Since 2015, Kraft Foods, the NHL, and the NHL Players Association have sponsored an annual competition in which communities demonstrate their commitment to ice hockey. The idea is for people to submit information about their community rink and show why it should be named the Kraft Hockeyville rink for that year. People can write stories or send photographs and/or react to previously submitted material. Submissions related to each rink are scored and four finalists in both the United States and Canada are selected.
The rinks chosen as the Grand Prize winners this year were the ones in Lucan, Ontario for Canada and Clinton, New York for the United States. The chosen rinks would receive upgrades ($150,000 in US dollars; $250,000 in Canadian dollars) and host an NHL preseason game. The Canadian winner of the Kraft Hockeyville contest was Lucan, Ontario and they would host a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs on September 18. The American winner was Clinton, New York and that city would host a hockey game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Further reading on Kraft Hockeyville here: Kraft Hockeyville Canada
This year, the Stanley Cup paid a visit to the Canadian Kraft Hockeyville winning city in Lucan. The Cup had been taken to China on September 9 for its first visit to that country and spent more than a week traveling to various destinations before returning to North America on September 17. (See Part 1 and Part 2 of Stanley Cup trip to China.)
Philip Pritchard, the Keeper of the Cup, posted a picture of the Cup after its arrival in Lucan, Ontario.
Below is a picture of the Stanley Cup posed in front of the “Welcome to Lucan” sign as posted by KVHCAN (Kraft Hockeyville Canada) Instagram account. (Note: except for Pritchard’s picture above, all pictures are from either the KVHCAN or NHL Instagram accounts.)
A picture of the Cup at the intersection where the selected rink is located, at the Lucan Community Memorial Centre. The schedule was for the Cup to be displayed from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Lucan Ball Diamond on Monday, September 17, and the game to be played at 7:30 p.m. on September 18.
The Cup next to the advertising poster for the NHL preseason game to be played there:
As expected, there were lots of fans lined up to see the Cup.
Below are several pictures of fans posing with the Cup.
NHL.com has a story about the fans lining up to see the Stanley Cup with even more pictures. Link to story on NHLcom. The game was certainly a memorable occasion for the fans in Lucan, Ontario and one that they won’t soon forget.
By Diane Doyle