In its story about the Stanley Cup visiting Duluth yesterday, the Duluth News Tribune unintentionally gives us pause to think how much more excited we might be to go to work today if we had the gig Walt Neubrand has.
Neubrand is a Cup Keeper, one of three people whose job it is to shadow the Stanley Cup in the offseason when each player and team official gets to spend a day with it.
“When you are traveling to a player’s place, the food that tends to be served a lot are foods that aren’t the healthiest,” Neubrand told an LA Kings writer last year. “When you are eating them for seven to 10 days in a row, it’s not good.”
Yep, rough life, indeed.
In the News Tribune, Neubrand dishes the dirt.
A few years ago, “Dominik Hasek threw it in a pool. And then we took it away from him,” said Walt Neubrand, one of three guards assigned to the cup by its caretakers, the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Hasek, who had just won the cup with the Detroit Red Wings, was about the best goalie on Earth at the time, “but nobody is above the cup,” Neubrand said. “It was disrespectful. So he lost half his day with the cup … I asked him if he got to spend a day with the Pope if he’d throw him in the pool.”
Neubrand has been in Duluth several occasions with the cup. He was here when former Bulldog Brett Hull brought it to town. Cloquet native Jamie Langenbrunner had it at his cabin in Moose Lake, Neubrand recalled. Neurband said he remembers Cloquet native Derek Plante placing the cup on a tube and towing it behind a boat.
The cup was in upstate New York Wednesday morning before flying by chartered plane to Duluth. The plane was so small they had to disassemble the cup’s protective case to get it inside, Neubrand said.
Thursday, the cup goes to Chicago. Neubrand was nearing the end of a week-long stint with the cup and a half-dozen Blackhawks, then another guard will take over.
“It’s not a bad summer job,” said Neubrand, who is a teacher in Hamilton, Ontario when he’s not guarding the trophy. “I like being with guys like Norm and the older players best. They have a sense of history and reverence. They aren’t as wild. Some of the young guys are just crazy … There’s a lot of alcohol involved. A lot of late nights.”
Norm Maciver, assistant general manager of the 2015 NHL champion Chicago Blackhawks, brought the cup to Duluth for the day. He’s a University of Minnesota Duluth native.