Some day our Blues will win the Stanley Cup. And with this new rebuild, I think I'll live to see it. I hope that it'll be at a point when I can enjoy it and my grandkids don't have to wake me up to tell me that it happened.
But when it does happen, I can guarantee one thing: I will know, forever, the names of every member of the team who gets his name on the Cup.
It's the greatest honor and an unparalleled tradition in sports. Every winner gets his name inscribed on the trophy awarded to the winners. Nothing else compares. Football and baseball and basketball have nice enough looking trophies, but the players don't actually become part of the trophy like they do in hockey.
Here's the other great thing about the Cup. It takes such effort from the entire team that everyone who has a part in the win gets their name on it. Not those who scored. Not those who played most of the games. Not those who suited up in the Finals. Everyone. If you play 41 regular season games and not one playoff game, you get on the Cup. Play in the playoffs, even if it's just one game? You're on.
It's recognition that hockey is a team sport and even the gritty leadership grinder guys are important in winning the game, just as the high-flying goal scoring guys are important. I love that.
So, when our time comes, I'm going to etch our guys on my brain just like the guy at the Hockey Hall of Fame etches their names on the Cup. I'll be rattling them off like a cheap parlor trick for the rest of my life.
"Grandpa, who won the Stanley Cup for the Blues?"
And off I'll go.
I was thinking about this because I was looking at a list of Cup winners. Wanna see some guys who have their names etched in history? You'd never guess some of these guys.
04 Tampa - Martin Cibak. Chris Dingman. Stan Neckar. Nolan Pratt. Eric Perrin. Darren Rumble.
03 Devils - Jim McKenzie. Pascal Rheaume. Corey Schwab.
02 Wings - Can't bring myself to read the list.
01 Avs - Chris Dingman! Scott Parker. Nolan Pratt!
00 Devils - Brad Bombadir. Steve Brule.
99 Stars - Tony Hrkac. Jon Sim.
I mean look at that list. How are Nolan Pratt and Chris Dingman two time Stanley Cup winners? Martin Cibak? Steve Brule? Pascal Rheaume? How many of these guys are drinking free off of this for the rest of their lives?
Career minor leaguers who had one year in the N. Career grinders who wind up in the right place at the right time. Punchers who play to protect the skill guys all year and never pull on their jersey during the playoffs.
Doesn't matter how they did it. Stanley Cup winners all of them. That's wild.
If you're the 53rd man on the Pittsburgh Steelers, pretty much no one believes you two years after you won. But in the NHL, if you're Martin Cibak, your name is on the trophy forever.
Now where's my free beer, bitch?