The Stanley Cup Returns to Wilkes-Barre
Lord Stanley came home.
Teddy Richards of the 2016 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins spent his day on Sept. 7 with the Stanley Cup in Wilkes-Barre taking many pictures with dozens of Penguins fans flocking Public Square to see a trophy as prestigious as anything in sports.
The Penguins captured the Stanley Cup in mid-June by defeating the Western Conference representative San Jose Sharks in six games, 4-2. They also beat the New York Rangers, the Washington Capitals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning in their playoff run.
It was their fourth Stanley Cup title; the cup went to the franchise in 1991, 1992 and most recently 2009.
In attendance that glorious afternoon was Richards, Mayor Tony George of Wilkes-Barre and a cast of coaches from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The police opened the ceremony with a procession of honking sirens around the corners of the square, and returned it to the west side of the square for a brief presentation.
In that ceremony was Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Tommy Gestopolis, who knew Richards as a friend, and reminded him of what bringing the elusive prize home meant to Wilkes-Barre.
Mayor George issued a proclamation around the city marking the day as Teddy Richards Day. Included in this was his contribution and work ethic, which symbolized what the Stanley Cup champs had with their players.
George said that Richards “was a local boy making a contribution. He could have brought it anywhere, but he brought it here.”
Richards reminded the city about his affection for it and wanted to bring the Cup home for his appreciation of Wilkes-Barre.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Clark Donatelli re-affirmed that his coaching staff will do everything they need to get everyone to Pittsburgh when they ask for them, and also gave Richards credit for his hard work.
Fans also had their time to shine with the cup.
Eddie Dudick, a Wilkes-Barre resident, said, “This is the second time I’ve seen the cup; the other was 2009. This was even better because of Teddy Richards.”
Richards will begin a new chapter of his career next season as he recently accepted a job as the head equipment manager with the Florida Panthers, the youngest such person in that role in the National Hockey League.