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Cale Makar’s day with Stanley Cup a repeat of his own childhood experience

Click to play video: 'Calgary’s Cale Makar has his day with Stanley Cup' Calgary’s Cale Makar has his day with Stanley Cup
WATCH: The NHL's top defensemen and playoff MVP started his day with the Stanley Cup at the Crowchild Twin Arena where he played minor hockey. As Micahel King reports, Cale Makar says it was important for him to come back to the rink where his dream began – Aug 11, 2022

A sea of Colorado Avalanche and Northwest Warriors jerseys met Cale Makar as he arrived at the Crowchild Twin Arena Thursday morning.

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.

Read more: Stanley Cup continues Calgary tour following Bow River float, Children’s Hospital visit

“Makar is one of my favourite players,” Emerson Hiebert said while waiting in line.

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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.”

Click to play video: 'Avalanche forward Logan O’Connor spends day with Stanley Cup in Calgary' Avalanche forward Logan O’Connor spends day with Stanley Cup in Calgary
Avalanche forward Logan O’Connor spends day with Stanley Cup in Calgary – Aug 10, 2022

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.

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“It was so special as a kid, so I can only imagine what these kids are in for. It’s pretty exciting.”

Read more: ‘Can’t wait’: Stanley Cup parade for Nathan MacKinnon set for Aug. 20 in Halifax

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.

Click to play video: 'Conn Smythe winner Cale Makar takes Stanley Cup for a rip down Calgary’s Bow River' Conn Smythe winner Cale Makar takes Stanley Cup for a rip down Calgary’s Bow River
Conn Smythe winner Cale Makar takes Stanley Cup for a rip down Calgary’s Bow River – Aug 9, 2022

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.

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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.”

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