The Colorado Avalanche’s name will be engraved on the Stanley Cup this year, but the team itself is made up of several Saskatchewan athletes.
The National Hockey League’s top trophy began a tour of the province this week. Avalanche defender Josh Manson launched the guide in Prince Albert on Wednesday.
“This is where I grew up and played hockey,” says Manson. “So it’s special to bring it back here and share it with the people of Prince Albert.”
Manson held his day with the trophy in front of the Art Houser Center and says hockey is a big part of the city’s identity.
“I think the passion that Prince Albert gave me for the game of hockey. You’re growing up and it’s such a big part of the city and the people here. That, I think, really shaped me and rooted me in hockey and made me have this urge to win the Stanley Cup.
“I never thought I’d have the chance to actually be there in person,” says Kathan Isbister, a local junior hockey player in Prince Albert. “I grow up in a small town in Prince Albert and it’s pretty cool to see someone brought it home.”
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The six-foot-three-inch product is an eight-year NHL veteran. He played seven and a half seasons with the Anaheim Ducks before being acquired by the Avalanche just before this year’s trade close. His father, Dave Manson, played 16 seasons in the NHL and is currently an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers.
“He was such a good role model for me growing up and really helped me in my career,” says Manson. “He played for a long time. I just have to try to have a piece of what he was able to achieve in his career.”
Fellow 2022 Stanley Cup Ryan Murray had his cup day at White City on Thursday. The former 2012 NHL Entry Draft runner-up has played 432 NHL career games.
The Stanley Cup finally made its way to Bridge City on Friday with goalie Darcy Kuemper.
“Saskatoon is a special city to me and will always be my home.”
The former Avalanche minder started his day at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital before presenting the trophy to the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS). Family, friends, SPS employees and their families were present.
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“Still surreal,” says Brent Kuemper, Darcy’s father. “You know, it’s been quite a summer, it’s been quite a ride. I can’t explain it, I’m happy for him.”
Kuemper joins former Saskatoon Contacts teammate Brayden Schenn and his brother Luke Schenn in bringing the trophy home to Saskatoon.
“I’ve heard from both of them that we always keep in touch,” says Kümper. “So they were the last three teams to win it, so they reached out straight away and wished me congratulations. It was nice to hear from you.
Kümper played as a junior with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League before being drafted by the Minnesota Wild. He would also play for the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes. During the 2021 offseason, the Colorado Avalanche traded prospective con Timmins, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2024 conditional third-round pick to the star netminder.
He says it was special to win it with this group of guys.
“We will be friends forever and we had a great team and group of players. You know, (I’m) super happy that we were rewarded by winning everything,” he said.
The Saskatoon product is now beginning a new journey in Washington and recently signed a five-year deal worth around $26 million.
For now, though, Kuemper is taking his time enjoying the rest of his day with Lord Stanley.
“(I’m going to) show it to the rest of my family and then share it with some friends as well.”
On Saturday, the Stanley Cup makes another stop in Humboldt.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9040968/stanley-cup-cross-saskatchewan-tour/ Stanley Cup goes on tour of Saskatchewan – Saskatoon