It was a relatively low-key affair in 2013 with then-Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya and a handful of buddies dressed to the nines for a formal sit-down gathering with the Stanley Cup in an ornate wood-paneled room in Stockholm.
Oduya, now a member of the Dallas Stars, and Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger brought the Cup back to their native Sweden earlier this week, but this time Stanley was out and about for almost all to see.
“I felt last time the privacy was more important,” Oduya told ESPN.com’s Scott Powers in an excellent piece on the Cup’s day and night in Stockholm. “You want to do your things, kind of. Whereas this time, I think we both feel that we can combine some things and make it a bigger thing for friends and family.”
Phil Pritchard, the globe-trotting white-gloved keeper of the Stanley Cup, took some photos of the Stockholm visit. Oduya’s moments with the Cup close his Blackhawks career. In June, Oduya signed a two-year contract with the Stars that will reportedly pay him $3.75 million annually.
“I see this as kind of an ending to what’s before,” Oduya told Powers. “From this day, I can kind of move forward. Of course, you get mixed emotions at some point. I could have had this day in June and it wouldn’t have been a problem. I see it as the final or whatever you say of what was, and this day forward you can move on.”