Makar’s visit to his childhood arena marked part of his day with the Stanley Cup in Calgary.
“I was hoping we got some change of jersey colors here, which is great,” the Avs player said.
The line-up to see the NHL’s top trophy along with the 2022 Norris and Conn Smythe winner went down the block.
“Makar is one of my favourite players,” Emerson Hiebert said while waiting in line.
Despite cheering for teams other than the Avalanche, Koby Sletton was also waiting to see the Stanley Cup champion.
“I really like Cale Makar because he lives in Silver Springs and he made it to the NHL,” Sletton said. “I watch him when he’s playing my teams. And I cheer for just him, not (the Avalanche), because I like different teams.”
Given the opportunity, Sletton would like to ask: “What was it like playing for the Northwest Warriors growing up?”
“You can’t get better than Crowchild,” Makar said. “I feel like Crowchild’s had such a good pipeline of so many players, like (Dillon) Heatherington, (Matt) Dumba. The list goes on and on where guys are playing NCAA or professionally, and it’s awesome.”
Makar was excited to see the kids’ reactions to seeing the Stanley Cup in person at the rink he grew up in. It’s the same rink he was inspired by when Dumba brought the Ivan Hlinka Cup – now called the Hlinka Gretzky Cup – to the arena in Calgary’s northwest.
“It was so special as a kid, so I can only imagine what these kids are in for. It’s pretty exciting.”
Roy Moore, director of Crowchild Twin Arena, said Makar’s visit with the Stanley Cup was the biggest event at the arena he’s seen in his 33-year tenure.
“I spoke to John Helfrich, our manager. He was in at 6:30 a.m. and the first person lined up at 6:20 a.m. He couldn’t believe it,” Moore said.
“We’re very happy with the turnout this year and for Cale’s sake, as well, to see the support that he’s getting for his accomplishments.”
Gary Makar, Cale’s father, said it was “surreal” to see the sheer number of Makar Avalanche jerseys in one place.
Makar’s day with the Stanley Cup continues the tradition of winning team players each having a day with the silver and nickel alloy trophy. Wednesday, Avs winger Logan O’Connor and the NHL’s top prize made public appearances at the Flames Community Arena and O’Connor’s family Beltline clothing store.
On Tuesday, Makar and O’Connor made a splash in the city, hoisting the cup on the Bow River, before visiting the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
“(The Alberta Children’s Hospital visit) was the first thing that we – O’Connor and I – knew was a necessity that we wanted to get done,” Makar said. “I think the Bow was a little bit extra for us.”