Lord Stan­ley stops by for a visit

MacIsaac invit­ing Cape Bre­ton hockey fans to visit the Stan­ley Cup in Antigo­nish

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY T.J. COLELLO sports@cb­post.com On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

Al MacIsaac is invit­ing any Cape Bre­ton hockey fans to pay a visit to Antigo­nish in Septem­ber to see the Stan­ley Cup up close and per­sonal.

MacIsaac, an Antigo­nish na­tive, is the vice- pres­i­dent of hockey oper­a­tions with the 2015 Stan­ley Cup cham­pion Chicago Black­hawks. It’s the third time he’s brought hockey’s Holy Grail home. The Black­hawks have won the ti­tle 2010, 2013 and 2015.

“The cup doesn’t come to Nova Sco­tia that of­ten and not only if you’re Black­hawks fan or a hockey fan or a Stan­ley Cup fan, it’s an op­por­tu­nity to see the cup, get your pic­ture taken with it and if I’m for­tu­nate enough, I might get to meet some of these peo­ple,” he said.

The tro­phy will be avail­able for public view­ing on Sept. 3 from 2-5 p.m. at the Keat­ing Mil­len­nium Cen­tre in Antigo­nish. It will then move to Piper’s Pub from 7-11 p.m.

The Black­hawks won the Stan­ley Cup on June 15 on home ice, de­feat­ing the Tampa Bay Light­ning 2-0 to win the best- of- seven se­ries in six games. It was the first time in 77 years that the Black­hawks had won the cham­pi­onship on home ice.

MacIsaac has been part of the Black­hawks or­ga­ni­za­tion for 15 sea­sons. It’s his fifth in his cur­rent po­si­tion and had pre­vi­ously served as the se­nior di­rec­tor of hockey ad­min­is­tra­tion/as­sis­tant to the pres­i­dent.

MacIsaac has ties to Cape Bre­ton him­self. His mother, Murdo (Mur­ray) is a Syd­ney na­tive who moved to Antigo­nish af­ter mar­ry­ing Al’s fa­ther, Don­ald. Al fondly re­mem­bers spend­ing time at his grand­par­ent’s house on Up­per Prince Street in Syd­ney and watch­ing har­ness rac­ing at Tar­tan Downs from their backyard.

Dur­ing his play­ing days, MacIsaac, a de­fence­man, was a mem­ber of the Cape Bre­ton Oil­ers Calder Cup cham­pi­onship squad in 1993. The St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity grad­u­ate was a 12th-round pick of the Buf­falo Sabres in 1987. Along with his Calder Cup win, he’s also won the Me­mo­rial Cup in 1986 and an East Coast Hockey League ti­tle in 1992 as a player.

“It’s been a great op­por­tu­nity to meet a lot of peo­ple,” he said. “They’re hockey fans, Black­hawks fans and Stan­ley Cup fans, for that mat­ter. It’s kind of neat. You can’t say it’ll hap­pen again — you never know.”

MacIsaac said the team has 100 days with the tro­phy over the sum­mer and spends time among the play­ers, the coach­ing staff and the team’s own­er­ship and ex­ec­u­tive.

MacIsaac isn’t the only for­mer Cape Bre­ton Oil­ers player to win the cup in June. Dennis Bon­vie serves as a pro scout with the Black­hawks. The na­tive of Frankville, N. S., played in Cape Bre­ton from 1993-96. Norm MacIver of Thun­der Bay, Ont., played de­fence for the Oil­ers from 1989- 91. He’s the Black­hawks as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/AL MACISAAC

Al MacIsaac of Antigo­nish is shown with the Stan­ley Cup fol­low­ing the Chicago Black­hawks win over the Tampa Bay Light­ning on June 15 in Chicago. From left are his daugh­ter, Madisson, wife, Dawn, MacIsaac and daugh­ters De­laney and Emer­syn.

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