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The Stanley Cup’s top defenseman 

Mike Bolt guards hockey’s most prestigious prize.

click to enlarge Hockey Day in Canada runs from February 11-15. Find a list of all scheduled events here - HALIFAX COMMUNICATIONS
  • Hockey Day in Canada runs from February 11-15. Find a list of all scheduled events here
  • Halifax Communications

It’s not the worst job. Mike Bolt gets to travel the world with the most historic trophy in hockey as a keeper of the Stanley Cup. On his way to Halifax for Hockey Day in Canada, Bolt took some time to speak with The Coast about lugging around such legendary cargo.

Have you been to Halifax with the Cup before?
Oh god, yeah. Pretty much everywhere in this country I have been. That’s the kind of cool part of the job; you get to see so many spots. And being a Canadian it’s great to travel across this country with the Cup.

What are the rules when you’re travelling? Does it always have to be in your sight?
There’s always a handler with it at all times. The only time we don’t really have it in sight is when we check it with the airline. Other than that, we’re with it 24/7.

Have there ever been any accidents?
Well, it’s a trophy that doesn’t hide behind glass. Any time you’re out running around with the Cup, accidents can happen. Guys are pretty good with it, they’re respectful, but accidents do happen.

How does the public react to it?
Some fans don’t want to touch it until their team wins the Cup. They think it’s superstitious not to touch it—not true. I’ve seen guys that have touched it when they’re 11 or 12 years old and gone on to win it: Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf, just to name two guys.

There’s lot of superstition like that around the Cup?
Well players definitely, once you get to junior and even up to the NHL level, a lot of guys will not touch it until they’ve won it. Some guys don’t even want to be around it until they’ve won it. This weekend for Hockey Day, Wendel Clark is coming in. He’s retired. He’ll stand next to it, but he still won’t touch it.

What do players do when they have the Cup for a day?
A bunch of things. They’ll take it golfing, maybe fishing, different scenic shots around their communities. Obviously a variety of beverages are drunk out of it. Players will sometimes have their cereals out of it in the morning. We’re pretty open, as long as it’s safe and respectful to the Cup.

What’s been your most memorable experience with it?
It’s hard to pick one in particular. Being on the Sutter farm, up in Viking, Alberta. The Andrew Ladd shot, back in 2010 where we took a helicopter up the top of a mountain and caught the sunrise just outside of Vancouver. Going to the Kennedy Space Centre with Jay Feaster, who was the general manager of Tampa Bay in 2004. We got an all-access tour of Kennedy Space Centre, which nobody gets.

How does the rest of the world react to the Stanley Cup?
It’s big everywhere we go. A lot of these guys are from big hockey countries. You go into the Czech Republic, and there’ll be tens of thousands of people coming out just to get a glimpse of it. It’s a big deal where we go.

But Canada still makes the biggest deal of it?
I would think so. Obviously, the Cup started here in Canada. Hockey’s such a big part of our lives here in this country.

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