While the San Jose Sharks have never won the Stanley Cup, one of their former coaches will be bringing the famous silver trophy home to the South Bay for a day.
Brett Heimlich, who worked with the Sharks for nine years, helped the Colorado Avalanche win the Hockey Championship last June. And — per tradition — each member of the winning team gets 24 hours with the historic trophy.
Heimlich chose to spend his day with the 35-and-a-quarter-inch-high cup hosting a private victory party on Sept. 4 at his parents’ home in Los Gatos where he grew up.
“It’s the same Stanley Cup that Wayne Gretski’s touched, Lou Robinson’s touched, some of the greats. It’s the same exact trophy,” Heimlich said. “My name will be on it. It’s an honor to be a part of it. It’s still surreal, it’s still sinking in.”
The cup will fly in that Sunday morning from Southern California after spending the previous night with one of the players.
Heimlich said he already has plans to serve popcorn and a batch of margaritas out of the cup at the party, and fill it with a mammoth ice cream sundae to surprise his niece and nephew.
The cup belongs to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and one of the museum’s representatives, known as the Keeper of the Cup, travels with the trophy as it goes from players to coaches and staff — sometimes around the world.
Just this summer, the trophy traveled to London, spent the day on the coast of Eastern Canada and was even filled with a slurpee.
The names of each member of the winning team are engraved on one of the trophy’s bands. Over the years, some bands have been retired and put on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame to make room for the names of new winners.
Heimlich has been an assistant video coach for the Avalanche for six seasons. He helps the team prepare for games by analyzing opponents to figure out their weaknesses, and makes adjustments in real-time during the game.
The Avalanche beat the two-time defending champions, Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1 in Game 6 of the final, marking the third time in franchise history that the Avalanche have taken home the Stanley Cup.
Would he ever come back to the Sharks? Heimlich said the South Bay will always be home, but he and his family are in a great spot in Colorado.
“I think if the opportunity was correct, it would be hard to turn down,” Heimlich said. “As of now, it’s a great experience for my kids to grow up [in Colorado], and just personally I’m in a really good spot.”