The Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup arrived in Kingston early Tuesday morning.
The holy grail of major junior hockey started its whirlwind tour of the Limestone City at the Kingston Military Community Sports Centre.
Mark Potter is a hockey historian and past president of the Original Hockey Hall of Fame and says starting to show the cup at the centre is the appropriate spot.
“It’s a military story, but it’s a hockey story as well. In 1919 after World War 1, Capt. James Sutherland from Kingston, it was his idea to start the Memorial Cup to be given to the best junior hockey team in the world,” said Potter.
“He was trying to honour the memory of two great Kingston hockey players, Scotty Davidson and George Richardson, who both sacrificed their lives overseas along with many others.”
The military history of the cup wasn’t lost on those that who had a chance to see the historic piece of hockey hardware in person.
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“It’s really cool to know that in the same city I study in and I work in and I live in that there’s such a historical presence as well as historical background that’s so much larger than Kingston,” said Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment Officer Cadet William Mallon.
“This spans all over the country.”
Potter shares that sense of history and pride with Mallon.
“You could really see that there’s great pride there and somewhat amazement at the story behind the trophy and for me, personally, it’s a great honour to share that story,” said Potter.
After the base, the cup was taken to Welbourne Avenue Public School where students and staff learned more about the championship cup and its Kingston roots.
“This history is really important to remember because again, it is not just a big prize, it is something that is born out of celebrating accomplishments and recognizing the contributions of people over many, many years.” said Alison Fraser, Welborne Avenue Public School principal.
The Memorial Cup was also put on public display in market square Tuesday evening.
The iconic Canadian trophy with a huge Kingston connection will leave later this week for Saint John, N.B., where junior hockey players will compete for the right to hoist the Memorial Cup and call themselves CHL champions.