The Washington Capitals have delighted fans throughout the region since winning the NHL championship in June, and for one memorable day, the party made its way through Severna Park.
The Stanley Cup was in Severna Park on July 16 as Capitals director of player personnel Chris Patrick, a resident of Millersville, brought the Cup home to Anne Arundel County for a day of shared celebration.
Tradition calls for every individual player, coach and integral member of NHL champion organizations to get their own day with the iconic Stanley Cup to celebrate however they choose. The Cup thus travels far and wide, to the hometowns of players from all over the world. Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin brought the Stanley Cup to Moscow in his native Russia during the height of the FIFA World Cup on July 7. Goaltender Braden Holtby brought the Cup to his family farm outside Saskatchewan, Canada, and to the ice rink where he grew up playing on July 31.
Chris Patrick, whose father, Dick Patrick, is the president of the Washington Capitals — the Patrick family has been involved with professional hockey for four generations and now has seven family members who have won the Stanley Cup — has lived in Millersville with his family since 2006.
Chris Patrick said he just wanted the many people who have supported him and the Capitals directly and indirectly to get to share in the celebration by coming into contact with the Stanley Cup.
“I just wanted as many people to see it as possible in my day with it,” he said, adding that family and friends “have been so supportive throughout the years.”
“To have many people come out and see it and touch it and take pictures of it, that was my goal,” he said.
Goal accomplished. The day started with a trip to Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Gambrills, where the Capitals practiced from 1991 to 2006. Youth hockey players got to approach the Stanley Cup, smile and pose for pictures.
“It was an honor having the Stanley Cup at Piney Orchard since this was [the Capitals’] home for so many years,” said Nelson Burton, who runs his youth hockey program at Piney Orchard and who played briefly for the Capitals in the 1970s.
“I am very grateful to Chris Patrick for giving us the opportunity to spend time with the Cup … [and] for me as a Caps alumni to be able to share it with some of the kids in our program.”
From there, Patrick brought the Cup to Severn School, where it spent several hours in the lobby as several hundred people from the community passed through to see it and take pictures.
Severn physical education teacher Dan Mahoney counted himself among the many who felt the powerful aura of the Cup.
“It was basically like, ‘Is this for real?’” said Mahoney. “There are a few things in life that you know exactly what it is. It’s the Stanley Cup! I think everyone who got an opportunity to visit with it and touch it and take pictures with it, it’s just a cool experience.”
Severn School rising sophomore Claudia Decker, 15, is the biggest Caps fan in a family of Caps fans and said that touching the Cup was touching a part of history.
“It was really cool. It was so cool to know that so many legends had touched the Stanley Cup before,” said Decker.
After its afternoon at Severn, Patrick brought the Stanley Cup that evening to Severna Park Taphouse, which is owned by former Capitals player Mark Tinordi, who played five of his 12 NHL seasons with the Capitals.
“We said, ‘Absolutely, we’d love to have it,’” said Mark’s wife, Jessica Tinordi. “Chris was very gracious, and we had staff and friends and family come in, and it was just a wonderful day.”
It was intended to be a private party, but the word was out: over 350 people showed up for an evening of food and drinks and revelry with the Stanley Cup.
Mahoney, a lifelong Caps fan, said that something about the sport of hockey in general is synonymous with community, and that the Patrick family did the neighborhood proud by bringing the Stanley Cup home for a day.
“That’s one thing about [ice hockey]. The sport is all about community,” Mahoney said. “When you have the experience as a fan of the team going all the way, it’s just a great feeling. You want to believe that you helped, and [that there is] energy the players get from the fans. It was a great experience. It was just gracious of the Washington Capitals and Chris Patrick and the Patrick family to share what they worked hard for with the community.”