The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a tiring grind, which will wear down even the greatest athletes in the world. After an emotional and thrilling playoff run, the hard work of an entire career is justified by hoisting the Stanley Cup in the air. Traditionally, once a team has claimed the title, every winning player from the team receives a day with the physical Stanley Cup. Since the Cup so difficult to attain, and some players may only get the chance once in a lifetime, naturally, this day has involved one of professional sports’ oldest and most revered trophies ending up in some of the wildest, greatest, strangest and flat-out most incredible moments imaginable. The following are some of the craziest celebrations that players have enjoyed with the Stanley Cup.
10. Guy Carbonneau, 1999 Dallas Stars – Threw It Off A Balcony
The Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999 over the Buffalo Sabres, following a very controversial goal, when Brett Hull clinched the series in Game Six, during triple overtime, by scoring a goal while having his foot in the crease. Due to the infamous “skate in the crease” rule being in full effect at the time (that year, in an attempt to cut down on goaltender interference, the NHL strictly disallowed all goals when any part of an opposing player could be shown to be in the crease), the goal created a massive controversy that overshadowed the post-celebration escapades of the Stars. One of the craziest stories from that year involved a house party at Stars defenseman Craig Ludwig’s house, where it’s rumored that veteran Guy Carbonneau attempted to land the Stanley Cup in a swimming pool by throwing it off the balcony. As the story goes, Carbonneau’s plan was unsuccessful and the Cup landed just shy of the pool, suffering a massive dent that can still be seen. Despite league officials denying that Carbonneau’s balcony toss is the origin of that dent, the story has been confirmed by enough players that it is commonly believed to have realistically occurred.
9. Mario Lemieux, 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins – Sank It In A Pool
While the event occurred at the legendary Mario Lemieux’s property, the talented Phil Bourque shares equal credit/blame in this crazy Stanley Cup celebration. During a post-championship party in 1991, the Pittsburgh Penguins discovered that the Cup doesn’t float, after Bourque decided to take a dive into Lemieux’s pool while cradling it. This was quickly revealed to be an awful idea, as the Cup sank to the bottom of the pool. Furthermore, a piece of the Cup actually broke off, necessitating the hockey legends to repair it, which they did by using duct tape. Between their strong play on the ice, and with the damages they caused to the Cup itself, the Penguins surely left their mark on Lord Stanley’s mug. While the Cup’s lack of bouyancy is now common knowledge, over the years, several players have taken the Cup for a swim. While it rarely works out for them, none have damaged the Cup to the point that Lemieux and Bourque managed in 1991.
8. Red Kelly, 1964 Toronto Maple Leafs – Son Had An “Accident” In It
Red Kelly was an exceptional player on both sides of the ice, playing shutdown defense, while also filling in at forward when needed. Indeed, Kelly was very adaptable, and that skill allowed him to extend his storied career in the NHL past the point that scouts had initially anticipated. Kelly was a member of eight Stanley Cup-winning teams, which is actually the most of any player that has never played for the Montreal Canadiens. He is also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and a role model for anyone who watched him play. However, Kelly’s most recognizable moment likely arrives following the grueling 7-game series that culminated in Toronto’s 1964 Stanley Cup victory. Kelly had the Cup at his home and was posing for pictures with his family, placing his infant son in the Cup itself. Unfortunately, Red would later discover that his son had urinated in the Cup, a humorous revelation that has lived in Stanley Cup legend forever.
7. Ed Olczyk, 1994 New York Rangers – Took It To The Kentucky Derby
One of the oddest places the Stanley Cup has ever visited is the paddock of a Kentucky Derby winner. Following the epic 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, Rangers forward Eddie Olczyk decided to share his winning experience with another champion. With that in mind, Olczyk went to Belmont Park in New York to visit Kentucky Derby winner “Go For Gin”. Olczyk then took an infamous picture which involved the horse eating directly out of the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, the Stanley Cup did not bring good fortune for “Go For Gin”, who was unable to repeat as champion and placed second to “Tabasco Cat” during the 1994 Belmont Stakes. However, Olczyk’s wild idea was a crazy stunt that will never be equalled.
6. Peter Forsberg, 1996 Colorado Avalanche – The Cup Leaves North America
It may not appear to be the wildest celebration of all-time, however, Peter Forsberg’s monumental antics will stand in the record books as one of the craziest things to occur with the Stanley Cup. It’s difficult to believe that the Stanley Cup hadn’t left North America until 1996, but that’s a fact. But hen Forsberg, of the 1996 Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, received his day with the Cup, the Swedish-born forward decided to maximize his time and travel back home with the Cup. Having been immediately successful at the NHL level, Forsberg was idolized and incredibly well-respected in Sweden (as well as in North America, of course), and was given a hero’s welcome. Forsberg likely provided incredible inspiration for other Swedish-born players who would eventually make the NHL, and this was one of the many examples which showcased his greatness. He also proved to be a trend-setter, as shortly after his Swedish vacation, the Cup would be traveling overseas on a yearly basis.
5. Claude Lemieux, 1995 New Jersey Devils – Took It On Howard Stern
The Stanley Cup’s most famous appearance on a talk show involved the infamous radio host Howard Stern, as Claude Lemieux of the New Jersey Devils brought the Cup with him to the show. During the show, Stern, his co-hosts, and Lemieux pulled a gag on the listeners. In a grotesque sequence, a Stern crew member appeared to defecate in the Stanley Cup. Of course, the scene was a hoax, but it was still considered incredibly disgusting and at the time, almost believable, given Stern’s many insane antics in the past. Claude Lemieux’s day with the Cup was considered somewhat distasteful and downright gross, but it was certainly crazy that he was able to get away with a stunt like that. During his career, Lemieux was labeled a “goon”, and while that’s debatable, it’s evident that his wild side led to his crazy celebration with the Cup.
4. Maurice Richard, 1957 Montreal Canadiens – Chipped Teeth On It
If there was any doubt that the Stanley Cup could inflict real damage to a person, Maurice “Rocket” Richard made sure that awareness was raised on the very real physical danger of the Cup. Following the second of five consecutive Stanley Cup victories for the legendary Montreal Canadiens, Richard decided to actually drink from the novelty-sized Cup. The heavy trophy responded by chipping Richard’s two front teeth, which was quite an unexpected result for a player who was simply trying to make an exaggerated celebration. Richard’s injury served notice for other players attempting silly stunts with the Cup in their possession. However, as this list shows, plenty of future players wouldn’t heed this advice, coming up with ideas of their own that put both themselves and the Cup at risk.
3. Sylvain Lefebvre, 1996 Colorado Avalanche – Used It For A Baptism
The 1996 Stanley Cup-winning Avalanche squad sure pulled some crazy stunts with Lord Stanley’s Cup. However, none are as shocking as defenceman Sylvain Lefebvre, who used it to baptize his daughter. Oddly enough, this wouldn’t be the only time the Cup was publicly used during a baptism. In 2008, Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom pulled the same stunt, bringing the Cup to Sweden for his cousin’s daughter. While Holmstrom elevated his day with the Cup by also taking it overseas, Lefebvre performed the act 12 years earlier. As the first player to use the Cup for a baptism, Sylvain Lefebvre should be applauded for a very unique achievement. The celebration sounds crazy and is certainly a novelty, but that is a pretty amazing moment for the children who were christened in the Stanley Cup.
2. Mark Messier, 1987 Edmonton Oilers – Took It To A Strip Club
Mark Messier, nicknamed “The Messiah” and “The Moose” due to his aggression and strength, won six Stanley Cups during his long and eventful career. Winner of a Conn Smythe trophy (awarded to the top performer during the playoffs) as well as multiple Hart trophies for league MVP, Messier is one of the greatest players to lace up a pair of skates. However, one infamous event that Messier would likely prefer to forget involves his notorious celebration in 1987, following one of the Oilers’ many Stanley Cup victories. Supposedly, Messier brought the Stanley Cup with him to a gentleman’s club, where the Cup was placed on stage. The Cup was allegedly incorporated into a dance on stage, although there are few who are able to confirm the rumor. Regardless of the details, the Cup was damaged and cracked in several places and required repairs following Messier’s legendary evening.
1. Patrick Kane, 2010 Chicago Blackhawks – Took It Under Niagara Falls
Perhaps the most iconic celebration in Stanley Cup history belongs to Patrick Kane, who in 2010 became the first player to take the Stanley Cup to Niagara Falls. When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, Patrick Kane was coming off his third season in the NHL and was already a superstar. However, the way that Kane was able to elevate his game during 2015-16 was unexpected and otherworldly. As part of his celebration with the Cup, Kane posed for an iconic photo raising it above his head while water from the Falls splashes around him. It’s a relatively simple act, but the famous photo shows just how crazy Kane’s decision was. In the years following, Kane has officially become one of the absolute best players in the league, which is not a surprise, since he clearly had the confidence to pull off stunts such as taking the Stanley Cup underneath Niagara Falls.