Cleary and the Cup

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St. John's -

Should the Detroit Red Wings win its second Stanley Cup in as many years, I cant help but wonder what Riverhead, Harbour Grace native Dan Cleary will plan for his second round with the sacred trophy. I witnessed it all first-hand last year. I was there to watch Cleary proudly bring the Stanley Cup down the stairs at the St. Johns International Airport. I followed his convoy to the Rostotski photography studio where he and the clan spent almost two hours being shot with the Cup. Then burned back to the Janeway where he showed off hockeys Holy Grail to a host of sick kids and their families. And I spent my Canada Day along with another 100 media types from across North America as Cleary was darn near canonized against the backdrop of thousands upon thousands of fans. So I am regularly asked if I think hell do the same again this year. And regularly, I let out a heart chuckle. Honestly, I dont think the Cup will find its way to the Rock this summer. In fact, theres a better chance of Johan Franzens flight with Lord Stanley being diverted here on its way to Sweden. Look, the way I see it, hes done his duty as the first Newfoundlander to win the Stanley Cup. The Cup was here, he celebrated his first one with us and reiterated over and over during those days that it belonged as much to the people of this province as it did to him. The whole orchestrated Bringin It Home celebration was out of his hands. But a second one, well that should be up to Cleary to decide on and I cant imagine hell want to go through the same kind of organized madness as last year. He doesnt call Newfoundland home when hes not playing hockey; he and his wife Jelena and their daughter and the baby on the way this summer live in Phoenix and split the off-season between Los Angeles (where he trains) and the Toronto area (where Jelenas parents are). And besides, last years two-day stint with it was an anomaly. Cup winners are only entitled to a single day, where Cleary had a full two and part of a third. So, will Danny Cleary bring it on home again? Maybe. Maybe not. But he sure as heck wont be inviting 30,000 people to help celebrate this time around. * * * * * The Vancouver Canucks didnt enjoy the success they had hoped for in this years Stanley Cup playoffs, but distance runner Ryan Brockerville of Marystown was on hand for one of the teams wins over the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference semifinals. And it didnt cost him a penny. Brockerville, who lives in Vancouver where he attends Simon Fraser University, was out for a post-training sociable with his training partner Mitchell Culley and the two entered their name into a draw. Twenty-five names were selected for a grand prize of a pair of hockey tickets. They called the names and we were lucky enough to win. In addition to tickets in the upper bowl there are no bad seats, says Brockerville the pair received Canucks jerseys and a limo ride to and from the game. It wasnt his first NHL game hes seen live. SFU athletes are regular 50/50 draw ticket sellers at GM place and often get a chance to take in the second and third periods. As if the stars were aligned, the two games he took in were against teams with Newfoundland-born players the Detroit Red Wings with Riverhead, Harbour Grace native Dan Cleary and the San Jose Sharks with Fermeuse son Ryane Clowe. * * * * * If the H.J. Bartlett Storm doesnt have any more success at St. Pats ball park and Smallwood Field than they did in the 2008 St. Johns senior baseball league season, they can keep the same bunch together and put a decent team on the ice this fall. Last season, the teams starting centre fielder was Grant Kenny, a recent Herder winning forward with the Clarenville Caribous. He was joined by blueliner Murray Bavis of the Maritime junior hockey league Woodstock Slammer, and Steve Bailey of the St. Johns junior leagues Mount Pearl Blades. With this years additions, the Storm have built themselves an all-star squad. Joining the lineup are Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars all-star defenceman Mike Dyke and forward Chris Sparkes, the Caribous third string goalie in Garry Dowden and defenceman John Ball. And how many teams can count a former pro as a bench player? Only the Storm can with the addition of Terry Ryan for this season. Makes you realize if the Avalon East senior hockey league operated like the West Coast league, the Blades would have one helluva team.

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