The cup runneth over for family

SARAH GREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

WHITBY -- The Stanley Cup is more than hockey's touchstone to Fleming Mackell.

It's a family heirloom.

Mackell, 76, who spent the day with the cup yesterday, traced his finger over the trophy to find his name among the heroes of the 1949 and 1951 Maple Leafs teams.

The passing years have not faded his name nor the stone on his gold Stanley Cup ring -- a less "gaudy" piece than modern championship jewelry, he said.

A silver band near the top of the Cup also notes the Ottawa Senators won the championship in 1920 and 1921 -- the two seasons Mackell's father, Jack, played for the team.

'YOUNG ROOKIE'

"I was a young rookie. It was thrilling for sure. My aunt and my mother were at the final game," Mackell recalled yesterday.

"I only had dreams of playing in the league. Winning the Cup was a plus."

With no winning team this year because of the lockout, the NHL and Hockey Hall of Fame are taking the cup around the country this summer to visit old-time players from the Original Six teams.

"A lot of them have never had a picture with the cup or held the cup," said the Hall of Fame's Walter Neubrand. "When they won it, it was brought into the dressing room and whisked away."

PARALYZED FAN HONOURED

Family and friends gathered for pictures with the cup at the home of Mackell's daughter, Kathy Hutton.

Among them was Jamie Woods, 32, who was paralyzed from the chest down after an accident diving into the water four years ago.

Woods is a longtime Leafs fan who missed watching games on TV during last season's lockout.

"It was great -- nothing like I'd ever imagined," said Woods, who has not been able to visit the cup at the Hall of Fame. "It's a great honour to be up close and personal."

Kevin Highfield, a general contractor with ties to NHL alumni, arranged for Woods to see the cup after seeing what a "diehard hockey fan he was."


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