No matter how the Stanley Cup final plays out, the most recognizable trophy in professional sports will be making a trip to Germany.
It’s going have a few other stops to make in Europe, too.
There is a global feel to a Boston Bruins-Vancouver Canucks final that features players from eight countries. Actually, there will be 10 nationalities represented if you count the black aces—Vancouver is carrying Russian forward Sergei Shirokov while Boston’s third goalie, Anton Khudobin, is a native of Kazakhstan.
Just three years ago, Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings became the first European to captain a team to the Stanley Cup. The next man to do it will be either Boston’s Zdeno Chara or Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.
In addition to Canadians, Americans and Swedes, the Canucks also have a Dane (Jannik Hansen) and a Finn (Sami Salo). The Bruins carry two Czechs (David Krejci/Tomas Kaberle) and a Slovak (Chara).
There were only nine Germans to appear in at least one NHL game this season, but two of them will be in the final. Vancouver’s Christian Ehrhoff is vying for a chance to bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Moers this summer while Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg hopes the party will instead be 500 kilometres away in his birthplace of Schwenningen.
One of the great Stanley Cup traditions sees every player from the winning team spend one day with the trophy. Last summer, members of the Chicago Blackhawks took the Stanley Cup all over North America and overseas to Slovakia, France, Sweden and Finland.
If Boston ends up beating Vancouver this year, the trophy will visit players in every Canadian province but Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Michael Ryder is vying to become the second player from Newfoundland and Labrador to lift the trophy after Detroit’s Daniel Cleary first accomplished the feat in 2008.
The Bruins and Canucks are each currently carrying 17 Canadians on their expanded playoff rosters.
For some impartial observers of the championship series, the hometown of players can provide a rooting interest. Phoenix Coyotes tough guy Paul Bissonnette drew the ire of many Canucks fans on Twitter when he announced Tuesday night the he’d like to see Boston prevail in the final.
“Hope the Bruins win the cup,” he wrote. “Not cause i dont like Van, but cause Dan Paille is from my hometown and would b cool if Welland (Ont.) got it 4 a day.”