Hockey is one of the few sports that engraves its history onto the silver of the iconic trophies that are passed along to new champions at the end of each season. That’s one of the reasons the NHL’s Stanley Cup, the AHL’s Calder Cup and the ECHL’s Kelly Cup are so legendary. At this very moment, these trophies in the hockey world are awaiting their respective victors. Except for one.
Last June, the Colorado Eagles paraded the Kelly Cup around the ice as ECHL champions and have yet to return the trophy. The Eagles have since left the league to become the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, taking their trophy with them.
Former ECHL commissioner, and the trophy’s namesake, Patrick Kelly, told the radio show “Fox Morning Blitz” that the Eagles have simply decided to keep the trophy.
“I don't know if I should say this or not, but Colorado kept the trophy, if you can believe it,” Kelly said on the show. “They still have it. I've never heard of this in the history of hockey. They won it two years in a row and one of their owners said: ‘Fine. We'll keep it.’”
Obviously the league needed something for the next champions to hoist in the coming days, so it created a new Kelly Cup, engraved with 30 years of history. This is now the fourth version of the trophy, with the other models enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The location of Version 3? We may never know. At least it’s probably in the hands of a player, coach, or executive, unlike the CWHL’s trophies, which were sold off to the highest bidder when the league went bankrupt in May.
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