Keg stands will soon join scuba diving, skydiving and jumping into swimming pools as endeavors not on the Hockey Hall of Fame’s approved list of Stanley Cup celebration activities.
The Washington Capitals, who recently won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, have been the first NHL team to do a considerable number of keg stands, which involves players being held, feet in the air, while drinking from the Cup.
Washington Post hockey writer Isabelle Khurshudyan has reported that the Hockey Hall of Fame is concerned that the practice, which requires gripping the bowl, could damage the 126-year-old Stanley Cup.
“I have nothing against keg stands,” Hockey Hall of Fame vice president Phil Pritchard told USA TODAY Sports. “My goal is only to preserve the Stanley Cup. If they could do keg stands without grabbing the Cup, then great. But if you put weight on it, then it will affect the Cup.”
Pritchard said earlier this summer that nothing is etched in stone about what is and isn’t allowed when celebrating with the Stanley Cup. The rule is simple: Be respectful to the trophy, the community, the sport and the history of the game.
Pritchard said players are almost always mindful of that, and he lauded the Capitals for being respectful while aggressively partying with the Stanley Cup this summer. The Capitals went out of their way to bring the Cup to fans.
“We’ve just finished with the Washington Capitals staff and players and the guys have been unbelievable,” Pritchard said. “Every one of them. They get it, but they are having fun. From the time Alex Ovechkin showed every emotion on the ice when they won until yesterday when Alex Chiasson was the last player, they’ve been awesome.”
Pritchard said when the Hall’s objection to Cup stands is explained to players, they are understanding.
“Some guys really want to do it, but they get it, and they don’t want to damage the Cup,” Pritchard said. “Players have a lot of respect for the Cup they know how hard they worked to earn it.”
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Through the years, the Stanley Cup has known many adventures. It has been to 25 countries, and to the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s pool. Twice, would-be thieves tried unsuccessfully to steal the Cup. In 1924, the Montreal Wanderers left it by the side of the road when they stopped to change a tire on an automobile.
The Cup has been used as a bait bucket. It has been a baptismal font. It has been a prop in a marriage proposal. It was flown in a helicopter piloted by Guy Lafleur. It has been filled with French fries topped with gravy, per Canadian tradition.
But the Hall would prefer that players not do any more handstands on the Stanley Cup.