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