The Colorado Avalanche are the top of the NHL world tonight but after working so hard for their prize, they didn’t wait too long to break it.
The Colorado Avalanche have claimed the franchises third Stanley Cup and first in 21 years — and he players have been quick to make a lasting impressing on he 130-year-old trophy.
Even for non-NHL fans, the Stanley Cup is about as revered a trophy as there is in American and world sport.
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The Cup was originally commissioned by Lord Stanley of Preston, the governor-general of Canada in 1892, as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup to be awarded to Canada’s top-ranking amateur ice hockey club.
While the original rose bowl is displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame, similar to cricket’s Ashes which is displayed at Lord’s, the trophy has taken on a life of its own in sporting mythology.
But even the replica is a revered artefact — and the Avalanche damaged the trophy in just minutes after receiving it.
As the team came together for a team photo, 26-year-old winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel slipped over, flattening the curved edge at the bottom of the trophy.
The look on the faces of his teammates were brilliant, a mix of shock and hilarity at dropping ice hockey’s ultimate prize.
The official Stanley Cup Twitter account was quick to react however, hopefully making Aube-Kubel feel better.
Then again, the trophy will likely get plenty of beers drunk out of it and be passed around by the team for some time to come so restorers may have their work cut out for them.
But hockey website Russian Machine Never Breaks revealed it happens all the time.
“It happens every year, the bowl gets damaged – basically it gets ‘out of round’ if you know what I mean,” keeper of the Cup Phil Pritchard told the publication four years ago.
“It happens because it is a 125-year-old trophy and not designed for guys to hoist like (they do). It is nobody’s fault, it just happens every year. It has become part of the lore of sports’ greatest trophy.”
The Avalanche sealed the Stanley Cup win after a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay in game six of the series, sealing a 4-2 win.
“It feels like disbelief,” Avs captain Nathan MacKinnon said.
“It’s hard to describe. To see all these warriors battle, it’s unbelievable. Words can’t describe what I feel right now.”
With the emotional road triumph, the Avalanche denied the Lightning a third consecutive title and fourth overall.
Colorado defenseman Cale Makar was named winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Makar, a 23-year-old Canadian, scored eight goals and added 21 assists in 19 playoff games.
“All the work these guys have put in, it’s just so awesome to be part of them getting rewarded,” Makar said. “I’m just so proud of the boys.
“You see that thing (the Cup) as a kid, grow up with pictures of it on the wall. It’s surreal. It’s amazing.”