The Stanley Cup is coming to Sudbury.
In celebration of the 39th annual Little Native Hockey League tournament, being held in Sudbury March 15-18, the Stanley Cup, along with 20 exhibits from Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame, will be on display at the Caruso Club.
“On March 15, 16, 17, Skater's Edge Source for Sports and Whitefish River First Nation is bringing the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Stanley Cup to Sudbury,” Paul Thususka, marketing/events co-ordinator for Skater’s Edge Source for Sports, said.
The Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit will also feature eight NHL trophies, two photo exhibits and eight interactive games.
On the request of Thususka, one of the exhibits will carry an aboriginal theme, in honour of the Little NHL.
“When I spoke with the hockey hall of fame ... I asked to have an aboriginal theme present,” he said. “They notified me that there was no aboriginal themed exhibit.”
However, the Hockey Hall of Fame said they could create such an exhibit, with “some research and support on our part,” the events co-ordinator said.
“Now there is a first-time ever aboriginal theme as part of this travelling exhibit, and it will probably be going back to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a permanent exhibit,” he said.
The Little NHL is the longest running hockey tournament of its kind in Ontario. The first inter-reserve hockey tournament was held in 1971 in Little Current and was hosted by the Whitefish River, Sucker Creek and West Bay First Nations. Boys and girls, ranging in age from 5-18 will take to the ice, with some coming from as far as the Northwest Territories.
Thususka said having the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Stanley Cup in town could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of the players participating in the tournament.
“There’s 1,500 to 2,000 actual players coming down,” he said. “Some of these kids do not get a chance, or will not get a chance to see the Hockey Hall of Fame. This is a big opportunity for kids to see something they’ve never seen.
“I’ve never been to the Hockey Hall of Fame,” he added.
Admission into the exhibit will be $5/day for all ages.