EDMONTON, Alberta — The Stanley Cup will fly back from Edmonton with the winning team to its playing city. But after that, nobody knows how hockey’s most famous trophy will celebrate.
The NHL and the Hockey Hall of Fame are weighing options on what to do next with the Cup. Typically, each member of the winning team gets to spend a day with it in a location of his choice. That means the Stanley Cup and Cup Keeper travel thousands of miles, traversing borders and even continents.
But that may be unlikely during this pandemic.
One option is to have the winners stay in that city to celebrate with the Cup, as opposed to the Cup flying in and out of cities. However, that has yet to be determined. It’s also unclear if there will be restrictions on how players celebrate; often they kiss and drink from the Cup, while passing it around from person to person.
Cup Keeper Phil Pritchard brought the Stanley Cup — as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP), the Prince of Wales Trophy (Eastern Conference champion) and the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl (Western Conference champion) — on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Edmonton earlier this month.
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 11, 2020
The Stanley Cup will be awarded on the ice, as per custom. Typically the celebration is hectic and crowded, with dozens of family members joining. This year, it will be much more intimate.
The NHL made an agreement with players that their families would be able to join them by the conference finals. However, while the government in Alberta allowed exemptions for NHL teams and staffers to skirt the federally mandated 14-day quarantine, they have yet to allow clearances for family members. As of now, only Canadians living in Canada are allowed to come, and must quarantine for four days before entering.
The Dallas Stars already have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning–New York Islanders Eastern Conference finals series is ongoing, with Tampa Bay ahead 3-2 and Game 6 on Thursday night.
As of Thursday, there is only one wife of a Stars player in the bubble, though the team says seven additional family members of players — all Canadians, living in Canada — will also join.