Feature

The man who guards the Stanley Cup

For more than a decade, Mike Bolt’s job has been to watch over the Stanley Cup, the National Hockey League’s legendary championship trophy that is on the move 320 days a year.

Mike Bolt is the keeper of hockey’s holy grail, said Joe DeLessio in New York. For more than a decade, Bolt’s job has been to watch over the Stanley Cup, the National Hockey League’s legendary championship trophy, on its travels through Canada, the U.S., and the world. The cup is on the move 320 days a year, generating goodwill for the NHL in events ranging from fundraisers in small communities to a rally for the troops in Afghanistan. “A lot of people think that we travel with a replica,” Bolt says. “We do not. This is the real deal.”

Bolt always handles the cup with a pair of white gloves. “Every day I put on a clean pair, no different than socks or underwear. They usually last me about 10 washes, and then they’re done.” By tradition, every player on the NHL’s championship team each year gets to spend a day with the cup, and Bolt says he’s seen them do everything imaginable with it. “It’s been on top of mountains, it’s had ice cream eaten out of it. Marty Brodeur took it to the movies and his kids ate popcorn out of it.” One player mounted it on the back of his motorcycle. Bolt admits he’d be at a loss if he actually got to choose what to do with it. “I’d have to brainstorm,” he says. “It’s very rare guys come up with a new idea.”

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