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Posted: August 16, 2022

Bowen Byram shares Stanley Cup glory with hometown

The Stanley Cup is no stranger to Cranbrook.

The storied chalice, considered the most difficult championship trophy to win in all of sports, has been held aloft by victorious Cranbrook residents nine times – the most recent being 21-year-old Colorado Avalanche defenceman Bowen Byram who entered the storied ranks June 26 after the Avs knocked off the two-time cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the Stanley Cup final.

Part of the legend of winning the cup is the summer tours it goes on with all the players on the winning team.

And it was Byram’s turn with the cup in Cranbrook August 15 and 16, where he visited the fire hall, hospital and other city locales before heading to Western Financial Place to allow some residents a chance at meeting him and posing with the Stanley Cup.

The City of Cranbrook staged a lottery for people to win a chance to line up to see Bowen and the cup, with an estimated 600 people likely to pass through between 1 and 3 p.m. today.

Byram said the experience of playing in the NHL as a rookie and winning the cup is one he is still processing, though it was “a fun ride.” He also noted he’s aware of how difficult it is to win the cup and how fortunate he is to win one in his first season, one with adversity such as time out with injuries.

Byram said highlights of his cup run included Darren Helm’s Western Conference finals-clinching goal with 5.6 seconds remaining in game six against the St. Louis Blues, Artturi Lehkonen’s overtime tally in game four of the Western Conference Final against the Edmonton Oilers to send the Avs to the finals and Nazem Kadri’s overtime goal in game four of the finals against Tampa, pushing the Avs to one game of a series and cup win.

In 15 games in this year’s Stanley Cup run, Byram compiled nine assists and finished an impressive +15. Equally impressive is the fact Byram played 25:48 in the cup winning game – a notable feat for such a young defenceman.

Playing for a still juggernaut Colorado club, led by the likes of captain Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Devon Toews and young wizard blueliner Cale Makar, the Joe Sakic managed Avs are favourites to win the cup in 2023, meaning Bowen has a good chance of being the tenth keeper of the cup to visit his hometown.

For the record, the other Cranbrook cup winners are:

Scott Niedermayer – three times with New Jersey Devils (1995, 2000 and 2003) and once with Anaheim Ducks (2007).

Jon Klemm – twice (1996 and 2001) with Colorado.

Brad Lukowich – twice: 1999 with Dallas Stars and 2004 with Tampa Bay.

Rob Niedermayer – once in 2007 with the Ducks.

Bowen Byram – Colorado (2022).

Bowen Byram answers media questions August 16 before welcoming about 600 city and area residents. Keeper of the cup, Phil Pritchard, looks on in the background.

Lead image: Bowen Byram poses with the Stanley Cup today (August 16) in Cranbrook’s Western Financial Place. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photos

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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