Riding Lord Stanley's coattails

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Cam Ward went bowling with it, Ray Whitney flew it to his golf course in Victoria and Doug Weight was reduced to tears by it.

"I've seen grown men cry many times," said Mike Bolt yesterday. Bolt is one of two full-time Stanley Cup keepers.

"Doug Weight was teary eyed saying goodbye at the end of his day but as I said to him, 'what better incentive to go out and win it again.' "

On the tail end of another long summer of Cup celebrations, Bolt was in town yesterday to help Calgary's Craig Adams cart the Cup around.

"I don't sleep very much with this job," said Bolt, 37, figuring he's had about nine hours of shut eye since bringing it out west this week for players like Ward, Whitney, Mike Commodore and Andrew Ladd.

"It's a small price to pay for how hard these guys work to get it. My favourite part of the job is watching people's reactions."

The only two strict rules prohibit the Cup from going to strip clubs or casinos. Bolt says most players work hard to ensure their 24 hours with the prize involve keeping it safe and being respectful.

For example, he insists only players and their closest friends and family "have earned the right" to hoist it aloft or fill it with beer or champagne.

"I rarely have to tell guys to tone it down," said Bolt, pointing out Phil Bourque admits he used poor judgment when electing to throw it into Mario Lemieux's pool years back.

"Stanley doesn't enjoy chlorine or being trapped at the bottom of a pool. He's silver and soft and is 114 years old, so he's fragile."

The Cup's fragility was apparent after Carolina's Game 7 win when the top bowl required repairs after being cracked when a trainer mistakenly dropped the weighty mug.

Bolt took the Cup from Adams at 4 a.m. this morning to board a plane for Michigan where the last player on the 'Canes to celebrate with the Cup will be Andrew Hutchinson.

"It leads a better life than most people -- it's the biggest star in hockey," said Bolt.

"He only hangs with winners ... and I get to ride its coattails."


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