**Note to my readers: I love the city of Tampa. I love the people there, the culture, the scenery, the food, and of course the cigar scene. This piece says many unflattering things, and I want to be clear that none of these is intended as a slight to the beautiful city, but rather to the hockey team and the players on that team. Please do not read any more into it. I can hardly wait to return to Ybor City!
Since engraving the Stanley Cup became a tradition, there have been only four official engravers of the cup. At present, that honour belongs to one Louise St. Jacques, owner of Boffey Silversmiths of Montreal. She is the only person currently alive who is permitted to work on the most storied trophy in North American professional sports.
So when the disrespectful buffoons who are the Tampa Bay Lightning broke the trophy during their partying this week, they inadvertently did what we were all hoping would have happened on the ice.
They sent Lord Stanley’s Cup home to Montreal.
Lord knows, The Cup has seen its share of damage over time. It has gone to the bottom of swimming pools and lakes. It has been left on the side of the road (after then-champions 1924 Montreal Canadiens had to change a flat tire, emptying the boot of everything to get to the spare). In 1907 the Montreal Wanderers forgot it at the home of the team’s photographer… whose wife thought it would make a lovely planter (not realizing it was the then-named Dominion Cup). It has been eaten and drunk from and urinated into (and hopefully disinfected after and absolutely between all). Two babies have been baptized in it (Alva Felicia Sundstrom in 2011, and Brecken Archibald in 2017). It has gone to the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s swimming pool (1991). It has even spent time at strip clubs (1987 in Edmonton with Mark Messier). For any true hockey fan, these are humourous if disturbing anecdotes.
During their raucous celebrations, some disrespectful turd on the Tampa Bay Lightning actually broke the cup. As you can see in this picture, the cup has clearly been damaged. It looks like someone tried to use it to hammer a spike into the ground.
The flat end side of the cup does not improve it. It is disrespectful to The Cup, to the game of hockey, and to its fans.
And so, despite being won by the team of overtly disrespectful and classless cheaters from Tampa Bay (and yes, Tami… the people in particular that I am referring to are indeed from Russia and not originally from Florida), Lord Stanley’s Cup is going home… to Montreal, where it rightfully belongs. Into the loving hands of her official silversmith, Madame Louise St. Jacques. If the Keepers of the Cup had any sense at all, they would leave it there. Because, if nothing else, the flat side of The Cup proves that Tampa’s squad does not deserve to have nice things.