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PANDEMIC WILL CHANGE HOW STANLEY CUP CHAMPS CAN CELEBRATE

With the Stanley Cup Finals tied at 1-1, it's really anyone's guess who will skate away with hockey's greatest prize. The Dallas Stars have looked sensational up and down the ice thus far in the series, while the Tampa Bay Lightning has made the case that the Cup is theirs to lose with their ability to outclass their opponent on any given night.

But what will it look like for this year's champs when all is said and done? Obviously, a big part of winning the Stanley Cup has historically been the ability to schedule some time for each player to share the Cup with those closest to them, often in their hometown. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is this scenario still plausible?

Per TSN's Pierre LeBrun, a league source has informed him that the current plan will be to have the Stanley Cup reside in the local market of the winning team. Meaning, if Dallas wins, the Cup will live in Dallas, Texas for the duration of the offseason. If Tampa wins, the Cup will reside in the Sunshine State until the start of the 2020-21 season.



This situation is less than ideal for teams and players who have waited a lifetime to win the "Holy Grail" of hockey, but I would suspect that just having their names etched onto the most important trophy in the history of the game will suffice for most, even though they would more than likely prefer to share the joy with their families and friends by giving them the opportunity to party with a piece of hockey history.

At this point, it is expected that large gatherings centered around the Stanley Cup will not occur. No update on if and when a parade for the winning team should or will occur during the pandemic.

MIKE ARMENTI
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020  (13H15)