The Cup of Lord Stanley makes the public rounds more than any other championship trophy in professional sports. It is photographed, it is held, it is kissed a lot. It is the thing of dreams for both young and old.
They are mites and squirts. Hockey age groups. Young players developing their prowess, and dreaming Hockey dreams. Maybe one day. Maybe. This could be me.
Nearly every player who's hoisted the Stanley Cup as a winner has said they dreamed of this moment as a kid.
"It just takes so long to get to that skill level, to get the Cup, that once you're there it's a golden thing, though in this case it's silver," said Art Lutshaunig, CEO Puck Pros.
It is named for the 19th century Governor General of Canada, Lord Frederick Arthur Stanley, who so wanted a trophy for amateur hockey that he bought a pricey punch bowl which grew into something more.
"It's tall," said Brynn Levinson. "It's like a cup. It has layers and a bunch of words on it."
Most of the words are names. Every player on every team to win the Cup has their name engraved on it. And every winning player gets to spend a day with the cup. Take a nap with it. Drink from it. Just be nice to it.
Lord Stanley's Cup made the public rounds after the Blackhawks won in 2010. It came here where the squirts and mites play, and it made memories.
"It's one of the moments I cherish," Lutshaunig said. "I have a photograph on my desk in my office that doesn't go anywhere. I dust it off every couple months."
Dreams aren't restricted by age.
"I don't know if I've grown up yet," said Christian deLanauze. "I'm still hoping."
Chicago access to the Cup would be far better, of course, if the Blackhawks win.