Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 40
The Stanley Cup Journal

(September 8, 2003) — Turner Stevenson, his wife Kim, his sister Ralene and Sandy, the lady who billeted him when he played in Seattle, all were waiting at the airport in Prince George when the Stanley Cup arrived at 12:30PM on Monday, September 1. Turner excitedly pulled the Cup out of its travelling case, much to the astonishment of other passengers on that same flight. "Little did they know that they were travelling with Lord Stanley," Turner chuckled, and then the adventure of a lifetime began.

Turner Stevenson's best man exclaimed, "I can't believe the Stanley Cup is coming to PG!" The rugged Devils' forward offers proof positive that hockey's grandest award did, indeed, visit the beautiful BC city.
Turner had rented a suite at the Ramada Hotel in downtown Prince George, and a few of his friends met him there. Mike Meehan, who had been best man at Turner and Kim's wedding, kept shaking his head. "I can't believe the Stanley Cup is in PG. I can't believe it! I just can't believe it!" The friends took turn guzzling beer out Lord Stanley's mug as they fingered the legendary names inscribed on the base of the Cup. "Turner, your name is on the same Cup with Bobby Hull and Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe. Un-effin-believable!"

Just before three, Stevenson gathered up the Stanley Cup and took it to the start of a parade route in his hometown. Riding in a convertible with the Cup, almost 10,000 people took in the city's celebration, far exceeding the pre-parade guess-timate. "Man, this is way bigger than I expected. Stand back," Turner implored as the car came close to running over the toes of exuberant fans anxious to touch the cherished trophy. "I don't want anybody to get hurt!"

At the end of the parade route, Turner and the Cup wandered through the crowd to a waiting table. There, Mayor Colin Kinsley presented Turner Stevenson with a watch on behalf of the city. "It's all worth it when you see the people's reactions," Turner said. "It was one of the days I'll never forget!"

A limousine then provided a ride for Turner and his friends, Mike and Pat Meehan. The car turned left and pulled into Fraserview Cemetery. Mike, Turner's best man, began to gently sob. "Ah, Turner. Thank you, pal. I know exactly what you're doing." When Pat Meehan found out that Turner would be bringing the Stanley Cup to Prince George, he approached his friend for a special favour. "Look, Turner. I've never asked you for anything before in my life..." Turner cut him off before he could utter another syllable. "I'll stop you right there, Pat. I know where you're going and it's my pleasure. He was special to me, too, y'know."

Stevenson, his best pals Pat and Mike,
a bagpiper and the Stanley Cup visited the resting place of a special family friend.
Pat and Mike Meehan lost their father in 1994. Michael Meehan Senior had supported his boys unconditionally until he drew his final breath. When given a choice between hospital or home care, he chose home so he would still be able to get out to see his sons play hockey. Turner was part of the equation, too. When Turner began his junior career with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 1988-89, the senior Meehan would often drive Turner from Prince George down to Washington for his junior games.

Barrie Selairk, the Meehan's uncle, met the limousine and the friends at the cemetery. He asked, "Are you ready boys," and proceeded to fill the bagpipe he was holding with air. Wearing a tartaned kilt, Selairk played a mournful dirge as he led the Meehans, Stevenson and the Stanley Cup to the gravesite of Michael Meehan Senior.

While New Generator rocked to Rockslide, Turner climbed on stage with the Stanley Cup to surprise his friend Mike Meehan, the band's bassist.
"Whew," Turner sighed. "Who needs a drink?" The pals were taken back to the Ramada and a bar called Coach's Corner. They raised a glass to the memory of the generation that went before. Then, the limo took Stevenson to the home of friends Vern and Evelyn, where they relaxed with burgers and beer. Turner's fishing buddies were all there and they caught up with the Devil and relived past glories: "Remember that monster we caught? Man, it must have been t-h-i-s big," they laughed, holding their hands several feet apart. A stop at JJ's Pub, across from the Prince George Multiplex, home of the Western Hockey League Cougars, was followed by an evening at the New Generator. Rockslide, the band in which Mike Meehan plays bass, was opening for Section 8 at the venerable old rock club. A Stanley Cup banner hung on the stage, and while Rockslide was gaining momentum, Turner climbed on stage with the Stanley Cup. Mike wasn't certain whether the crowd's roar was for his bass work or for the Stanley Cup, although in his heart, we think he knew! Between sets, John Perotta, one of Stevenson's friends, got up on stage and did an improvised stand-up comedy routine, including several hilarious references to Turner Stevenson and the Stanley Cup. Later, most of the club's patrons enjoyed a sip of beer or whiskey from the historic bowl of the Stanley Cup.

At one in the morning, Turner and the gang were getting peckish. "Anybody up for Wendy's Drive-Thru," Stevenson asked, knowing the answer he'd get. Within minutes, the limousine rolled up to the drive-thru. "Wendy's, can I take your order please," came the anonymous voice from the box. "Sure, thanks. I'll have a Mushroom Melt, chili and a Frosty, please," replied Turner.

By 1:30, it was time for bed. Turner decided he'd like to take the Stanley Cup into his room for the night. The next morning, he smirked, "I slept with it last night. I rolled over and there was a bad smell from the alcohol that we poured into it. Oooh! But it was a good thing to wake up to this morning!"

Turner hired a jet to take his wife and some friends from Prince George to Seattle to share the Stanley Cup with the city where he played his junior.
Breakfast that Tuesday, September 2 morning was a feast with friends and family at the home of Turner's proud parents, Dave and Diane. Then, it was off to the airport. Stevenson had rented a small jet to take a group of people to Seattle, Washington. Into the jet climbed Turner's Seattle-born wife Kim, his Seattle billet Sandy, her daughter Carly, plus the Stanley Cup. The Cup last enjoyed a Stanley Cup celebration in Seattle in 1917 when the Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association defeated the Montreal Canadiens to become the first city outside Canada to win hockey's championship trophy.

The jet left Prince George at 11:30AM, and once in Seattle, was taken to the Stevenson's summer home in Redmond, just outside the city. Kim's sister arrived with her newborn, and the camera was working overtime. Then, they all gathered at a local photo studio for professional shots with the Stanley Cup.

After lunch, Turner and Kim took the Stanley Cup to the Sahalee Country Club. The private golf course is awesome, and the country club no less impressive. There, Turner met with media, then sat down with invited friends and family for a wonderful dinner party. Turner was as proud as a peacock, posing for photographs incessantly through the course of the evening.

At 10:30 that evening, a Hummer limousine picked up Turner and the Stanley Cup for some bar-hopping, Seattle-style. After a few stops, Stevenson, a huge baseball fan, insisted the Hummer take him to Safeco Field, the home of the American League Mariners. The ball team was on the road in Tampa Bay last Tuesday, so Stevenson was unable to bring them good luck in person, although they did beat the Devil Rays 10-8 that night.

The late night/early morning concluded at 2AM back at the Stevensons' home. Four hours later, Turner loaded the Stanly Cup into his own Hummer and drove it to the airport, where it flew back to New Jersey and a day with retired warrior, Ken Daneyko. You'll read about that eventful but somewhat melancholy day Wednesday in Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea has never been to Seattle, but loves coffee and drinks gallons as he writes about hockey history from Toronto.

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