Cup runneth all over

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

One day.

Dedicate your life to winning the Stanley Cup and, if successful, you get just one day to celebrate with arguably the most famous trophy in sport. But how to spend that day?

That's what Carolina Hurricanes forward Craig Adams had to figure out yesterday when he brought the prize trophy home to Calgary.

"If you could do only one thing with the Cup it would be to spend time with friends and family who can enjoy it with you," said the 29-year-old.

"We asked 'what are some fun things to do that can bring it into as many other peoples' lives as you can, even if it's for one minute?' "

Here's what he came up with:

10-11:45 A.M. -- ALBERTA CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL

Blinded by a brain stem tumour, 15-year-old Matthew Grace will never forget running his fingers over the 2,220 names engraved on one of the world's most coveted trophies.

Bouncing back from two bone marrow transplants as part of his latest 43-day stint in the oncology unit, 11-year-old Davis Weisner put on his Flames jersey and reads the names of those Adams cheered for when his hometown heroes won the Cup in 1989.

As another boy sits next to Adams, a nurse gasps: "That's the first time he's smiled in three months."

After going room-to-room, brightening the lives of brave little souls whose humble dreams include going outside to play with friends, Adams enters the playroom where kids amble over with their IV poles to pose for photos. While staff and patients from around the hospital drop in to gawk at the Cup, six-year-old Zain Dhanani is clearly not as impressed as his father.

"I like the Oilers better," Dhanani tells Adams while his father hugs and kisses the mug.

"The Cup never fails to bring a smile to my face so I hoped it could bring a smile to those kids' faces," said Adams, the only Brunei-born player to win the Cup.

"They are in need of it and they definitely deserve it."

11:45-11:50 A.M. -- TIM HORTON'S DRIVE-THRU

For a double-double -- how perfectly Canadian.

NOON-2 P.M. -- ROAD HOCKEY AT LAKE BONAVISTA

Inviting two-dozen of his closest friends to gather at the place he started playing hockey, Adams straps on the goalie pads while sticks are thrown in the middle to divvy up teams.

While close to 1,000 locals watch as they line up to get photos with the Cup, the boys play an intense best-of-three series for the trophy as they've done hundreds of times before, if only in their dreams. Wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey and no mask, Adams earns the nickname 'Gump'(Worsley) in a heroic effort that sees his team win two close games for the championship. He later ranks the win up there with his first Cup win over the Oilers this spring.

Craig's brother Gareth, who flew the better part of 24 hours to arrive just in time from Perth, Australia, emerges as the MVP, scoring both game-winners in a two-game sweep for the Cup.

"I did something Craig didn't do -- I scored a game-winner for the Cup," laughed Gareth, 31, while two teammates light up smokes.

"Winners stick around for the photo," screams Adams, "losers ... do whatever you want."

4:15-5 P.M. -- MAX BELL CENTRE

After some quiet time with family, Adams and several former teammates return to the rink in which his Calgary Canucks played en route to the 1995 Centennial Cup. In an effort to thank coach Don Phelps for his efforts, plenty of photos are taken while they swap stories with Phelps.

5:30-10:30 P.M. -- THE RANCHE RESTAURANT

Celebrating with his family, wife Anne and her parents -- her father is former U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci -- Adams hosts a private bbq-style gathering for his dearest friends.

10:30 P.M.-???? -- CEILI'S AND COWBOYS

What happens at the bar, stays at the bar.


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