Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 02
The Stanley Cup Journal

(Monday, June 16) -- After a much-heralded visit to the 2003 NHL Awards in Toronto Thursday night, the Stanley Cup was jetted back to New York for several additional high profile appearances.
Prior to ringing the bell to close trading at the New York Stock Exchange, the Devils gave NYSE Chairman and CEO Dick Grasso a private audience with the Stanley Cup.

The New York Stock Exchange begins and ends each trading day with the symbolic ringing of a bell. The tradition goes back to the 1870s when a gigantic gong was struck to signal the beginning of business at 9:30AM and the completion of business at 4:00PM each day. Such a loud sound was necessary to rise above the frenzy on the trading floor. In 1903, when the Stock Exchange moved into its new location at 18 Broad Street, brass bells replaced the gong. More than 3,000 brokers and support staff work on the four floors of the New York Stock Exchange, but the bell is easily heard over the cacophony below. The NYSE began inviting leaders in various fields of endeavour to ring the bells to open and close trading, and it is considered an immense honour to be invited. These ceremonies are among the most widely viewed daily events in the world.

Friday morning, NYSE trading began following the ringing of the Opening Bell by Major General Franklin Hagenbeck, Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. Major General Hagenbeck was chosen as a representative to honour the 228th anniversary of the United States Army. At 4:00PM, the Stanley Cup was at the New York Stock Exchange to conclude trading for the day, and week. It was three years to the day since the Stanley Cup was last honoured by a visit to the NYSE. A number of Devils, each wearing his jersey, were paraded out onto the trading floor to a tremendous ovation. Then, at the precise stroke of 4 o'clock, the closing bell rang, followed by Scott Stevens banging the mallet to signal the end of trading.

Baseball legend Yogi Berra poses with Scott Stevens and the Stanley Cup.
Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra poses with two hockey legends -- Scott Stevens and the Stanley Cup.
He's known as 'The Rocket,' and it took a visit from the Stanley Cup to change his luck. No, this has nothing to do with Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard, the star of the Montreal Canadiens. This 'Rocket' is Roger Clemens, the outstanding pitcher for the New York Yankees. Clemens had been attempting to reach the 300-win plateau, and in three previous attempts, had not succeeded. But Friday night, ironically, Friday the thirteenth, the Stanley Cup arrived at Yankee Stadium prior to the Yankees/St. Louis Cardinals' ballgame and changed all that.

The Stanley Cup was inside Yankee Stadium by 6 o'clock - time for visits from hockey fan David Wells of the Yankees, the Cardinals' Jim Edmonds and Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who could have been talking about the Stanley Cup when he was quoted, "You can observe a lot by watching!" Berra must have been torn in his loyalties Friday - although he starred with the Yankees for eighteen seasons, he was born and raised in St. Louis. Scott Stevens posed with the Cup and Yankees' manager Joe Torre before the game.

The Devils watched Roger Clemens earn his 300th Major League win.
The Devils watched Roger Clemens earn his 300th Major League win with Yankee owner George Steinbrenner and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Rogers Clemens strolled by, but was so focused on the task at hand that he did little more than acknowledge the Cup's presence. Before the game, riding in golf carts, the Devils made a trip around the perimeter of the field with the Stanley Cup to the cheers of the crowd. Then, Scott Stevens was invited to throw out the first pitch. The ball sailed over the catcher's head to the backstop, much to the delight of Stevens' teammates. Scott is loved and respected by the Devils' players, but no one is above good-natured teasing with this fun-loving crew. The team watched the game from the box of Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, who is also a minority owner of the Devils. Other celebrity guests in the box Friday night were home decorating queen Martha Stewart and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Steinbrenner gave each of the Devils a New York Yankees' jacket. Devil Jay Pandolfo kiddingly balked at wearing the jacket at first, stating, "I'm a Red Sox fan," but was convinced that he'd look good in Yankee blue - even if just for a photograph. The presence of the Stanley Cup worked as a good luck talisman for 'The Rocket' - Clemens not only achieved his 300th career win in a 5-2 decision over the Cardinals, but achieved another milestone in the process. While becoming just the twenty-first pitcher to collect 300 victories, Clemens struck out ten batters to pass the 4,000 strikeout mark as well. Only two others have ever reached that plateau. 55,214 witnessed the twin triumphs - plus the Stanley Cup!

Friday evening, the team took a three-hour cruise around Manhattan Island, watching the lights of the city from their unique vantage point. As a DJ entertained, the New Jersey Devils and their partners took the Stanley Cup to the upper deck of the ship, and with the Statue of Liberty as a magnificent backdrop, had a commemorative photograph taken.

Joe Nieuwendyk raises the Stanley Cup at a rally.
Joe Nieuwendyk raises the Stanley Cup at a rally outside the Continental Airlines Arena.
Less than a week ago, the Devils celebrated their Stanley Cup victory inside their East Rutherford home, the Continental Airlines Arena. Saturday, the Devils celebrated clinching the Stanley Cup with 20,000 of their closest friends outside the Continental Arena, in a rally held in the massive parking lot. Saturday Night Live alumnus Joe Piscopo, a Passaic, New Jersey native, was the master of ceremonies for the event, and, much to the delight of the crowd, shouted, "This may be a parking lot, but it's the only parking lot that's got the Stanley Cup!" Each player was introduced individually to wild applause, which was eclipsed only by the appearance of the Stanley Cup, carried out on stage under a shower of red, white and blue confetti by Walt Neubrand and Mike Bolt of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Approximating the on-ice celebration of last Monday, Scott Stevens held the Stanley Cup to the heavens, and then handed off the magnificent trophy to each of the triumphant Devils. New Jersey Governor James McGreevey added a special component to the celebration, declaring Saturday 'Devils' Day.'

Saturday evening, the players and their partners dressed to the nines for a team dinner at the Hilton Short Hills, New Jersey's only five-diamond restaurant. While the team and guests dined on lobster tails and filet mignon, their 2002-2003 triumphs sat gleaming in front of them - the Prince of Wales Trophy as Eastern Conference champions, the William Jennings Trophy won by Martin Brodeur for best goals against average, the Vezina Trophy won by Brodeur as the NHL's best goaltender and, of course, the Stanley Cup.

The Devils franchise has won three Stanley Cup championships. Join us again Wednesday to find out if the boys can make it 'fore!'

Kevin Shea is a hockey journalist and historian based in Toronto.

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