*This is the fourth feature of a special multi-part LAKings.com content series featuring various members of the Kings organization as the Stanley Cup makes its way around the world throughout the summer.*
Being the most senior member on the LA Kings team who had yet to win a Stanley Cup, it was only fitting that he received it first from captain Dustin Brown following the 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 against the New York Rangers.
The Kings’ 2014 Championship marked the end of Robyn Regehr’s 15-year NHL quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup, and the moment he took the trophy into his hands was wrought with emotion, and rightfully so.
After sustaining an injury in Game 1 of the semifinal series with the Anaheim Ducks that kept him out the rest of the playoffs, Regehr was on the ice for the celebration with his teammates while more than a dozen of his family members cheered from the stands.
“It was quite an emotional moment because it was a long time in getting that opportunity,” said the 34-year-old.
He had an inkling that he might be near the top of the food chain when he overheard Brown in conversation with other teammates about what the hand-off order should be, just prior to the Cup presentation.
“I almost started crying just after it happened, but you just try to hold it together and enjoy the moment,” Regehr confessed.
Regehr had narrowly missed winning it all in 2004 with the Calgary Flames, but they literally came up one goal short in a seven-game series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“After getting that close and falling short, it made it that much sweeter when it did happen,” Regehr admitted.
Well-prepared for his time with the Cup, Regehr and his family met the Cup at the airport in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the afternoon on Monday, August 4. With them, was a special guest named Mike, a patient of Regehr’s aunt, who is a nurse in Saskatoon.
Mike, 40, is a former hockey player who, years ago, took a hit while playing and broke his neck, which rendered him a quadriplegic. One of Mike’s dreams was to get to see the Stanley Cup, a dream he realized courtesy of Regehr.
“[My aunt and uncle] organized it for Mike to meet us out there when the Cup showed up and he was out there with his mom and dad, and I had a chance to take some pictures with him,” recounted Regehr, who spent about 15 minutes with Mike and his family.
A private plane was chartered for Regehr to take the Cup to Calgary where the defenseman played 10 seasons of his career.
“Having spent so many years there we have lots of friends and people that really appreciated us bringing it there, so we thought they could join us in the celebration,” shared Regehr.
The majority of the night was spent at a bowling alley, where Regehr met about 130 of his closest Calgary-dwelling friends, before wrapping up the night up at a friend’s place, where a fire-side get-together went into the wee hours of the morning.
The following day, after breakfast, the group returned to Saskatchewan and drove to the town of Rosthern, where Regehr grew up. There the Cup was taken to the rink where he played his youth hockey, and half an hour was spent with friends and family, after which all the kids enrolled in the rink’s minor hockey program got their turn. Following the kids’ team photos, the general public got a chance to take photos with Stanley, and Regehr was proud to have accommodated everyone who waited in the 90-minute line.
A short drive north led Regehr to a richly yellow canola plant field, where he stopped and posed for photos with the Cup at the suggestion of his wife, Kristina.
A friend in the Prince Albert area with a fantastic car collection loaned Regehr his red Ferrari for the next leg of the trip, and as Stanley was strapped into the passenger seat, Regehr was actually pulled over by some law enforcement officers.
“I saw them looking at me and I wasn’t sure if they were looking at the car or the Cup, but a couple minutes later they asked me to pull over and come into their detachment just north of the city because they wanted some pictures,” Regehr explained. “That was one of the only times when it was a positive being pulled over by the law.”
Eventually the Cup made its way to Regehr’s cabin on the lake, where he allowed his family to spend some quality time with the trophy. Wyatt and Shane, Regehr’s two sons, ate Rice Krispy’s from the Cup before Dad took it onto the lake for some wake surfing.
The evening ended on the beach near the cabin with a bonfire and fireworks, and the family took the Cup on the lake one last time.
“The thing that probably most people really enjoy is taking the chance to take a sip out of the Cup, whether they’re drinking milk, water, juice, beer or champagne or whatever it is, people just seem to really enjoy doing that and that’s probably one of the biggest highlights,” Regehr recalled.
In 2013, when Regehr waived his no-movement clause to allow the Buffalo Sabres to trade him to the Kings, he believed he was giving himself a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Like the team with which he won it, sometimes things just come together as they should.
Join the conversation on Twitter with the NHL, LA Kings and the Hockey Hall of Fame for their summer with Stanley by using the hashtag #StanleyCup
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