Hockey’s Holy Grail coming to Chilliwack

Seven-month-old Holly Burt was unsure about being placed inside the Stanley Cup during a public photo opportunity at Cottonwood Mall on July 28

The oldest trophy in North American sports has seen a lot of people and places since 1892. It’s been to the bottom of a swimming pool at Mario Lemieux’s house.

In the 1920’s, it was  left on the side of a road by a group of Montreal Canadiens.

In 1905 an inebriated  player on the Ottawa Silver Seven drop-kicked the Cup into the Rideau Canal, and in 1962 the original Cup and collar was stolen from the Hockey Hall of Fame, only to be found seven years later.

By comparison, this weekend’s jaunt into Chilliwack ought to be pretty easy for Lord Stanley’s Mug.

And for local hockey fans, it will be a thrilling opportunity to hang out with ‘The Prize.’ The Stanley Cup will be at the Scotiabank on Promontory Road Saturday afternoon (noon to 4 p.m.) as part of Scotiabank’s ‘Celebration of Hockey Tour.’

“I had the opportunity to see it years ago at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and it still sticks in my mind how exciting that was,” said branch manager Bonnie Oliver. “I didn’t think I was that much of a hockey fan, but I was amazed by it. It’s exhilarating to think about how hard the players worked to get that Cup, and how much it means to everyone in Canada.”

The Cup will be accompanied by its handler, a mystery man with white gloves who evidently goes by the name Mike.

The Cup will arrive at the branch at 11:30 a.m., and Chilliwack’s female minor hockey players will get the first look at it, joined by mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Three Scotiabank branches (Chilliwack, Sardis and Lytton) combined resources, giving $3,000 to the five local female teams this season.

Twenty girls will form an honour guard, uniformed and using their hockey sticks to form an arch for the Cup to pass under.

At 11:45, winners of the ‘Front of the Line’ contest (seen in the Progress) will get in to see the Cup.

“It’s going to be a busy day and a fun day, and we’ve got lots of volunteers to help with things,” Oliver said. “The branch will be closed. People will have their pictures taken with the Cup by a professional photographer, and those pictures will be e-mailed them.”

Accompanying the Cup will be three tables of mysterious hockey memorabilia. Oliver doesn’t know the specifics, although Duncan had helmets and skates.

There are additional sights and sounds for those who will be waiting outside.

“We’re closing off our drive-through to form the lineup and we’ve decided to do a fundraiser for Relay For Life,” Oliver said. “So we’ll be doing a hot dog sale with coffee and muffins. We’ll have face painting, music and a little hockey shootout for the kids. We’ll try to make it fun even if it is raining outside.”

One final note for those planning to visit the Scotiabank.

“We have permission for people to park at Vedder elementary school and walk back to our branch,” Oliver said. “That’s a big ask, but we have a very tight parking lot and we have to respect the other merchants. Our Scotiabank branch in Duncan had the Cup a couple weeks ago and they had over 1,000 visitors in a four-hour period. We expect the same, if not more.”

Get more information on Scotiabank hockey programs online at www.scotiahockeyclub.com.

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