Puck Daddy - NHL

The Chronicles of Stanley is an occasional series this summer that tracks the Pittsburgh Penguins as they each get their special alone time with the Stanley Cup. For more about the travels of the Chalice, visit the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup journal.

Mandatory standards for planning a Stanley Cup parade:

1. Securing a safe, viewer-friendly route on which to hold it.

2. Encouraging citizens to come out and celebrate a local hero.

3. Ensuring that said local hero, and said Stanley Cup, will actually be in attendance.

Eh, two out of three ain't bad, Stirling, Ontario.

That's Matt Cooke's(notes) hometown, and the Pittsburgh Penguins winger (and NHL policy wonk) had his day with the Cup last weekend. Stirling Mayor Peter Kooistra had been planning for a "big party" in honor of Cooke that included a "big parade."

Just assuming here, but is there a Jump To Conclusions mat in front of Stirling City Hall?

We ask because as these parade plans were being formulated, no one decided to tell Matt Cooke about them. Which has led to some awkwardness.

Matt Cooke brought the Stanley Cup to Belleville on Saturday, knowing that he'd get bigger crowds which meant bigger dollars for his family's charity. He said his time with the Cup in Belleville raised $5,000.

Meanwhile, he was getting filleted on local radio back in Stirling last week. Cooke told the Intelligencer that was unfortunate:

"It's unfortunate but the Stirling mayor (Peter Kooistra) made all these plans without ever talking to me," said Cooke. "I still haven't talked to him. I'm disappointed that people are getting the wrong impression about what happened.

"My wife (Michelle) and I made the decision to bring it to Bellevile because we only had three hours. Bringing it to Stirling for an hour-and- a-half then to Belleville for an hour-and-a-half it just wouldn't be enough time. I think it's more about the whole Quinte area. We're trying to establish some roots here for the foundation (Cooke family Foundation of Hope)."

Well, those mayoral debates in Stirling are probably going to be a hell of a lot more interesting. "How can you plan for our children's future when you can't even plan a a Stanley Cup parade, sir?!"

Meanwhile, Jay Heinbuck, the Penguins' Director of Amateur Scouting, got his day with the Stanley Cup, to the delight of the people in Mitchell (Ont.) and directors of amateur scouting everywhere.

This led to, alas, more feel-good schmaltz we're obligated to report:

Heinbuck made a quick stop at the Mitchell Nursing Home and at the Lions Pool, much to the delight of the residents and patrons at the pool, before continuing through town and stopping for the formal photo session at the arena ice pad.

"I've learned the times we've had it with our scouts shortly after we won it, that part of the pleasure for us is taking it somewhere unexpected and seeing people's reaction - it's a neat thing," he said.

"Those kind of things are special - it's a magical thing."

Also magical: These photos passed along by Puck Buddy Ryan B. that chronicle Jay's day with the Cup:

It's no Sidney using the Cup as a cuddle friend, but it'll do. Please tell us that little girl is really there and not a phantom of some sort.

What, were you expecting Mark Eaton jerseys? No one had the heart to tell them the Stanley Cup was actually in the backyard and that this was a birdbath.

Speaking of baths: Always keep your Stanley clean.

How sad that a year later, they're still trying to get the Draper Baby out of the bowl.

[Thanks to Seth at Empty Netters for the Cooke tip.]

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