All Star Weekend – NHL Trophies Travel down Canal

What kind of dad picks his kids up early from school to go and see the Stanley Cup? Ummm… this one does.

It’s not as bad as it sounds, school was ending in 15 minutes anyway. 😉 It just seemed like a fun thing to do on a crisp, but not too cold, Thursday afternoon since the cup was in the neighbourhood.

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I read in the paper last night that the NHL All Star Weekend would kick off with a parade of NHL trophies down the Rideau Canal, including the most famous of all North American sporting trophies, the Stanley Cup. So I hit the office a little early this morning in order to make an escape in time for the afternoon event.

For me it was not that big of a deal to see the cup, I’ve seen it before at the Hockey Hall of fame years ago; and over the years I’ve lost a little of my passion for NHL hockey and the associated fanfare. That said, I thought it would be fun for the boys to see if for the first time, and it was a little exciting to see all the buzz around the event.

There was something kinda’ cool about seeing the cup and all the other famous hockey trophies being skated down the canal in old fashioned sleds by kids from local schools. It may have been just a tad corny in some way, but there was a certain nostalgic folksiness that made it fun.

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It was half-way between the school and our home, along the Laurier Bridge, where we caught a bird’s eye view before going over to the convention centre for a closer look.

As usual I fumbled with my camera and missed any great shots from the bridge. I also pooched the video clip for some reason, (but I’ll post a short clip anyway to share part of the experience).

After we left the bridge, on the way over to the convention centre, we were walking fairly quickly to catch up to the action when I had a classic wipe-out on an icy sidewalk. My feet slipped right out from under me and I slammed down hard on my right butt-check and my back. In mid-fall I noticed I had accidentally flung my iPhone in the air as my arms shot out over my head, the phone sailed over a railing and on to the canal; it was not too far from landing in the top of the Stanley Cup. Someone later handed it back to me with great amusement and I was pleasantly surprised it still worked (blogging from it now).

Of course several people noticed my none-to-graceful crash landing and asked if I was ok. As is always the case, I was fine, just a little embarrassed – part for the fall, and part for hollering a swear-word that rhymes with “puck” upon impact. (I felt and heard my spine adjust itself in about 10 different places, as if the ice was one giant chiropractor, and I did feel a tinge of whiplash, but I was not seriously hurt at all. Serves me right for hustling for a photo. The sidewalks are horrendous around town and along the canal they are even worse.

So it should be a fun weekend for the city. There are a lot of events planned. The canal was in perfect shape today but I hear it might get warmer tomorrow which could pose challenges for the planned competitions.

Anyway, the boys had a fun afternoon. Below are a few shots of the scene from the bridge and of the end of the journey with a crush of media during a photo-op, also included are shots of some impressive ice-sculptures.

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