One of Annapolis' own brought some smiling-inducing hardware to the temporary office of the Capital Gazette where five newsroom employees were killed in a mass shooting last week.
Craig "Woody" Leydig, a newly-minted NHL champion as an assistant equipment manager for the Washington Capitals and a resident of the recently-victimized Marlyand town, decided to spend a chunk of his day with the Stanley Cup parading around Annapolis.
According to the Capital Gazette, the veteran of over 2,500 games on the Capitals bench stopped by the office of the newspaper with his entourage around 8:30 AM on Tuesday and spent 45 minutes or so with staffers—including five survivors of the attack—talking and taking photos with the Cup before heading to a nearby cemetery where his parents are laid to rest.
Leydig also made his way to a local pub where first responders had their chance to spend some time with the legendary trophy.
The long-time Capitals staffer had a phone interview with a reporter for the Capital before last week's shooting at the Maryland-based newsroom, and learned of the horrific news just moments after hanging up.
Leydig "immediately called back that reporter to make sure he was OK and was greatly relieved," but was, like so many, completely devastated after learning of the five deaths and complete destruction to a community the shooting caused.
As is tradition in the NHL, each player and qualified staff member of the Stanley Cup-winning team gets to spend a personal day with the Stanley Cup to do, essentially, whatever they want. Naturally, many often take the opportunity to try and bring a small amount of joy to areas that have suffered deep tragedy or loss. Fellow champion Chandler Stephenson, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is spending his day with the cup in Humboldt where a devastating bus crash claimed the lives of 16 people on a rural highway in April.
It's only fitting that Leydig, whose roots run deep both in Annapolis and with the area NHL team, spent his time with the Cup trying to bring a few smiles and a little bit of joy to a community that needs it right now.