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2 eggs scrambled, and a cup of hockey

Morning diners in Huntington Beach are taken by surprise when the Stanley Cup makes an appearance, courtesy of a Ducks executive.

September 07, 2007|Seema Mehta | Times Staff Writer

Riding in a black stretch limousine and accompanied by a white-gloved handler, the Stanley Cup made a surprise appearance Thursday morning in Huntington Beach.

Stunned diners at the Sugar Shack cafe took a break from their pancakes and eggs to snap photos with the trophy, given to professional hockey's championship team.

"It felt surreal," said Kenny Brooks, who eats at the landmark diner every other week. "You always hear about how it travels around the United States and Canada, but you never imagine that you're going to be around it."

After the Anaheim Ducks won the NHL championship in June, each player and team official got to take possession of the 115-year-old silver trophy for 24 hours and could take it wherever he pleased.

Thursday was the day for Tim Ryan, the team's executive vice president and chief operating officer. Ryan, who has lived in Huntington Beach for a decade, said it was fitting to start the day in his hometown.

He planned to take the 35-pound cup on a visit to see children at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, then to a private party for 200.

Ryan was basking in the Ducks' victory, as well as the team's franchise record of 15,000 season tickets sold for the coming season.

Mike Bolt, the Hockey Hall of Fame's "keeper of the cup," said the nearly 3-foot-tall trophy had traveled to bars and nightclubs, as well as more remote areas. Earlier this summer, the Ducks' Scott and Rob Niedermayer took it by helicopter to a mountaintop in British Columbia.

"I only hang out with winners," said Bolt, who has traveled with the Stanley Cup for eight years.

Michele Turner, owner of the Sugar Shack, brought her five grandchildren to see the trophy. Four-year-old Kylah was disappointed it wasn't gold but was otherwise caught up in the excitement.

"I wanted them to see history taking place," Turner said.

Fran Kravitz of St. Louis was visiting her son Michael, who lives in Huntington Beach. A simple breakfast outing turned into a great tale for her friends back home. Kravitz is a St. Louis Blues fan and has seen the trophy behind glass in her hometown.

But on Thursday, the cup sat on a table a few feet away from Kravitz, who took a picture of her 28-year-old son planting a kiss on it.

"This is very exciting, to see the Stanley Cup up close and personal," she said.

The Stanley Cup will be on display from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Anaheim City Hall and at the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday.

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