Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023 | 2 a.m.
Golden Knights forward Brett Howden wasn’t going to let the rain put a damper on his day with the Stanley Cup.
Standing in a downpour at the Pine Ridge Golf Club in Manitoba, Canada, Howden played three holes July 23 with the 35-pound silver trophy sitting behind him on each drive. A large crowd of fans also turned out to see the Cup.
Later, he filled the famous Cup with chicken wings and feasted with family members.
It’s all part of a longstanding NHL tradition that gives each member of the championship team a day to spend with the Stanley Cup. The Golden Knights got their shot after clinching the Cup on June 13 against the Florida Fathers.
Pine Ridge has a special place in Howden’s heart. He worked in the back shop for four years starting at age 12 and is a longtime member.
“I felt like I grew up there,” Howden said. “It’s a special place to me.”
The Golden Knights spent a week together after winning the Cup before going their separate ways for the offseason.
When Howden, his wife, Meike, and son Charlie returned to Manitoba, they attended a few weddings and then had to plan his day with the Cup. Fortunately, Howden’s sisters Danaka and Jayda are event planners and alleviated the stress. Dad Sheldon helped out by preparing the chicken wings that were served out of the cup.
The flavor of choice was roasted ranch, Howden’s favorite, which incorporates homemade ranch dressing and roasted chili flakes.
Howden said the day was over in a flash. It’s not even a full 24 hours with the Stanley Cup before it goes on to its next stop.
“My favorite thing was being with my family, my in-laws and my friends — the people who were a big part in my life and helped me get to where I am today,” Howden said.
For what was a day of celebration, Howden was already in a great mood. Four days prior, the Golden Knights signed Howden to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $1.9 million.
Howden, a first-round pick from 2017, has revived his career in Las Vegas after a lackluster three seasons with the New York Rangers.
Howden had 10 points during the playoffs, skating on the third line with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone.
“Vegas is a really special place to us. We feel like Vegas is home to us because there’s a lot of special things that have happened in our lives in Vegas,” Howden said. “For us to be there for two more years is so incredible.”
Roy’s day in Quebec
Nicolas Roy was the first to have his day with the Stanley Cup, which meant he was the first of his Vegas teammates to see their names engraved on the Cup.
Vegas is the first team to have its place on the trophy so early into the offseason, and Roy got to be the first to see the updated look.
“I kept (it) maybe an hour to myself and my girlfriend. For the whole hour, we were looking at all the names. Gretzky, a lot of names,” Roy said. “It’s special to hold it and see your name on it. That hour was awesome.”
The native of Amos, Quebec, a town with about 15,000 people, spent his day — also a rain-filled endeavor — celebrating with a parade down the streets of his hometown and taking pictures with as many people as he could.
“We weren’t sure how many people would be there, but the whole time there was a lot of people in the streets,” Roy said. “The rain came, pouring a lot. It was fun.”
Later, he joined friends and family for a dinner and a trip to a local bar.