The Los Angeles Kings raised their Stanley Cup banner and got their Cup rings on Saturday which is always cool (and as you can see, the rings are so, so sharp), but if you follow me on Twitter, you know I loooooaaaaaaatttttthhhhheeeee that the new thing is for teams to raise the Cup one last time before the first game of the regular season. I hated it last year, and I hated it so much this year that I ended up getting a DM from a smart NHL person basically saying “Dude, the NHL makes them do this now, back away from the ledge.” 

Here’s why I feel so passionate about this:

It is the start of a new season, the exact moment where summer ends and a new season begins. The team you are starting that new, fresh season with is not the team that won the Stanley Cup last year. I don’t care if there’s so much as a single human being – a trainer, whatever – that’s different, this is a new group starting a new year embarking on a new mission. There is a million days where you can honour the great Stanley Cup winners of past seasons. If the team didn’t win it at home, well that’s the way the cookie crumbles – TVs are pretty prevalent now, and the fans got to see their boys lift it at the parade. It is so un-hockey to do this.

What a curse to grab the thing on the day the 2013 season is getting under way. And I don’t mean that from a superstitious standpoint, just…it takes a lot of mental focus to succeed at hockey, especially at the start of the year, and here we’ve got a team preening all about the rink basking in past accolades. (The Kings fell behind 4-0 before losing 5-2, by the way. The Bruins lost to Philly the year before too.) The first day of the NHL season is about beginnings, not ends. It’s bad enough that they took the post-Cup-victory team lap around the rink from us for media purposes, but now they’re physically lifting it above their heads mere minutes before a scheduled 2013 game.

All that said: I’m not mad at the Kings, I’m mad that this appears to be a new mandate from the leauge. It sounds like this wasn’t their choice, as it may not have been Boston’s last year. I just think it’s a terrible idea in general. You already get to raise the banner, you’re given your rings, and the Cup is in the building. Those things honour the players’ achievement, and are great. But the active celebration of holding it above your head on the ice on the day of a new game? For shame.

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