The Chronicles of Stanley is an occasional series this summer that tracks the Los Angeles Kings as they each get their special alone time with the Stanley Cup.
Willie Mitchell @keeperofthecup
Images like the one above are actually pretty standard takeaways from any hockey player's day with the Cup. At some point during the day, they go to a hilltop, rooftop, lake, or mountainside -- the most sublime place near where they grew up, typically -- and they hoist the Cup and pose for a picture. It's a trope.
But that doesn't make it any less breathtaking when you see a photo like this one, with Willie Mitchell holding the Cup high atop Vancouver Island's Mount Waddington.
The photo is taken from a camera mounted on a helicopter, to celebrate what Mitchell called his "top of the world achievement."
Sunday was Mitchell's day with the Cup, and he didn't just take it to the top of a mountain by himself. He also shared it with the community in his hometown of Port McNeill at the The Port McNeill Regional Arena. From the Vancouver Sun:
"I told you it was coming and it's here," Mitchell told the thousands of people who gathered to see it, referring to a speech he made just after he helped the L.A. Kings win game six of the championship series versus the New Jersey Devils.
"This is a real special day for me and my family," the 35-year-old defenceman said, fighting back tears as he talked about the hours he spent practising at the arena.
It was a special day for everyone. As Mitchell explains, Port McNeill is a town of 2,500 people, and when you're that small, the whole town is a family:
But there were some extended family there as well; 6,000 people came to see the Cup in Port McNeill.
It makes sense that it might draw a larger crowd. As Glenn Moore, the city's vice president of minor hockey, said, it was "probably the biggest thing since indoor plumbing."
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