Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021

finger candy
Check out the shine! You win a Stanley Cup, you get a big hunk of diamonds and precious metal to adorn your hand:

Each ring has 138 diamonds - one for every point earned during the regular season and two for the 16 postseason victories. Each player’s ring has his name, jersey number and the postseason series victories with the opponent’s logo (4-3 over the Flames, 4-3 over the Flyers, 4-0 over the Canadiens and 4-1 over the Canadiens). Blue diamonds, a nod to the Lightning’s major color, make up the Stanley Cup on the ring. Those diamonds were sent to Israel to be “radiated” - or make them blue.

Each ring is valued at between $15,000 to $20,000. Players can also get toned-down versions of the ring for their family members.

Unfortunately, given the labor battle that’s currently wiping out this season, the ring-awarding ceremony wasn’t all it could have been:

“I don’t think we’ll ever forget the treatment the NHL has given our team in trying not to let this happen,” forward Tim Taylor said. “It was a joke. For this community not to share in this? I think it’s a slap in the face the NHL has given our fans because they should’ve been involved.

“This should have been at the Forum in front of 22,000 people as we walk up and get the rings and open it up and show the fans. I personally feel the NHL has taken some of that away from us.”

The NHL had concerns about the Lightning hosting an event for the players seeing as how owners and players are in the middle of an ugly labor dispute that threatens the season. Frank Brown, the NHL’s vice president/media relations, said the league wasn’t trying to stop the event but had concerns “about the level of participation of the organization in any type of ceremony.”

Finally, the Lightning received permission from the NHL to invite the players to the Times Forum to pick up the rings. But only 15 players, including several no longer with the Lightning such as Jassen Cullimore, Ben Clymer and Cory Stillman, could attend. Several key players, including Martin St. Louis, Nikolai Khabibulin and Vinny Lecavalier, did not attend. There was no pomp and circumstance and no Stanley Cup.

Lightning players wanted the Cup at Tuesday’s lunch, but it was booked to appear in Minnesota. That led Taylor, the Lightning’s player representative to the union, to take a shot at commissioner Gary Bettman.

“I think the little guy at the NHL who is running this thing … it’s a joke what he has made this day into,” Taylor said. “I wouldn’t be surprised after this thing is over that we play for some other trophy other than the Stanley Cup. I really don’t think he cares too much about the Stanley Cup.”

A little harsh? Yeah. I can understand the NHL’s reluctance. Still, despite the lockout, I don’t see what there was to gain in underplaying what should have been a ceremony celebrating recent memories. Was there a fear of looking soft toward the players? Would a flashier event have brought unwelcomed media attention toward the lack of active progress in negotiations? Frankly, it strikes me as yet another public relations/marketing blunder by a league that’s made far too many over the years to count.

I doubt I would have attended any public ceremony. But it would have been nice to see it, if only as a reminder that hockey used to be played in these parts.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/17/2004 08:04:00 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink |

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  1. Rinknotes Lockout Edition
    John Plamer, The Econoclast, has some interesting speculation on just how long the players can afford to hold out in

    Trackback by Off Wing Opinion — 11/19/2004 @ 08:40:54 AM

  2. […] rings with cubic zirconia stones. I guess if you want a quality sports championship ring, you need to win a Stanley Cup. - Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/22/200 […]

    Pingback by Population Statistic — 12/22/2004 @ 11:05:56 PM

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