Dog sledding Stanley: Cup's Nunavut tour sparks excitement across territory
Cup stopped in 6 Nunavut communities with NHL legends Lanny McDonald and Mark Napier
With no Canadian teams in the NHL playoffs, the Stanley Cup will soon be heading south for the summer, but hockey's holy grail got its share of Canadiana this spring as it delighted crowds in six Nunavut communities.
The Cup stopped in Kugluktuk, Resolute, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet, Igloolik, and Cambridge Bay during its whirlwind tour, accompanied by former NHL stars Mark Napier and Lanny McDonald.
Though the Cup traveled by plane for much of its trip, it got a more traditional entrance in the High Arctic community of Pond Inlet, where it entered by dog team.
As the Cup arrived, a frenzied crowd, clad in their favourite jerseys, swarmed the guest of honour. Old rivalries — such as those between Oilers and Flames fans — were put aside as the community caught Cup fever.
Happy fans surrounded the Cup wherever it went, particularly in the communities of Igloolik and Kugluktuk, which both received 25 sets of new hockey equipment from Project North, a non-profit organization which organized the tour. To date, the organization has donated more than $700,000 of new hockey equipment to 22 communities in the territory, as well as two communities in Labrador.
Though the Cup has returned south to await this year's NHL champion, it has no shortage of places to stay if and when it decides to return to the North. Residents from across Nunavut suggested their communities for future stops on Facebook.
"Coral Harbour has never ever had it as a visitor," Miki Eetuk said on CBC Nunavut's Facebook page. "We'd very much like to join the club of excitement."
"Wish you guys can go to Kugaaruk," wrote Bernadette Tinak.
"Come to Arviat, Nunavut," wrote Tiktak Aggark. "Stanley Cup, I wanna see you, I wanna kiss you!"
The last word, though, belongs to Jason Kopalie.
"Stanley Cup suits the north," he wrote.
Seems like Nunavut couldn't agree more.