August 03, 2009
Jealousy is usually an unfortunate human trait, but there should be some sort of cosmic dispensation for the rest of mankind upon hearing the story of Ryan Kraft, aka the guy who crashed the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup celebration after Game 7 in Detroit.
The 32-year-old salesman, a former hockey star at Centerville High School in Washington Twp., Ohio, told his tale to the Dayton Daily News over the weekend, and it's a doozy: Sneaking onto the ice at Joe Louis Arena after the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings, getting back into the locker room with the Cup and even getting an autographed champagne bottle from Mario Lemieux.
From the Daily News, here's how Kraft maneuvered down from the stands to the ice, in his own words:
"So I go over in position where a family member might be, and after about 15 minutes, (defenseman) Philippe Boucher(notes) skates over and points to the guy in front of me. When that guy raises his hand, I raise mine. The security guard sees both of us, opens the door and everyone just assumes I'm a relative.
"Once on the ice, it's open season. I have access to the tunnel back to the locker room and it's just a big celebration - players everywhere, hanging out, playing music and spraying champagne.
"A couple players pick me up and swing me around. I'm spraying a bottle of champagne. Amazing."
Amazing doesn't do it justice. Check out the full photo gallery of Ryan Kraft's adventures with the Penguins and the Stanley Cup, including a suspicious Sergei Gonchar; a shirtless Rob Scuderi; and just in case you were worried about not feeling an intense, searing jealousy of the dude, Kraft hoisting the Stanley Cup in the Penguins' locker room. We're in awe of this guy; this is like something out of a candy bar commercial. Or, at the very least, a special section in next season's NHL security manual.