Our long national nightmare is over: Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils actually did have the Los Angeles Kings' puck from Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, solving the mystery of where this piece of hockey history had ended up.
So we're all up to speed: The Kings said they were not in possession of the game puck after winning the Stanley Cup over the Devils at Staples Center on June 11. Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider broke down game footage and discovered what appeared to be Elias picking up the puck during the Kings' celebration.
Did he keep the puck? Toss it to a fan? Hand it to veteran goalie Marty Brodeur as a keepsake?
On Wednesday, Elias finally addressed the accusations: Yes, indeed, he picked up the puck. But he didn't toss it in the stands or to his goalie; in fact, he couldn't recall what he did with it.
"I grabbed it when the whistle blew. I had it in front of me and I picked it up with my stick. I went over to Marty [Brodeur] and then I sat on the bench and I think I left it there," Elias told the Star-Ledger.
Elias vowed to double-check his equipment bag to see if the puck had ended up there. And wouldn't you know it, that's exactly where it was!
Michael Altieri, the Kings' vice president of communication, reports that the Kings got a call, letting them know that they puck would be returned. Elias, according to the Devils, returned from vacation, went to the rink, checked his equipment bag and found the puck.
Altieri said the Kings will make a donation to Elias' favored charity and they will get the puck. [A voluntary donation, it should be noted.]
The puck has been identified as the correct one, so there are no shenanigans going on. It is amazing, though, how a little public embarrassment can turn things around.
Still doesn't explain how the puck ended up there, but hey, all's well.