Steve Ott, left, graciously poses with Jeff Lachance holding twin sons, Noah and Liam, 21 months old, and Uncle Jason Lachance, right, holding Benny, 9 months old at Atlas Tube Centre Sunday. Hundreds lined up for opportunity.
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Former Windsor Spitfire and current assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues, Steve Ott, brought the Stanley Cup to Lakeshore Sunday — sharing the glory with his home.The Stoney Point native took photos with families and the cup at the Atlas Tube Centre in Belle River for a public viewing where around 1,200 fans lined up for photos with the coach and the cup.“It truly is absolutely amazing, to be honest with you,” Ott said. “I’ve been wanting to do this my whole career and to see the community support it’s been nonstop for the hours I’ve been here so far. I’m just completely overwhelmed with the amount of support I have.The St. Louis Blues won the cup in game seven of this year’s championship against the Boston Bruins, taking home the first Stanley Cup title in the franchise’s 52-year-old history.
Steve Ott’s name along with players and coaches of the 2019 Stanley Cup winning St. Louis Blues will be engraved on the Stanley Cup beside the names of the Washington Capitals, 2018 winners.
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“It still doesn’t feel real,” Ott said. “To see the smile on everyone’s faces and see everybody enjoying such a prestigious trophy — it truly is special.”Hockey fans wishing to take a photo with the Stanley Cup were asked to bring a canned food donation to go toward the Community Support Centre of Essex County and Community Food Pantry.Leaf’s fan Gary Newman said it was a “once in a lifetime experience” to see the Stanley Cup in person.“We’ve been to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but it was a replica so it was awesome just to be able to see the real deal.”He went to see the cup with his family, “hopefully one day they get to host it eh?” Newman said laughing with his sons.Nathan Onions, 15, waited in the long line up to take a photo with his family and gave the cup a kiss.“I never thought I’d see the cup in my life and I always wanted to kiss it cause that’s something they do,” said the Arizona Coyote’s fan. “It was amazing.”
Steve Ott holds the Stanley Cup for Jean Pepper who once worked at the canteen inside the old Leamington Arena in Leamington, Ontario, where Ott played Junior B hockey as a 17-year-old. Affectionately known as Mrs. Pep by all the hockey players, Ott immediately stopped everything to greet his old friend.
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Ryley Gwilliam, community and partnerships coordinator said it takes some logistics to get the prestigious cup out and ready for the public.“There’s the keeper of the cup that’s here so he’s driving it down from Sarnia this morning with Steve Ott,” Gwilliam said. “They toured around to a couple different spots this morning while we were here bright and early at 6 a.m. setting up stanchions, tables, making sure that when people arrive we’re ready for them and to be able to get them through here and get that special experience with the cup.Related
Jean Pepper, known as “Mrs. Pep” ran the canteen at the Leamington arena for 26 years. She had a photo of Ott with her when she took her photo with him, her son, and Stanley. She said she knew Ott from around the canteen when he played Junior B hockey with the Leamington Flyers.“I feel really proud of him,” she firstname.lastname@example.org