic Devils' mug or a hockey ball.

Tuesday, September 9, the New Jersey Devils held their fifth annual alumni golf tournament at the Ballyowen Golf Course in Hardyston, New Jersey. The course is majestic, laid out on 250 acres of incredible terrain nestled into the Appalachian Mountains and is one of the best golf courses in the state. Each foursome consisted of three guests and a Devil. Several from the Stanley Cup-winning roster came out to play, and were joined by special assignment coach Larry Robinson and alumni including Aaron Broten, Tom Chorske, Bruce Driver, Randy McKay, Kirk Muller and Chico Resch. Proceeds from the tournament went to the Children's Miracle Network in the New York/New Jersey area.

The fifth annual New Jersey Devils' Alumni golf tournament took place at the Ballyowen Golf Course. Larry Robinson was one of many prominent players, past and present, who teed up to help raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.
The Stanley Cup was driven hole to hole in a golf cart, watching as the Devils past and present drove ball after ball down the incredible course. It was a marvellous day for all, but the day's champions were the foursome that included Devils' assistant coach, John MacLean. MacLean knows a thing or two about golf - his wife, Adrienne, is a superb and highly-decorated amateur golfer. "I can outdrive her, but she's better in the short game," John admitted. MacLean and his foursome collected the lowest round in the history of the alumni tournament, an extraordinary -18!

After photos were taken with players and the Stanley Cup, everyone retired to the pavilion. There was a raffle and an auction of memorabilia, including a painting of Arnold Palmer and Bob Hope signed by both. A few of the players had to be torn away from the bubble hockey game to eat their meal of chicken, pasta and burgers. A great day; an outstanding cause!

That evening, Scott Niedermayer asked for, and was granted permission, to take the Stanley Cup to visit a ten-year old boy who is courageously battling terminal cancer. Scott had tried to meet with Jesse earlier in the summer, but schedules didn't mesh, so wanted to make certain he got over to see him before the season started. It was a huge thrill for the little guy from New City, New York, and Scott was great, sitting on the edge of the bed, talking hockey and signing autographs for his new buddy.

Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur and Scott Stevens visited their children's school for a very special question and answer period with the Stanley Cup.
Wednesday, a 111-year old went to school! Yep, the Stanley Cup was up early and all polished up, looking good when it visited the school where the children of Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens attend. Every weekday morning, all the students are herded into the school's auditorium for the day's announcements. "Good morning, students," came the announcement at 8:30 on this day. "We are pleased to welcome a special visitor to our school this morning, so please give a warm welcome to…the Stanly Cup!" A spontaneous eruption of excitement ensued, as children rubbed their eyes in disbelief. And with the Cup were three hockey heroes - Brodeur, Niedermayer and Stevens, or as they are known to selected students, 'Dad.' Cup Keeper Walt Neubrand from the Hockey Hall of Fame gave a short speech on the history of the Stanley Cup, and the students were awed to learn that the magnificent silver trophy sitting in front of them was actually much older than their grandfathers! A question and answer period took place with the three Devil stars. "What's it like being famous?" "How many Cups have you guys won?" The players were peppered with questions until 10:45, at which time the players thanked the children for allowing them to visit the school and the Stanley Cup was packed away.

The Captain took the Cup for the afternoon. Scott Stevens and his family like to feed the deer that frequent their property, and one day several years back, Scott dropped by the Nettie Ochs Cider Mill in Livingston, New Jersey, looking for apple mulch for the deer. There, he met owner Robert Ochs, and the two became friends. Robert and his wife sell seasonal vegetables, smoked cheeses, pies, honey and freshly-pressed cider from their mill, and were thrilled that Scott would bring the Stanley Cup by the 137-year old Nettie Ochs Cider Mill. Robert, who is the fifth generation of Ochs to own the mill, had forty friends by to enjoy a drink of cider from Lord Stanley's mug.

The Captain wanted to thank longtime friends, the Ochs, for supplying apple mulch for the deer that feed on his property. Rob, son Tyler, daughter Julia and wife Barbara, own and operate the Nettie Ochs Cider Mill in Livingston, New Jersey.
One of those sipping cider was Robert Ochs' son, Tyler, who plays in a band called The Mooney Suzuki. Tyler was recently profiled in GQ Magazine as part of their music special, but his story goes deeper. He plays a very special guitar in The Mooney Suzuki, specially commissioned and crafted from an immaculate piece of 600-year old mahogany that at one time was the main bar of the legendary Old Absinthe House Bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Before closing in 1998, the Old Absinthe House Bar hosted a legion of luminaries; everyone from President Theodore Roosevelt to actor W.C. Fields to Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

After leaving the Nettie Ochs Cider Mill, Scott Stevens took the Stanley Cup to Forte Pizzeria in Caldwell. A few of the Devils go there every gameday, sit at the same table and enjoy a casual lunch, then head off for their respective homes for their pre-game naps. Stevens ordered the lentil soup and a sandwich and thanked the proprietors for their regular hospitality by signing some autographs and having photographs taken with the Stanley Cup in the restaurant.

On his way home, Stevens first dropped into the Essex Fells Post Office, then the police station to show the staff the Stanley Cup. "You've got to show the local police department," implored Stevens. "It's important."

The boys all departed for the start of a new season, showing up for their physicals on Thursday, September 11. The next day, while the New Jersey Devils took to the ice for the first time in anticipation of this 2003-04 season, the Stanley Cup was taken over to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, New Jersey. There, on the campus of Montclair State University, better than 300 fans dropped by to see the Stanley Cup on display.

Yogi Berra was a part of ten World Championships with his beloved New York Yankees, more than any other player in the history of major league baseball. He was selected to the All-Star team fifteen times, and was Major League Baseball's Most Valuable Player on three occasions. In 1972, the catcher was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame. But there is one trophy Yogi can never lay claim to, and that is, of course, the Stanley Cup. A big hockey fan, the 78-year old Berra visited with Scott Stevens and the Stanley Cup earlier this summer when the New York Yankees paid tribute to the champion Devils at Yankee Stadium. The Stanley Cup was also in attendance at Yogi's annual golf tournament, which raises money for special needs scouts.

Just like Yogi might say in regards to travels with the Stanley Cup, "It ain't over 'til it's over!" Come back to the Stanley Cup Journal on September 30 and find out all about the New Jersey Devils' visit to the White House.

Kevin Shea writes about hockey, its history and glories, from Toronto, Ontario.

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