It's all about the Ring

Ducks forward Corey Perry celebrates a second period goal against the Senators during Game 4 in...

Ducks forward Corey Perry celebrates a second period goal against the Senators during Game 4 in Ottawa Monday night. (Sun Media/Tony Caldwell)

EARL MCRAE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

The Ring. It's all about the Ring. The Cup is great, but the Cup is team, the Ring is personal, and you talk to the players who've won the Stanley Cup and they'll tell you the Ring, the Ring, gimme the Ring.

With the Ring they can do what they can't do with the Cup, they can eventually pass the ring down to someone in the family, the more Rings won, the more family members honoured.

But not if you're Dave Keon, the great Toronto Maple Leaf of days of yore.

Keon has four grown kids, exactly the right number for the four Stanley Cups he won with the Leafs of the early '60s, except one Ring doesn't divide equally into four kids. Four Cups but only one Ring for Dave Keon. It'd be nice, he agrees, if he had four Rings to pass along to his four kids, but the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't believe in splurging on Rings -- and those were the days when Rings didn't cost NHL clubs the $20,000 to $25,000 each it costs them today.

The Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Quacks have budgeted for player Rings, but should one or the other win two, three, or more Cups in a row, will they pay for new Rings each time or do what the Maple Disbelieves did and, says Dave Keon, always did historically.

"I've got one Ring for the four Stanley Cups," says Keon from his home in Florida. "The first one. The Ring had a silver maple leaf, my name, the year we won, and a quarter-carat diamond. We won again the next year, but had to turn the ring in. They made the diamond a half-carat, and added that year. The third year, same ring, but a three-quarter carat, added the year. The fourth year, a full-carat diamond, added the year."

What if you'd won a fifth year, Dave? "A full carat-and-a-quarter."

And on and on with the same-Ring Maple Leaves. The only guys who got new rings were the ones who hadn't been on a previous winner. "The quarter-carat," says Keon.

Dave Keon keeps his Ring in a safety deposit box at a bank. He never wears it. "It's real nice, not gaudy at all, but it's humongous. I'd have to carry my hand on my shoulder, it's so heavy."

Vincent Lecavalier could attest to that. When the Tampa Bay Lightning hotshot got his Rocket Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer the other night, he decided to wear his Ring. It is colossal. Almost concealed his other fingers. If he keeps wearing the sucker, he'll either have a great power wrist next season, or need a wrist transplant. The replica Ring he had made for his dad's finger is much smaller and more attractive.

The Maple Leaves stinginess wouldn't have happened had Dave Keon been with the Habs. It's true the Canadiens went through an affliction once of giving out turkeys, tie clips, cuff links, and even one year making the players arrange and buy their Rings, but at least, says Keon, the six Rings Henri Richard has for his 11 Stanley Cup victories are all different rings.

Stanley Cup-winning players expend more drool in anticipation of wearing the Ring than hoisting the Cup, but common sense is not always so common.

"Have you seen the size of some of those Super Bowl rings?" asks Keon.

They're not Rings, they're barbells. If the Sens win the Cup, they'd better worry. Owner Eugene Melnyk's a billionaire. The Rings could be the size of a beagle dog.

Dave, your Ring -- do you plan to give it to someone in the family one day?

"Yes."

Who?

"I'm not going to say."

I couldn't let No. 14, superstar, go without asking if he still puts on the skates.

"I did it a year ago and never again. It was a Boston Bruins alumni inter-squad game at Ft. Myers. I went out there and just stood around. All I did was try to get out of the way. I couldn't do anything. It took me two weeks to recover. I wasn't in shape."

He woulda been had he taken his Ring, attached it to one leg, then the other leg, one arm, then the other arm, and done lifts.


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