Stanley Cup: Ranking the Best Vacations NHL's Cup Has Taken

Adam Merkle@@AdamLMerkleContributor IIIJune 19, 2012

Stanley Cup: Ranking the Best Vacations NHL's Cup Has Taken

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    After defeating the New Jersey Devils in six games, the remarkable run of the Los Angeles Kings to win their franchise's first Stanley Cup was marked today with the city's first sports parade to celebrate a hockey team's victory.  

    While the Kings look to bask in the glory that surrounds becoming an NHL champion, memories will certainly be made when the rounds are made for each player to receive some alone time with the historic Cup. 

    After the jump, we will take a look at four of the most memorable stories surrounding players' time spent with the Holy Grail. 

4) Niagara Falls

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    To my surprise, as of 2010, the Stanley Cup had never made it to one Canada's most historic natural wonders, Niagara Falls. 

    That all changed in August of the same year with a Chicago Blackhawks victory, when captain and offseason-wannabe-college-frat-boy Patrick Kane became the first player to lift the Cup over the pounding water of the falls. 

    "You have the water hitting you, while you're holding the thing you worked so hard to get for your whole life to get, it's really cool," he said.

    I'm sure that the Niagara Falls trip was much more pleasurable for Kane, who later in the day got stuck on a Buffalo firetruck's ladder for around 20 minutes, suspended 70 feet in midair after the motor powering the ladder broke down.

3) 'The Howard Stern Show'

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    The Stanley Cup has seen its fair share of televised appearances, but the most infamous media stunt dates back to 1995 when Claude Lemieux of the New Jersey Devils brought the Cup to the self-proclaimed "King of all Media," Howard Stern. 

    Apparently people that tuned into the show that day were deceived, in typical Stern fashion, to believe that some rather inappropriate behavior was being dished out on the helpless Cup. Thankfully, this turned out to be incorrect.

    In 2008, Mike Bolt revealed to Maxim Magazine what really happened on that unforgettable evening.  

    No. I've heard two things: They put chocolate pudding or a chocolate bar in it. Personally, I don't know why someone would think that was funny; people drink and eat out of this thing. I would not have allowed it if I were around in '95 when it happened. I always say, you want to keep winning this, you respect it, because in 1940 the Rangers burned the deed [to the old Madison Square Garden] in the Cup and then urinated on it to put out the fire—and it was 54 years before they won it again. But 99 percent of the guys, if not 100, are very respectful around it.

    So there we have it folks—just some harmless chocolate pudding out of the world's most epic oversized bowl.

2) The Kentucky Derby

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    Boy, it sure is a good thing that the Cup is just one of the world's greatest trophies and not an athlete's trophy wife. I think all of this constant travel and having to be mobile all day would surely wear out the average human being. 

    Luckily for all the people that get to spend time with the Cup, it can't talk and it has no feelings or emotions. 

    In the Cup's continued journey across North America, current NHL on NBC color commentator and longtime horse racing fan, Ed Olczyk, took the Stanley Cup to one of horse racing's biggest stages, the Belmont Stakes, after his team, the 1994 New York Rangers, won it all.

    But Olczky wasn't wheeling Lord Stanley's Mug out to the Belmont Stakes just to look pretty while he gets a plethora of photos taken with it.    

    He had much bigger plans for his day with the Stanley Cup. He met up with legendary trainer Nick Zito and fed a meal to his 1994 Kentucky Derby champion, Go For Gin.

    Unfortunately for Zito and Go For Gin, the Cup's curse reared its ugly head, and the horse ultimately finished second in the Belmont.

1) A Strip Cup's Runway

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    Mark Messier's Hall of Fame career consisted of gutsy, relentless and clutch on-ice performances with the leadership to match his outstanding game. 

    As bold a personality as Mark was on the ice, off the ice with the Holy Grail in his possession, Messier took things to an even more extreme level.

    Fresh off of their 1987 Stanley Cup victory, Messier and his Edmonton Oilers took the Cup and the party right out of the Northlands Coliseum...and straight down to the local gentleman's club, the Forum Inn.

    Mark proceeded to set the Cup down in the center of the stage, directly in the spotlight where one of the local dancers was able to have the dance of her life.

    Something about that night must have lingered in Messier's mind for it became somewhat of a tradition that continued at a sports-themed strip club in Manhattan, Chalice at Scores, after he helped end the Rangers' 54-year Cup drought in 1994.

    If only the Cup consisted of living materials rather than just silver, then I'm sure it would have really relished in the spotlight on those nights it was along for the party with Messier and the gang.