July 28, 2008
As the temperature hovered at a toasty 121 F. today, Pajamadeen’s thoughts turned longingly to…ice hockey. An unusual use has been found this year for the venerable Stanley Cup, the Holy Grail of ice hockey. Tomas Holmstrom, seen here triumphantly hoisting the Stanley Cup at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 4, after the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, suggested that his second cousin, seven-week-old Alva Felicia Sundstrom, be baptized in the Cup.
Cousin Robert Sundstrom said that he and his wife “thought it would be fun to christen our daughter in such a priceless object.” Little Alva was christened in a private ceremony last Friday near Pitea, Sweden, Holmstrom’s hometown. The only non-family members in attendance were the ever-present security guards, who accompany hockey’s crown jewel as it travels each year to spend a day with each of the winning team’s players.
Now nearly three feet tall and weighing in at about 35 pounds, the Stanley Cup apparently performed admirably as a baptismal font. The oldest professional sports trophy in North America, it travels next to the Vasteras, Sweden home of the Detroit Red Wings team captain, Nicklas Lidstrom. After a day with Lidstrom, the trophy travels to the homes of five other Swedish hockey players: Johan Franzen; Niklas Kronwill; Andreas Lilja; Mikael Samuelsson; and Henrik Zetterberg. This is the first time that so many players from one country outside North America will enjoy a day with the Cup.
The Stanley Cup made an unusual journey last year as well, making its first trip to a combat zone in May 2007 when it traveled to Kandahar, Afghanistan courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the NHL and the [Canadian] Department of National Defence to visit Canadian and other NATO troops stationed there. It even came under missile attack, emerging unscathed. Which was good news for Alva. A tip of the hat to reader Penny for this pleasant summertime diversion.
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Photo credit: Getty Images and National Hockey League.
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