The most popular trophy in sports won’t be the only historical artifact on display next week when Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen shows it off in the Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, metropolitan area.
The Stanley Cup will be next to a Stanley car.
A West Fargo antique car museum is tuning up a 1936 Rolls-Royce that belonged to Edward Stanley, himself a hockey player and son of the man who founded the trophy that goes to the NHL champion. His father, Frederick Stanley, was the Governor General of Canada and became interested in hockey because Edward and his siblings played the game.
The car has been at the Bonanzaville museum since the early 1970s, when Marv Koeplin loaned it to the museum. Koeplin died in 2002. His daughter, Mary Dickinson, said her father had an “extreme interest in education” and would have loved having it as part of the Stanley Cup event.
“My goodness, it is just a wonderful connection with the Stanley family,” Dickinson said. “I’m very happy that a piece of history, a historical artifact, can rise again like the Phoenix to go next to the Stanley Cup.”
The antique car display at the West Fargo museum includes more than 50 vehicles. Brenda Warren, executive director of the historical society and museum, said the Stanley Cup and Stanley car are a perfect pairing.
“I think it’s a great association,” Warren said. “It’s a beautiful luxury car that has great historical significance behind it.”
Cullen, a 20-year NHL veteran who grew up in Moorhead and lives in the area with his wife and three kids, will pose for pictures with the cup and the car on July 30. All players on the cup-winning team get the trophy for 24 hours.
The 3-foot high, 35-pound trophy is the oldest professional team sports trophy in North America. Frederick Stanley bought the cup from a London silversmith and donated it to Canada’s top amateur team in 1892. In 1910, it was given to the champion of a professional competition and remained that way until it became the property of the NHL in 1917.
It is the second Stanley Cup for the 39-year-old Cullen, who won his first with Carolina and also has played for Anaheim, Florida, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Minnesota and Nashville.