As the NHL game has evolved and the league has introduced rule change after rule change in an attempt to modernize and jack up the entertainment value of the sport for fans, one egregious message toward its players has remained painfully constant from those at the top: You better not have ANY fun, you young, rowdy whippersnappers.
Word has it (though sources could not yet confirm) Gary Bettman recites this mantra daily, from the top of his lungs, toward the clouds while standing on his freshly detailed front lawn.
The NHL's latest attack on fun and happiness has reportedly come in light of the Washington Capitals' epic Stanley Cup bender. The team's well-publicized, months-long shaker has been defined mainly by one nefarious activity enjoyed by frat boys, high school kids, and world class athletes alike.
Keg stands, err, Cup stands. So many Cup stands.
Players, coaches, family, and friends have taken their turns doing modified keg stands out of the Stanley Cup at basically each stop the large silver dish has made this summer. Philip Pritchard, the keeper of the Cup, provided the shocking revelation that apparently he and the NHL are not cool with the legendary trophy being treated like a mobile party favour.
So, as the protector of the 126-year-old chalice, Pritchard reportedly advised players through the summer to stop doing keg stands out of the Cup. Commands that have clearly fallen on deaf, drunken ears so far, at least.
"We ask them politely not to do it," Pritchard said, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post. "We're trying to preserve the history of the Stanley Cup. We don't want any unnecessary damage to it or a person, in case they drop the person or he presses too hard or something."
More shocking than the NHL's desire to not have its famous trophy used as a giant beer mug on the regular is the fact that, according to Khurshudyan, the Caps are the first team to make constant keg stands out of the Stanley Cup a regular thing during a summer tour.
Pritchard was able to confirm the unfathomable.
"They [keg stands] haven't really been that popular in the hockey world, I guess," he said.
The Cup's keeper for the past 30 years said they will re-evaluate protocol and celebration etiquette once the Caps' shit show is finally over and the trophy gets its annual cleaning and maintenance done at the start of the NHL's regular season.
"Our biggest thing is respect for it," he said with a straight face.
The Stanley Cup's celebratory adventures have been well documented over the years. It has been lost several times, damaged in a bonfire, dropped to the bottom of Mario Lemieux's pool, been part of baptisms, eaten out of (hot dogs included, via Phil Kessel), and even shit in by babies—though hopefully after said food was consumed. There's also story after story, some believable and some not so much, of the 1980s Oilers indulging in some cocaine-related debauchery with the elusive dish.
This trophy is a damn party animal, can we just let it live a little?