July 1 is the day Canadians celebrate the birth of their country, proudly wave the Canadian flag, and parade about in their favorite red and white apparel. Canada Day eh!
There is a special hockey touch to celebrations this year. It has become a custom that members of the Stanley Cup winning team get individual possession of the Cup for 48 hours to create their own personal celebration.
Daniel Cleary, a member of the Stanley Cup winning Detroit Red Wings got his 48 hours with the Cup on June 30 and July 1, Canada Day, 2008. He took the Cup back to Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, on the east coast of Canada. Cleary is the first Newfoundlander to have his name engraved on the Cup.
“To win the Stanley Cup is a life-long dream that has now been fulfilled thanks in part to the overwhelming support I have received from my family, friends and the people of this province,” Cleary said in a news release.
“I am so proud of this accomplishment and grateful to all those who taught me along the way.”
Following the final game in the Stanley Cup finals, it seemed that every member of the Red Wings organization was interviewed. The most common question asked- was there someone special the person was sharing the Cup win with? Cleary was one of the very few who went beyond the standard “…my team mates, my family”. He also thanked his first hockey coach back in Harbour Grace, 72 year old Dick Power. Now that is special.
This was certainly a celebration of pride: the pride Cleary’s community has in his accomplishments, pride people show for Canada, and pride for Canada’s most loved game-hockey.
July 1, 2008 was a great day for Canada and hockey in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland.