Travels With Stanley
At 126 years old, Stanley still gets around, and this summer he even tried out a few new vacation spots. And he finally got to tell the world all about it.
The Stanley Cup had a typically busy summer, but in addition to its expected stops around the United States and Canada, the most famous trophy in sports visited China and Denmark for the first time. That was part of a four-month offseason journey across the globe that began in Las Vegas when the Washington Capitals won their first title and ended when the Cup returned to D.C., where the Caps saw the freshly engraved version with their names on it on Oct. 3, the night they opened defense of their title.
Where in the world did Stanley go this summer?
Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden, United States
Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia (plus Washington, D.C.)
6 Canadian Provinces
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Quebec
Throughout those travels, the Cup was given a voice on social media for the first time. During last season’s playoffs, the NHL launched a Twitter account for the Cup, and while its previous presence on Facebook had been to distribute content, this time the aim was to give it a personality.
“The Stanley Cup is very special, and we take a lot of pride in it and all the history it represents,” said Sean Dennison, NHL director of social media and the person who is tasked with tweeting on the Cup’s behalf. “We knew if we wanted to personify it on social media, we had to do it carefully to respect the history and its reverence, but also we wanted to have some fun with it.”
Some tweets this summer included the Stanley Cup on a float in a Las Vegas pool getting some “R&R,” and telling the 2016-17 champion Pittsburgh Penguins that it was “time to see other people.”
The account further came to life during the Cup’s annual summer tour with the champions, helping to chronicle the moments that Washington Capitals players and executives had on their day with the trophy. That ranged from having star Alex Ovechkin eat caviar out of its bowl in his native Russia to its appearance in Denmark alongside center Lars Eller — all moments recounted on the Stanley Cup’s Twitter timeline. While Dennison didn’t travel with the trophy, he kept in close contact with the Cup’s handlers and the Hockey Hall of Fame to make sure he was providing updates and amplifying their content through the account. The Cup now has over 62,000 followers.
“The Stanley Cup is really always on the job, always meeting new people and traveling to new countries,” Dennison said. “It brings so much happiness to people’s lives when they get to see it and touch it for the first time, so we want to tell those stories.”
Note: All map images courtesy of Getty Images