The Blues start of training camp tomorrow morning marks the official end of the Summer of Stanley and the start of a Stanley Cup defense. It’s over and done with; no more “Gloria,” raise the banner, and move forward.
With the future ahead of the Blues, it’s only appropriate to look back at the last couple of months. Players, coaches, fans - it feels like everyone got their hands on the most recognizable trophy in sports. The players and coaches each got a special day with the Cup, and some folks went more all-out than others.
Jordan Binnington got the key to his hometown and took the Cup to visit his grandmother (and disrupted a few rounds of golf), before surprising a young fan and a much older one. Alex Pietrangelo let his kids take their future Christmas card photo with the Cup before he ate Grandma’s pasta out of the bowl, and Robby Fabbri set the hockey world abuzz when he let his dogs eat a piece of pasta in the vicinity of the trophy (the humanity!)
Molly Bozak salted the rim and took Stanley on a vacation to Margaritaville. Pat Maroon brought it to Charlie Gitto’s downtown for the most St. Louis day possible - toasted ravioli and marinara out of the bowl.
Ryan O’Reilly shared his day with his 99 year old grandmother, and suddenly, onions. Onions everywhere.
Vladimir Tarasenko, his wife, and his three children had a day of it in Novosibirsk before Tarasenko brought the Cup and his family to spend time with his biggest fan, his grandfather.
Finally, it wrapped around to where it all started - the Plager Brothers. Bobby finally got his time with the Stanley Cup, and he and his family took it to Barclay.
It was a fitting end to a perfect summer.
It started off with Brett Hull being an incomprehensible avatar for all of St. Louis. The Blues each got their day, many of which were spent sharing the Cup with so many, many others. Children's hospitals were visited, and kids got memories that will last a lifetime.
Nothing tops sharing those memories with someone who should’ve been here for them, and to tell you the truth, was probably there all along.
The summer is over. Training camp begins tomorrow. The Cup’s being engraved before the banner raising. We’ll probably hear “Gloria” one last time, and then it’s time to move forward.
But boy, sometimes it’s fun to look back.