TAMPA, Fla. — The Stanley Cup is arguably the most recognizable trophy in all of sports. The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed it each of the past two seasons. You could consider it a working trophy, because it's on the road more than 300 days per year.
"During the whole year, the Cup travels about 330 days a year to various events for the NHL, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and then of course with the championship team," said "Cup Keeper" Howie Borrow. "I, myself, before COVID, was averaging between 160-180 days a year. It’s a very iconic trophy, and we have fans all over the world."
Borrow works at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Friday, he brought the icon trophy to the ABC Action News studio as part of its road trip. He said no matter where it travels, the Cup always draws a crowd.
"Even the fans that aren’t hockey fans, per say, they’ll look at the trophy and they’ll know what it is," Borrow said. "The fans that we see, big smiling faces all the time. They’re just glad to see it."
There is limited space for the more than 3,400 names of players, coaches, and executives on the Cup. So it definitely takes some creativity during the stamping process.
"The top half of the Cup here is permanent. It shows some of the teams from the early 1900’s, ‘20’s, ‘30’s, and ‘40’s," Borrow explained. "So every 13 years when the bottom band is filled, they’ll remove the top one and it’s retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Everything is shifted up one level, and a brand new one is put on the bottom to start over again."
Every member of the Stanley Cup championship team gets to have the Cup for one day- two if you're the team captain. Borrow, or a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame staff is close by, and there's never a dull moment.
"The bowl itself actually holds 14 cans of beer- if anyone’s interested in that," Howie joked. "We see lots of babies in the bowl, and people just like to have some fun with it. The players will take it golfing. They’ll take it fishing. They’ll do special things like that with their family and friends."
The Lightning have to win two more series if they want to hold on to the Cup for a third straight season. They await the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers. Carolina leads that best-of-seven series 3-2, with game six set for Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is set for 8 PM.