When we last left Scooby and the Gang, the puck that Patrick Kane put past Michael Leighton to win the 2010 Stanley Cup for the Chicago Blackhawks was still wanted by the team, by Harry Caray's Restaurant Group CEO Grant DePorter, who put a $50,000 reward out for its safe return, and Chicago FBI members volunteering their time.
The only lead that's been consistent in the year-long search is that linesman Steve Miller was the last person to have touched the puck.
First documented by Philadelphia sports blog Crossing Broad, then in an ESPN report by Wayne Drehs in April, video from numerous broadcast angles of Game 6 showed Miller digging the puck out of the corner of the Philadelphia Flyers' goal while the play was under review and as the Blackhawks began their celebrations.
When Drehs confronted Miller during the season about the the whereabouts of the puck, including showing him photographic evidence, Miller told him on separate occasions that he never touched the puck.
Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune published evidence that clearly shows otherwise.
Tribune photographer Brian Cassella snapped these shots clearly showing Miller take the puck from the net and skate away amidst the confusion. (You can watch a time-lapse video here of all of Cassella's photos taken during that timeframe.)
When reached for comment, Miller told the Tribune, "I pick up a thousand pucks a year. You can ask me what I did with a puck 10 minutes ago. I can't remember every single thing I do with a puck."
After the ESPN story published on April 21, Miller was temporarily removed from working the NHL playoffs to avoid any distraction. He was put back into rotation at the start of Round 2.
In the aftermath of the spotlight on the story, the Hockey Hall of Fame is getting involved saying Wednesday that the NHL should implement a procedure to securing historic pucks during games.
We may never know what happened to Kane's winning puck and Miller may never remember exactly what he did with it during those chaotic moments at the end of Game 6. But the story won't go away anytime soon, not with the significant meaning of the puck to the city of Chicago or the year-long coverage of its disappearance.
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Steve Miller