Stanley Cup draws a crowd in Kelowna
While Canadians may be considered die-hard hockey nuts by other countries, Steve Pattison takes his enthusiasm to perhaps another level.
That's due in part to geography—he lives in Yorkshire, England—and as a result has to get up at 3:30 a.m. to watch live NHL games on television back home.
So the opportunity to have a photo taken with the Stanley Cup along with his wife, Beth, and children, Brody and Beth, while here on a vacation was a big thrill.
"I came to Canada 20 years ago and met my wife and just fell in love with the game. I can remember being (in Kelowna) I think in 2005 and watching Team Canada practice at that time. Words can't describe it," Pattison said standing five feet away from hockey's 'Holy Grail.'
The opportunity to see the Stanley Cup was provided courtesy of former Kelowna Rockets goaltender coach Kim Dillabaugh, after winning his second NHL title as a member of the Los Angeles Kings coaching staff earlier this year.
Dillabaugh, like all Kings players and staff, have an opportunity to bring the Stanley Cup to their hometown or wherever else they might choose for a day over the summer. Dillabaugh opted to give the public a chance to see the Stanley Cup up close and have a photo taken standing with it from 3 to 5 p.m today at Prospera Place.
Fans were lined up into the Prospera Park parking lot patiently waiting for those few seconds to stand next to the Stanley Cup, emblematic of what many believe is the most difficult trophy to win of all the professional sports championships.
Dillabaugh, who still lives in Kelowna, was hired full-time this off-season by the Kings and resigned his position he held for the past 11 seasons as a Kelowna Rockets assistant coach. Dillabaugh is also a Rockets alumni player, having played for the original Tacoma Rockets franchise before the team was moved to Kelowna prior to moving into coaching.