The Calder Cup

The Calder Cup trophy, given to the champion of the American Hockey League (AHL) each season, stands 24 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. The sterling silver bowl is 12 inches high and 8 inches in diameter. The hardwood base is made of Brazilian mahogany and features the team roster plaques of each of the last 20 Calder Cup champions.  Each year, the oldest plaque is replaced with the newest champion and sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada to join all the previous champions on display there. Keep these statistics in mind as you look through the photos below.

On Tuesday night, June 18, 2013, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch 5 to 2 to win the Calder Cup Finals Best-of-7 series 4 games to 2 on Syracuse’s home ice in the War Memorial.  I had the honor of photographing the Griffins’ team celebration as they were awarded the Calder Cup.

Grand Rapids Griffins Captain Jeff Hoggan (10) was the first to parade with the Calder Cup on the ice at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 after his team defeated the Syracuse Crunch in a Best-of-7 game series, 4 to 2.

Grand Rapids Griffins Team Captain Jeff Hoggan (10) was the first to parade with the Calder Cup on the ice at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 after his team defeated the Syracuse Crunch in a Best-of-7 game series, 4 to 2.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/25s, f/3.5, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 24mm focal length.

Though not the team I had hoped to photograph with the Calder Cup this week. It was still a thrill to see these young players, coaches and staff revel in the joy of winning a major hockey championship.

After the team captain is done parading the Calder Cup, he passes it on to a teammate who then passes it on to another teammate.  Each player, coach and, it seems, training staff and owners get a chance to hold the trophy up high.

Grand Rapids Griffins Brennan Evans (44), who scored the game winning goal, hoists the Calder Cup at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 after his team defeated the Syracuse Crunch in a Best-of-7 game series, 4 to 2.

Grand Rapids Griffins Brennan Evans (44), who scored the game winning goal, hoists the Calder Cup at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 after his team defeated the Syracuse Crunch in a Best-of-7 game series, 4 to 2.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/250s, f/3.5, ISO 1000, EV +0.3, 24mm focal length.

Then it was time for the team photo with the Calder Cup.  This is a tradition which started back in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens after they won the Stanley Cup.  The team gathers around the chalice with huge grins and lets their emotions show for the many photographers and videographers to record the moment…and it is a great moment.

Grand Rapids Griffins players celebrate winning the American Hockey League's (AHL) Calder Cup championship at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Grand Rapids Griffins players celebrate winning the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Calder Cup championship at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/250s, f/3.5, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 24mm focal length.

For those who follow me, you just know I had to get a tighter shot than this. 🙂

Players of the Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate winning American Hockey League's (AHL) Calder Cup championship at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Players of the Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate winning American Hockey League’s (AHL) Calder Cup championship at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/160s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 85mm focal length.

The Griffins earned the AHL championship as the Syracuse Crunch gave them everything they had.  In the end, the better team won.  Players, coaches, staff and fans of the Crunch did see the Calder Cup in Syracuse, it just went home with the other guys. As they say, there is always next year!

In closing, I would like to thank the staff of the Syracuse Crunch, especially Chief Operating Officer Jim Sarosy and Director of Communications & Marketing Maggie Walters, for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to photograph the Syracuse Crunch this past season.  To the players who put up with me showing up in strange places and locations, good luck to you in your future and I will be seeing some of you again this October for the 20th anniversary edition of the Syracuse Crunch hockey team.

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9 Responses to The Calder Cup

  1. mylifeincny says:

    I’m sorry the Crunch didn’t win but they sure did give it their all. It’s been wonderful sharing this journey with you!!

    Like

  2. Terry McGraw says:

    Nice shots Scott!! And story. We are hoping to hoist that “other” Cup soon!!

    Terry

    Like

  3. Jan says:

    Your article & photos show what a good sport you are, Scott! Although my home town is Ithaca, an hour south of Syracuse, I’ve lived in Grand Rapids for 16 years so had to root for the home team. Thanks for your great photos. And if you ever get out to Grand Rapids, get in touch!

    Jan

    Like

    • Thank you, Jan. The Griffins were the best team Syracuse played all season. Wish it could have gone 7 games or had an OT game or two. The teams were that close. The Griffins always seem to get the key goal at the right time. The mark of the championship team which they became. GR looks like a great place. I might take you up your offer someday.

      Like

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