Davidson’s Brayden McNabb brings Stanley Cup to hometown crowd

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Brayden McNabb brings Stanley Cup visit to hometown of Davidson
WATCH: The community of Davidson came out in droves on Aug. 2, 2023 celebrating Vegas Golden Knights defenceman and Stanley Cup champion Brayden McNabb – Aug 3, 2023

A hero’s welcome greeted Brayden McNabb, walking into the AGT Centre in Davidson, Sask., and returning to the community that helped him become a Stanley Cup champion.

“I’ve spent many hours in this rink playing hockey, watching hockey,” McNabb said in his speech to the packed arena Wednesday. “Honestly, bringing the Cup here is a dream come true.”

Hundreds turned out to celebrate the Vegas Golden Knights defenceman with a parade and reception in the town and rink where he laced up his skates as a child.

As McNabb spent hours taking photos with those who helped him along his path to the Stanley Cup.

“They wanted to see me play,” said McNabb. “They always wanted me to do well. I consider myself very lucky to be from a small town like this.”

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McNabb won his first career Stanley Cup in June with the Golden Knights, defeating the Florida Panthers in five games to help the expansion franchise sit on top of the NHL six years after being selected by Vegas in the expansion draft.

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Saskatoon top prospects eagerly anticipating 2023 NHL Draft

It was a special day to celebrate with family as well, as the entire first row was reserved for those closest to McNabb over the course of his hockey journey.

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His mother Jeannine was front and centre for the festivities.

“The community has supported him from Day 1,” Jeannine said. “They’ve been great, they ask about him, they always come up to me and say how proud they are of him. I think they’re as proud of him as a hockey player as they are the man.”

Wednesday’s celebration wasn’t the first time that McNabb touched Lord Stanley’s Cup, however, as he was in attendance for Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Cory Sarich’s day with the Stanley Cup in 2004 and one day dreamed of doing the same.

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“That was a day I’ve never forgot and always wished I could bring it back here and do this,” McNabb said. “I’m here today doing it and I couldn’t imagine it any better. I’m happy to be here with the Cup and I hope I can inspire another younger kid to want to do this one day too.”

Of the hundreds of Golden Knights jerseys, flags and T-shirts scattered throughout the arena, many belonged to kids who were in the same position McNabb was close to 20 years ago — kids that one day dream of raising the Stanley Cup above their heads, just as McNabb did walking into the AGT Centre.

“Holy crap, I’ve never seen that (before),” said nine-year-old Arie Baan. “I’ve never met an NHL player to be honest in my life.”

McNabb was the third Saskatchewan-born player to have their day with the Cup as Saskatoon’s Chandler Stephenson spent a day on the water at Emma Lake with the trophy, while Brayden Pachal paraded the Cup through the streets of Estevan earlier in the week.

“What the Stanley Cup means to a lot of people is very special,” McNabb said. “Being in that parade, seeing everyone, seeing how many people are here, it’s special to me and my family.”

It’s been a whirlwind few months for McNabb as he not only won his first career Stanley Cup, but also celebrated the birth of his son during the opening round of Vegas’s playoff run against the Winnipeg Jets.

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While winning the Stanley Cup was the culmination of his professional career, it’s the new addition to the family that McNabb celebrated the most in his hometown.

“He’s too young to remember this but he’s the real trophy,” McNabb said.

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