It’s an annual rite when the Stanley Cup is awarded to the National Hockey League champion every year, and no, we’re not talking about all the cheers, smiles, or tradition of passing the Cup for each team member to hold.
Instead, we’re talking about annual damage to the chalice itself.
It sure didn’t take long for the Colorado Avalanche to put a dent in the trophy after it won the title in Tampa Bay on Sunday.
As the team gathered on the ice for the traditional trophy shot, Avalanche player Nicolas Aube-Kubel was carrying the trophy toward his teammates when he tripped as he got near the spot where the trophy was supposed to go.
The bottom of the trophy was what broke his fall, and thus a noticeable dent was already in the bottom portion of the Stanley Cup barely minutes after the Avalanche were awarded it.
“I guess it’s a new record today,” the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Keeper of the Cup, Philip Pritchard, told Yahoo Sports. “It’s the first time it’s ever happened on the ice.”
But it’s certainly not the first time the Cup has been dented, and it won’t be the last.
One tradition of the Cup is that each team member gets to spend a day with it in the summer, under the watchful eye of Pritchard or other keepers who follow the Cup around wherever it goes.
With just about every NHL roster having players from both North America and Europe, the Cup will go around the world for celebrations, which can and has led to some mishaps.
Last year, the top of the Cup was dented badly during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s championship boat parade.
In 1999 when the Dallas Stars won it, the Cup was damaged when then Stars player Guy Carbonneau tried to throw the trophy from the roof of a house into a pool.
In 2008 after Detroit won the Cup, it was pushed off a table during a post-parade party at the restaurant of defenseman Chris Chelios, which put a sizable dent in it.
The Washington Capitals also did a fair bit of damage to the Cup after winning it in 2018 when it did continuous “Cup Stands,” where someone is held by their legs with their face in the Cup so they can drink out of it.
Given what’s taken place in the past, there are two certainties as the Avalanche celebrate with the Cup this summer.
One, there will be damage done to the cup.
Two, it will be repaired so more damage can be done to it in the future.