Jul 8, 2012 / 2:20 pm
There are many unique traditions surrounding the Stanley Cup. For one, it's the only trophy from North America's four major professional leagues which is handed to the winning team's captain first, and not the owner, as is the case with the NFL, NBA and MLB.
Perhaps the most popular one among fans however, is the tradition of allowing every member of the winning team to spend the day with cup.
This has allowed Lord Stanley's mug to be paraded and celebrated virtually everywhere in the world.
And that's why hockey's Holy Grail made its way into Kelowna Sunday afternoon via Slovakia and Russia.
Kim Dillabaugh is in his sixth season with the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings and oversees Goaltender Development.
In 2004, he joined Kelowna in the dual role of Goaltending/Assistant Coach, winning a Memorial Cup with the team that season.
Since then, he has remained a member of the Rockets organization and decided to spend his day with the cup in Kelowna, before heading back to LA on Monday.
"To be rewarded by winning one of the most prestigious trophies in sports, it's pretty special so I'm soaking it all in," says Dillabaugh.
With Kings goalie Jonathon Quick playing such a key role in winning the cup, Dillabaugh could be forgiven for feeling proud, but he downplays his involvement.
"To play a small role and be a part of that and watch him evolve over the years has been pretty special."
The chance to get up close and personal with the cup was special to the many hockey fans who stood in line in the hot sunshine to get their picture taken.
For Alan Wright, his three sons, Ian, Kyle, and Logan, and his father Trevor, it was a special experience, linking three generations of hockey fans with a moment to remember.
"We're hockey fans and we love watching the game no matter who wins the cup, so a chance to see the cup in Kelowna is one thing we didn't want to miss," says Wright.
"I grew up playing minor hockey in Kelowna, my eldest, Ian is starting to play hockey and we play road hockey together. It's a game that is part of our lives so coming here to see the cup is one more part of it."
Shirley Edwards also took time to see the cup, although she was one of the few people in attendance to admit that her favourite team won.
"26 years I've been a season ticket holder of the Kings. I live in Los Angeles and I'm here on vacation and to find the cup here, is like wow! Look what I found on vacation."
Edwards, is originally from Halifax, but never stopped being a hockey fan when she moved to California. She admits she was surprised the Kings went all the way.
"It was an amazing run. I mean I was saying to everybody, 'They're trying not to get into the playoffs again,' but once they got in an got a hold of the Vancouver Canucks, it was like OK, we've got a chance."
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