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Hickok SportsThoughts

Sports historian and author Ralph Hickok of www.hickoksports.com sometimes meanders on about current happenings in sports and sometimes looks back in languor.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Whose Cup Is It, Anyway?

With the NHL shut down, the Stanley Cup will not be awarded this year.
Or will it?
Some Canadian hockey fans want to see a Stanley Cup playoff without the National Hockey League. After all, they point out, the Stanley Cup was there before the NHL and it was originally supposed to go to Canada's best amateur hockey team.
They certainly have history on their side. Whether the law is also on their side is another and more difficult question that can be decided only by Canadian court system.
And evidently there will be a decision, one way or the other. The Ontario Superior Court has scheduled a hearing on the issue for July 18. Tim Gilbert, the lawyer handling the claim for a group called the Wednesday Nighters, hopes to get that moved into May.
Gilbert wants the court order stating that the NHL does not own the Stanley Cup, that the cup is being held in trust for the benefit of hockey, and that the trustees are obligated to award the Cup every year.
The Wednesday Nighters, a group of amateur hockey players, don't have a plan for awarding the cup if their suit succeeds. They're willing to leave that up to the trustees.
Others have suggestions, though. One is that there should be a round-robin competition among the winners of the Allan Cup, Memorial Cup, and University Cup.
Adrienne Clarkson, Lord Stanley's most recent successor as governor general of Canada, suggested way back in February that the cup should be given to a women's team, for a change.
Here are websites of two organizations that will keep you updated about the court case:
The Wednesday Nighters
Free Stanley