Following the Detroit Red Wings’ series-clinching victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins back in June, Wings captain Nick Lidstrom accepted the Stanley Cup from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Lidstrom passed it first to teammate and Traverse City resident Dallas Drake, who had finally realized the goal of his 17-year pro career, and the championship celebration ensued.
On Labor Day, Drake will pass the Cup to Hockeytown North.
The now-retired power forward is bringing the Stanley Cup to Traverse City on Sept. 1, hosting “Stanley by the Bay.” The event itself is free to the public, with donations benefiting the youth Grand Traverse Hockey Association program.
“I do live here, so I thought this was one of the ways I could give a little back to the community,” said Drake, who played collegiately at Northern Michigan University. “When I retired, I decided to dive head-first into the GTHA, and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick it off than by bringing hockey’s biggest prize to downtown Traverse City.”
The celebration will include pictures with the Cup, autographed photos and t-shirts of Drake, raffle prizes that include autographed Red Wings jerseys, sticks, and regular-season tickets among other items. Fans can enjoy food from The U & I Lounge in Traverse City, as well as a variety of hockey-related activities for kids. Suggested donations for these items benefit the GTHA’s New Skater Fund.
“We’d like to get kids going in the sport of hockey at a young age, and not all of them can,” said Drake, who is set to help coach his daughter’s squirt team and son’s PeeWee club. “But this isn’t a one-time effort. We’re hoping to raise enough, and to keep this thing going so it can continue to help kids get involved for years down the road.”