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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Comments (23)

  1. Totally agree with this.

    Once training camp starts, new season. No more cup celebration stuff.

    Also the banner patch on the jersey is just as terrible. You can thank Boston for starting this crap.

  2. Amen. Thank you for being the one person (that I’ve noticed) who has called the NHL out on this. I’m okay with rolling the Cup to center ice on a display table while the banner is being raised, but to lift it and parade it around the ice before the season ever starts is sacrilegious. It’s a shame and and an embarrassment for both the players and the league. The only time an active player should ever lift the Cup is when he has just won it, or it is his day with the Cup in the ensuing summer.

    • I’m glad it seems like my point is clear: totally fine with banner raise, rings, Cup being present. Not with lifting it and skating it around.

      • Concur. Also, what’s with all the LA fans rubbing it as they carry it in? That’s blasphemy!

  3. I said it below, but as a Kings fan I think this was less acceptable than the Bruins. In Boston’s case, their fans hadn’t seen them have a chance to lift the Cup, since they won it on the road. The Kings, though, won it at home, and went through all of this in a much more authentic fashion the prior year. There’s no reason to repeat it a second time in their case.

    (That said… it is pretty much the same team, give or take one guy. So it at least wasn’t that odd.)

    • All that being said, however, apparently the entire ceremony got a 1.8 rating… which is ridiculously good for the NHL for no actual game being presented. So mission accomplished in that sense.

      • Did it earn that 1.8 rating? Or did the good people of Pennsylvania tune in to watch the blood feud the “guide” feature on their cable box insisted was scheduled for 3 o’clock and just not change the channel because they had no idea when Pens-Flyers would actually start?

        • Yep, that’s it. I tuned in for the Pens game and was a bit peeved to find this Kings ceremony happening. Probably safe to say the majority of that 1.8 share were Pennsylvanians tuning in for the Pens/Flyers game only to be duped into watching the Kings ceremony.

    • I just don’t think the excitement and joy that the real cup raising brings can be reproduced months later. This reeked of going through the motions for ratings…and my gawd, it drug on and on. DROP THE PUCK ALREADY!

  4. Definitely agree. There’s just too much going on for the players in that first game of the season, especially one right after a bitter lockout and no pre-season to work out the jitters. And what happens when a team like Chicago only brings back 10 players from that Cup roster? Instead of passing the cup 5 or 10 feet to the left, they’re stuck skating it 30 yards, increasing the risk of fumbling it. Just…not the best idea.

  5. 100% Agree. I would REALLY like to see a player pointedly refuse to do it, just like they refuse to touch the conference champion trophy’s.

  6. Totally agree and as Kings fan, I was really disappointed to see that. And that’s weird, right? I was disappointed to see the Kings hoisting the cup. It just wasn’t right. They did a cool thing letting long-time season ticket holders bring the cup into the building. It was going so, so right…. and then that happened.

  7. Couldnt agree more – but if this is something the league is *making* teams do, my disgust at the NHL has found a new low.

    In addition to all the reasons you mention, it actually cheapens the act of the initial Cup celebration. The fun of watching the Cup being skating around the ice is in seeing the immediate, real time reactions to a player touching the Cup for the first time – usually for the first time in his life. Its the culmination of an entire life spent toward that single goal. Its emotional (even if your team is the one doing the lifting). Six months later…its a guy going through marketing motions, and its not the least bit memorable.

    BTW, this gives me an opportunity to mention another annual pet peeve – the amount of people, media, and overall junk on the ice when the Cup is presented. Get a two guys out there with wireless cameras, get the families off the ice, get the random Team Guys in Suits No One Knows off the ice. This the the players moment.

  8. Speaking of the banner raising, what was with the Sandy Hook thing? “Here are some people from Sandy Hook who witnessed tragedy, let’s ignore them and celebrate!!!”

  9. ” 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.”

    ——————————

    THANK YOU! I was beginning to think I was the only one who is disappointed every year to see the ice covered in electric cables and the players confined to a small portion of the ice for the post-game victory laps. Just a couple more reasons here as to why change isn’t always for the better.

  10. I thought it was really cheesy. Especially when some of the players were kissing the cup.

  11. Was gonna put a decent wager on the Kings repeating. Pretty glad I didn’t now. IT’S NOT YOUR CUP ANYMORE!

  12. Well said. Could not agree more that this is very “un-hockey”.

    Those rings are awesome though.

  13. I was there, and I found the whole thing very Milwaukee Beers — totally reeked of the Malaka-Laka Balance Board of Trust. The NHL has totally sullied the waters of the Lagoon of Peace with the opening celebration.

    Still, it was great to see the banner raised Saturday.

  14. Prob why they ended up getting there asses handed to them in the home opener

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