The championship trophy matters more in hockey than any other sport. From the league’s advertising campaign to its post-series celebration, the Cup has become the living symbol of hockey. Once they win it, the players toss it in their pools, kiss it, sleep with it and often use it to drink everything from milk to mixed drinks.
So where does the ring fit into the post-championship celebration? Tonight, I got to experience it first-hand at LeMont restaurant on Mount Washington. There, the Pens held a private dinner and ceremony to celebrate the season and hand out the last piece of hardware – the Rings.
Just the size of this “bling” will take your breath away. While it’s not as large as the gaudy Steeler Super Bowl ring, its large enough. As Bill Guerin said, reflecting on his relatively average-size ring from his 1995 championship run with the Devils, “in this day and age, size matters”.
Its got 167 diamonds and enough gold to get your attention. It also has one shank with the three Stanley Cups won by the franchise. While its something each player can gaze into and reflect on the championship season, Guerin says the Stanley Cup is “eternal” and your name will always be there, long after they “pull the ring off your finger”.
So how long with the Pens wear their rings since they just got them tonight? Sidney Crosby tells me that he would wear his tonight and then put it away. He’s got a game that counts Friday and needs to work on getting another ring.
I would at least wear it until morning. That way, when you wake up, it won’t feel like just a dream. You will know your dreams can come true. It might also be good to keep the ring close by, just in case they find themselves in 10th place in February.