Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stanley Cup coming to Sun Valley Aug. 21

Beets Johnson brings back the trophy

Express Staff Writer

     The Stanley Cup, oldest trophy competed for by professional athletic teams in North America, is coming to the Ketchum and Sun Valley area Sunday, Aug. 21 as part of the Boston Bruins triumphant tour with the coveted Cup trophy.

     Bruins assistant equipment manager Jim “Beets” Johnson, a native of Virginia, Minn., has arranged for his “day” with the Cup for Aug. 21 and is bringing it to his adopted hometown of Ketchum, according to Johnson’s former Sun Valley Suns teammate Glenn Hunter of The Suns Foundation Inc.

     At Johnson’s request, Hunter said the Stanley Cup will be displayed at a public function at which donations will be accepted for Sun Valley Youth Hockey. People attending will be able to get their photographs taken with the Stanley Cup, Hunter said.

     Further journeys of the Cup around town will be made, but no plans are in the works yet.

     The Stanley Cup is kept for a full year by the winning team in the National Hockey League’s championship tournament—until the next league winner takes over. The Cup’s chalice, dating back to 1893, includes the names of all winning players, coaches, management and club staff.

     Players and staff members are allowed their turns bringing the Cup to their hometowns or other locations. Trustees of the Cup, a 36-inch-high, 35-pound silver and nickel alloy trophy, are Brian O’Neill and Ian “Scotty” Morrison.

     The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years June 15 with a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, played in British Columbia, Canada.

     After the game, Johnson called it a dream come true.

     Johnson, 50, was a first-year assistant equipment manager for the Bruins after working nine seasons in the same capacity with the NHL’s New York Rangers. The Minnesota native played four years of college hockey from 1979-83 at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. He skated 14 seasons for the Sun Valley Suns from 1984-1998 and took the Rangers equipment job in 2000.

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