Over the past six weeks, the Stanley Cup has traveled from Washington to Russia and the Czech Republic, throughout Canada and the midwestern United States. The trophy is headed back to Europe this week, where Capitals players Lars Eller, Andre Burakovsky, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, among others, will each spend one day with the Cup as part of a tradition formalized by the title-winning New Jersey Devils in 1995.
At each stop along the Stanley Cup's summer victory tour, Capitals players and staff have filled the trophy's bowl, which is engraved with the names of the 1907 champion Montreal Wanderers, with all sorts of things, from caviar and cereal to babies and good old fashioned beer. Monday was 26-year-old Devante Smith-Pelly's day with the Cup and the Scarborough, Ontario, native, who scored seven goals during the playoffs, upped the ante for his European teammates' upcoming plans by putting a good dog atop Lord Stanley's trophy.
Here's a look at what else the Capitals have put in the Stanley Cup this summer:
Last month, Alex Ovechkin brought the Stanley Cup to Moscow's Red Square and the Dynamo hockey facility where he played as a teenager. The Capitals' captain also hosted a private party at a Moscow restaurant and served Russian caviar out of the top of the trophy. (The caviar was placed in a separate, smaller bowl atop a layer of ice, but still, that's a lot of roe.)
Capitals goaltending coach Scott Murray filled the Cup with pepperettes (sausage-like meat sticks) and roasted a whole pig during his day with the trophy in St. Clements, Ontario.
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby took the Cup to his parents's farm in Marshall, Saskatchewan, last week. During his visit, Holtby signed autographs at the ice rink in nearby Lashburn where he played as a kid and visited the Lloydminster Animal Hospital where his sister works. Holtby also let a horse named Munchie eat pellets out of the Stanley Cup.
Cereal is probably among the most common foods to fill the Stanley Cup over the years. T.J. Oshie went with Cap'n Crunch, while fellow forward Tom Wilson opted for Lucky Charms.
Oshie and Wilson had no reason to worry about caviar-tainted milk. Philip Pritchard, the "Keeper of the Cup" for the last 30 years, cleans the trophy daily with soft detergent or hotel shampoo. In 2010, the Chicago Tribune swabbed the Cup for germs and sent the sample to a Chicago lab for analysis. Lab manager Nancy McDonald reported the trophy was "surprisingly clean." McDonald found no signs of staph, salmonella or E. coli and "only" 400 counts of general bacteria. By comparison, the Tribune reported, a desk in an office typically has more than 10,000 counts of general bacteria.
The Capitals drank more than their fair share of beer - and fountain water - out of the Cup while parading it around Washington in the days after winning the franchise's first championship. Matt Niskanen and Michal Kempny, among others, quenched their thirst with a drink out of the trophy during their respective days with the Cup. Pritchard says the Stanley Cup holds 14 12-ounce bottles of beer.
Last August, Penguins forward Josh Archibald and his wife, Bailey, baptized their three-week-old son in the Stanley Cup during a small ceremony in Minnesota. The Cup hasn't been used for any baptisms this summer (that we know of), but it has held a lot of babies. So many babies.
Capitals defenseman Madison Bowey enjoyed a bowl of his grandmother's borscht out of the Stanley Cup during his day with the trophy in Winnipeg.
Everyone should be so lucky as to enjoy ice cream out of the Stanley Cup like the families of Capitals equipment manager Brock Myles and Director of Player Personnel Chris Patrick.