The Humboldt Broncos may not be eligible to compete for the Stanley Cup, but the Broncos and the City of Humboldt will be Stanley Cup champions for a day.
During a press conference prior to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 19, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) jointly announced plans for the Stanley Cup, as well as a skills competition to come to Humboldt on August 24.
The cup will be brought to town by Saskatoon native Chandler Stephenson, who along with the Washington Capitals captured the 2018 Stanley Cup title.
“Usually before you win the cup you don’t say the words Stanley Cup, but he actually at the start of the playoffs told a lot of people about how he wanted to take the cup to Humboldt if he won. He’s a Saskatoon native, so I was cheering for him obviously for that reason alone. And lo and behold he won it,” noted NHL director of social engagement Andrew Ference during the press conference.
Stephenson’s day with the cup will coincide with an on-ice component, which Ference mentioned would likely be a skills competition of some kind.
“I know the Humboldt Broncos are organizing next year’s season so we’re going to kick off a new year of Broncos hockey with the NHL and the NHLPA.”
Players association divisional representative Chris Campoli noted that Brayden Schenn has indicated his desire to be amongst the players attending the August 24 event, and has taken the charge in encouraging others to join him.
“So many of them have been touched by this. We’ve lived this life, we’ve spent those hours on buses, developed those relationships with teammates and you have that understanding. So it really hits home. And what do you do in the hockey community? You come together. So that’s what our guys are going to do,” noted Campoli at the press conference.
The on-ice component is an important part of the day, says Ference, who notes it will be a good chance to spend time with the players in their most comfortable place; the locker room.
“In talking with the Broncos, talking with the community and the players that’s what it’s all about. Getting the guys in the locker room with NHL guys and just sharing space… sharing stories, telling stories, having a laugh, supporting each other and really just kind of being together,” he noted.