Jon Cooper said he feels like he’s in special company when he’s around the Stanley Cup.
The coach, who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to their second NHL championship since their inaugural season in 1992-93, has spent time with the trophy after a six-game victory against the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final last season, though not an official day.
Cooper said there’s something unique about taking the Cup around Tampa.
“Honestly, I can’t explain the feeling,” Cooper told The Two-Man Advantage Podcast on Dec. 2. “I have people say, ‘Well, what’s it like?’ I was like, you know what? Nobody really wants to see Jon Cooper or really cares, but as soon as you’re with the Stanley Cup, it’s like walking in with Mick Jagger. It is. It is such a remarkable trophy.”
The Cup has been in Tampa for most of the offseason, with a stop in Montreal to be engraved, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lightning players have returned to the area to have their days with it.
“We’ve been able to have it around just because it has been around,” Cooper said. “And so you kind of take it. I get to take a little peek at the calendar and see where it is, and if it’s available for a few hours I’ve nabbed it, and it’s been a lot of fun.
“I’ve had it in my house where we just sit, me or maybe my son (Jonny), or my wife (Jessie), and it’s the girls (Julia and Josie). You just look at it with that sense of accomplishment but understanding, it just exudes history. And you look at it and look at the names on it and the people that have won it and you know the sweat and tears and everything that went into winning it and to think 100 years before that’s happened.
“It’s a magical, magical trophy. It’s a treasure to be around regardless of what day of the week it is or who you’re with it is. It’s truly amazing.”