DULUTH, Ga. – The Gwinnett Gladiators announced that the Stanley Cup will be at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Friday when the Gladiators host Augusta. The Stanley Cup will be on public display from 7 p.m. until the second intermission.
The Stanley Cup appearance was arranged by the Atlanta Thrashers, who brought the historic trophy to Georgia as part of the festivities surrounding the first international Friendship Cup, being held at the IceForum in Duluth. Gwinnett is the ECHL affiliate of the Thrashers. The Friendship Cup is a youth hockey tournament which encourages camaraderie among the teams participating from Atlanta, Florida, Canada and Russia.
Alaska’s Scott Gomez has his name on the Stanley Cup twice, helping New Jersey win the NHL title as a rookie in 1999-2000 and again in 2002-03.
The oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America, the Stanley Cup was donated by Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of the Earl of Derby, in 1893. Lord Stanley purchased the trophy for 10 guineas ($50 at that time) for presentation to amateur hockey champions of Canada. Since 1910, when the National Hockey League took possession of the Stanley Cup, the trophy has been the symbol of professional hockey supremacy. It has been competed for only by NHL teams since 1926-27 and has been under the exclusive control of the NHL since 1947.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.
The three players are the most ECHL representatives, surpassing 2001 when David Aebischer and Pratt helped Colorado win the title, and brings the total number of ECHL alumni on the Stanley Cup to nine. Pratt becomes the first ECHL player to have his name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup, earning the honor for the first time in 2001. The previous alumni whose names are on the Stanley Cup are Corey Schwab (New Jersey – 2003), Manny Legace (Detroit – 2002), Aebischer and Pratt (Colorado – 2001), Krzysztof Oliwa (New Jersey – 2000) and Kevin Dean (New Jersey – 1995).