By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
MIDDLETOWN TWP., N.J. — Mike Haviland spent a good portion of his childhood playing hockey with his two brothers. Naturally, they’d always play for the Stanley Cup.
Fast forward three decades to a sunny Sunday afternoon on the New Jersey shore. There was Mike Haviland, now 43 years old, sharing hockey’s Holy Grail with family, friends and neighbors in celebration of the Middletown native’s big day with the Stanley Cup.
“It’s so surreal,” said Haviland, an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks. “I never thought it’d be this overwhelming … just the outpour of people. It has been crazy. Maybe I didn’t understand the magnitude of New Jersey, but the people here are hockey fans. It’s amazing to see.”
Haviland first received the Cup at 8 a.m. at his home in Sea Girt, N.J. His three children, ranging from ages 7 to 11, took turns bringing it into their rooms and taking pictures with it. Haviland also took dozens of photos with family and friends on his lawn before heading out for his big day.