The PHT Stanley Cup tracker will keep tabs on how the St. Louis Blues spend their summer celebrating.
Patrick Maroon probably could have had bigger contract offers last summer, while the one-year deal he ended up signing with the St. Louis Blues was a slight pay cut from his previous contract.
But he took a little less to get an opportunity to play for his hometown team and try to bring the city its first ever Stanley Cup. He helped the Blues do just that during the 2018-19 season, and even scored a couple of massive goals during the playoffs, including a double overtime Game 7 goal in Round 2 to clinch their series against the Dallas Stars.
This past week he had his opportunity to spend the day with the Stanley Cup and, naturally, took it back to St. Louis for the first time since the Blues’ initial Stanley Cup celebration.
It was quite a journey.
On Friday night the Stanley Cup made a surprise appearance The Muny, America’s largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre, to surprise the crowd that was there to watch a performance of Footloose.
It made quite an entrance!
From there, it went to the Maroon residence on Saturday morning for a special photo opportunity, 20 years after he had his picture taken with it at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Keeping with the tradition of using the Stanley Cup as a cereal bowl, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was consumed out of it with Maroon cleaning it out afterwards himself, according to Philip Pritchard, the keeper of the Cup.
Maroon then took it to the All-American Sports Mall in South St. Louis — where he played inline hockey as a kid — to share the experience with 250 family and friends.
Included among the friends were former teammates and coaches from his time as a youth roller hockey player.
Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“Everyone makes fun of me playing roller hockey, but this is where I grew up playing,” he said. “To bring it back here is a very special day for me. To cherish these moments with the 250 people I invited, it’s a really private event that I feel like I know everyone here. To share that day with everyone, it really is amazing. It’s a big reunion for all of us to see each other and smile.
“It’s been one of the coolest memories I’ll ever have. It really doesn’t get full circle until you actually leave it, and wow, the Stanley Cup was just at All-American, the rink where I used to come from 9 in the morning to 5 o’clock and just sit and be a rink rat. It’s awesome.”
After that, it was off for a St. Louis speciality and some toasted ravioli at Charlie Gitto’s for lunch.
It was there that Maroon was joined by Blues super fan Laila Anderson.
Maroon ended his day at a nearby lake for private time with family and friends.
Before the Stanley Cup made its way back to St. Louis this past week, defender Robert Bortuzzo also had his day with the cup and took it to his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“I’ll never be able to truly repay what this community has meant for me and my career in terms of growing up playing hockey as a young kid here,” Bortuzzo said, via the TBNewswatch.com. “It meant a lot for me to come and give the chance for some people to see it and put some smiles on faces at George Jeffrey. It was an easy decision to share it with a great community.”
While boating, Bortuzzo decided to help himself to a snack of assorted meats and cheeses.
The PHT Stanley Cup tracker
• Week 1: Cup heads to the Canadian prairies
• Week 2: Stanley Cup heads east to Ontario
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.