Nolans to Share Cup with Community TodayAugust 20, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) Rochester Knighthawks
The two Championship trophies will reside at the home of former NHL Coach of the Year and astute businessman Ted Nolan. Nolan works as an advisor for the 2012 World Champion Rochester Knighthawks, but more importantly is the father of 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Jordan Nolan.
Ted and his wife, Sandra, have been planning the celebration ever since the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals in early June. It will be a historic occasion for the family and First Nations as Ted believes that it's the first time someone that won the Cup will bring it to a First Nations' community after winning it.
The celebration will have a different feeling than the night his youngest son won the Cup. That evening, he was a proud father, but tonight he and his son get to share the accomplishment with 1,500 to 5,000 people.
"It's another type of excitement because we get to share it with the place where we grew up. I was born and raised on the Reservation here in First Nation Garden River, my parents were from here, and Jordan and Brandon were born here. It's really nice to bring the Cup back home to Garden River and just celebrate with our people here," said Ted Nolan, who is Ojibwa.
The festivities, which begin at 7:00 a.m. and end at midnight, include private and public events. The family will first gather at the graveyard to honor Ted's late parents, and past family members. The first public celebration includes the local chiefs welcoming the Cup into the community. The Cup will receive a smudge and a blessing for good luck before heading to a breakfast with the kids of Garden River.
Jordan and the Cup will then take part in what could be the first ever parade in Garden River that will conclude at the community center. The Cup will then be presented to the elders at a brunch before heading to a community fundraiser. The Nolans will sign autographs and auction off memorabilia with proceeds going to sponsor travel costs for local hockey players participating in the next Little NHL tournament. The family will then adjourn home to host a private reception later tonight.
"It should be quite a day," said Ted, who expects to entertain 100 family members at his house.
Jordan was in his first NHL season in 2012 with the Kings after getting selected seventh round (186th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. This season, he played in 26 regular season games and all 20 playoff games, even scoring a goal and adding an assist as part of the high-energy fourth line. Ted, a veteran of four NHL coaching seasons and a former seven-year pro player, was there with his wife as Jordan raised the Cup at center ice of the Staples Center on June 11th. He was a proud hockey parent that night and was still beaming this weekend when interviewed.
"It's one of the hardest trophies to win. For the rest of his career, he can always say he is a Stanley Cup champion," said Ted of his 23-year-old son. "I played pro and coached pro and didn't come close to it. To see Jordan 40 games into his NHL career win the Stanley Cup was incredible. I much prefer my son to win it before I did."
The entire family will share in his accomplishment, including Ted's oldest son Brandon and his family. Brandon played professional hockey in the American Hockey League and in the National Hockey League. The scope of the celebration will be so large that Ted referred to it not as a family reunion, but as a community reunion.
"People from all over are coming back home to be a part of this," said Nolan. "I strongly believe that sports are a great thing and have a tendency to bring communities together. It's special to see how the community really pulled together and how they supported Jordan's run to the Stanley Cup."
Ted will also share part of the day with members of the Rochester Knighthawks, where he serves as a business advisor and ambassador for one of the cornerstone franchises in the NLL. He will get to enjoy the first Championship he won this summer. In 2012, Rochester defeated the Edmonton Rush to capture the NLL Championship. Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres, his son Bow, President Lewis Staats and Special Projects Coordinator Wendy Staats will accompany the Champion's Cup from Six Nations to Garden River First Nations. It should be quite the party at the Nolan house.
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