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Mark Stone brings Stanley Cup back to childhood roots in Winnipeg

Standing in the middle of Keith Bodley Arena, the memories came rushing back for Vegas Golden Knights' captain Mark Stone – who had the Stanley Cup by his side the entire time – sharing stories from when he was a kid playing in the arena.

The Winnipegger brought the Cup back to where it all started, saying it was there he learned to play the game, like doing a proper line change.

"My best buddy is here with me today. We did mom and tot skates here when we were younger, come over from school," said Stone. "It's kind of surreal. Probably haven't been back in this rink in 10, 15 years. Not much has changed."

Standing with his brother – recently retired NHLer Michael Stone – and the rest of his friends and family, they looked back on their time as kids, pointing out areas of the arena and sharing little quips about what happened. But they also couldn't keep their eyes off the Stanley Cup, looking at the names and examining the little details on hockey's ultimate prize, like how the top of the Cup isn't a perfect circle.

Even though he hasn't been a champion for very long, it's a title that fits perfectly for Stone.

Mark Stone posing with the Stanley Cup inside Keith Bodley Arena on July 25, 2023. (Source: Devon McKendrick/CTV News)

"It's a title I've wanted for quite some time now. To call myself a Stanley Cup Champion, to see me and my teammates and everyone in the organization's name on the Cup, was pretty eye-opening."

It wasn't just Keith Bodley Arena that was special for Stone, as he talked about taking the ice at outdoor rinks in the community when he was a kid and just playing with others, no matter their age or skill.

"I'm more the guy that loves organized chaos. Throw a puck out on the ice, let the kids figure it out for themselves. That's where I learned most of my stuff. Would I have benefitted from a skating coach? Probably. But maybe I wouldn't have learned the game as well as I have. So the outdoor rinks for me are special and sacred."

Several fans young and old showed up Tuesday to see Stone and the Stanley Cup and be a part of the celebration – many of which were decked out in Stone Golden Knights gear.

Stone also had plans after visiting the arena to go see some of his former teachers from Westwood Collegiate – where Stone went to high school and played hockey.

Mark Stone and his family celebrating during Mark's day with the Stanley Cup. July 25, 2023. (Source: Devon McKendrick/CTV News)

The Manitoba representation is in full force for Vegas this year, as general manager Kelly McCrimmon and forward Brett Howden already had their days with the Cup in Brandon and Oakbank respectively, and Keegan Kolesar and Zach Whitecloud will get it near the end of August.

For Stone, seeing players coming from Manitoba and western Canada, in general, have success in the NHL is great to see.

"Probably 20, 30 years ago, there wasn't a ton of guys coming out of here, but we're starting to see more and more people with the (Winnipeg) Jets coming back," he said. "For me, it was seeing guys make the NHL that I knew. So for me and my brother, it was seeing Jonathan Toews play in the NHL and it was me seeing my brother playing in the NHL. So if you can see more and more guys, I think that just shows that you can make it and the city is growing because of it." Top Stories

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