March 06, 2010
The scene at Canada Hockey Place last Sunday that inspired another Puck Daddy Photoshop contest also was the setting for the beginnings of a historical treasure hunt. In the aftermath of Sidney Crosby's(notes) gold medal winning goal against the United States, the Pittsburgh Penguins star threw his gloves and stick into the air as his Team Canada teammates mobbed him to celebrate. When the party on ice died down, every player except Crosby got every piece of equipment back.
One of Crosby's gloves and his mouthpiece were the only things recovered after the game and Vancouver police are currently searching for the now historic stick along with one of his gloves. Hockey Canada officials also viewed game video and checked various photos to try and track down clues as to the whereabouts of the now-famous artifacts.
Enter Reebok, Crosby's equipment sponsor. To help Hockey Canada recover the stick and glove, a "no questions asked" $10,000 reward is out there (it's a trap!) for anyone who returns the items. Gear of that magnitude would obviously draw plenty of interest, which is why you won't find any of it on eBay or up for bid at an auction house. Scott Salmond, the director of the men's national team for Hockey Canada, told the Globe & Mail he believes someone who entered the ice between the celebration and medal ceremony is the culprit:
"What happened in that case was a little out of whack,” Salmond explained. “On the ice, the doors where the Zamboni was were opened and people came out for the closing ceremonies right away. We've gone through the videos and photos and we can see volunteers pushing equipment away."
"The difference with that goal is that not many were watching it. They were busy celebrating it,” Salmond deduced. “During that whole scene, it seems someone was able to grab a glove and stick. We're hoping someone returns it because they can't do anything with it. You can't even tell your friends you have it."
Once the full set of gear is recovered, Crosby can decide whether to add it to his growing mantle in the basement of Mario Lemieux's house or donate the items to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Game-used sports memorabilia is a booming business and when an item is not only that of Crosby's - which is an expensive market of its own - but also a Canadian historical artifact, it could legitimately go for much, much more than the $10,000 Reebok has offered. Brian Ehrenworth of the memorabilia company Frameworth said he'd pay at least $50,000 for it, but because the stick is stolen property, "it's worth zero".