When news broke of the Stanley Cup being dented, speculation immediately started surrounding the nature of the damage. Many cited careless partying and drinking, and even a potential encore of the Buccaneers’ throwing their championship trophy, as possible culprits.
Well, it apparently was something far less devious. The Cup was dented by Lightning forward Pat Maroon, who accidentally fell.
“It was obviously raining and it was wet,” Maroon told the Tampa Bay Times. “I went to lift it, and I went backwards with it. I slipped and [Cup keeper] Phil [Pritchard] helped me up and the Cup went back on its end.”
Maroon is quite familiar with the Stanley Cup. The 33-year-old is the fourth player in NHL history to win three consecutive titles with two different franchises – he won in 2019 with the Blues and the past two years with the Lightning. And he wants fans to know there was no disrespect intended.
“People are saying we disrespected the Cup. That is such BS because if they had half a brain, you know it’s wet outside and you’d think we’d be throwing the Cup around? No,” Maroon said. “We didn’t disrespect it. It was a complete accident, and we both got hurt. My back has been hurt all day. So, that’s what happened. Nothing crazy.”
The Stanley Cup was sent back to Montreal – the Lightning coincidentally defeated the Canadiens in five games to secure their second consecutive championship – and has since been returned looking as good as new.
The damaged Cup was not the original bowl – which was retired in 1970 – and rests in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The dented Cup is the “Presentation Cup” with the “Replica Cup” ready in Toronto if the traveling one is rendered irreparable.
“I’m sure there’s way worse things that have happened to the Cup besides me falling,” Maroon said. “They said it’s an easy fix. It wasn’t even that bad. The picture made it look like it was dented that bad. It wasn’t.”