‘Keeper of the Cup’ nearing end of another long haul during Final

Phil Pritchard and Craig Campbell, their white gloves, crested blazers, the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy were aboard an NHL charter Saturday in Edmonton, wheels up about 9 a.m. local time bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

At touchdown scheduled for the late afternoon, bound for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday between the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers at Amerant Bank Arena (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS, CBC), hockey’s most coveted trophy would have flown about 12,000 miles during the Final — nearly 20,000 kilometers for those on the metric system.

It’s the first time the trophy has crossed the border between Canada and the United States five times in a series since 2011, when the champion Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks went the seven-game limit.

“It’s been one heck of a series,” Pritchard said with a laugh less than hour before the charter left Edmonton, having just seen the trophies through security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Pritchard is curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He’s also vice president of the shrine’s Resource Center and Archives, but to hockey fans, he’s the “Keeper of the Cup,” the Stanley Cup’s most prominent historian, travel agent, tour guide, silver polisher and bodyguard.

First appeared on www.nhl.com

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