Stanley Cup trumps Olympic gold, say players

Fri Jun 3, 2011 7:40am EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The chance to win Olympic gold may only come along once every four years but for the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup is an unmatched once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Even for an Olympic city like Vancouver that basked in the golden glow of Canada's hockey victory at the 2010 Winter Games, the chance to watch their team sip from the Stanley Cup trumps everything else.

The pursuit of hockey's Holy Grail is not limited to hockey-mad Canadians and neighboring Americans. Now players from Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Russia, Germany and more all dream of having their names one day engraved on the iconic silver mug.

"I think this is obviously the biggest game you can play," said Vancouver's Daniel Sedin. "I think you look at Olympic finals, world championships.

"But when you play this long, with good friends and team mates, it's the biggest game you can play.

"I mean, you played 82 games just to get in, then it's a long run in the playoffs, too.

"For sure they are the biggest games you can play in."

Both the Bruins and Canucks have lineups packed with players who have performed on the international stage representing their countries at both the Olympics and world championships.   Continued...

 
<p>NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman attends a press conference before Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final hockey playoff in Vancouver, British Columbia June 1, 2011. REUTERS/Ben Nelms</p>