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Hollywood's Hockey Obsession: The Stanley Cup Hits L.A. (Video)

Phil Pritchard, longtime keeper of the Cup, visits the THR Cover Lounge between visits to the sets of "Glee" and "Bones" and recalls one star-studded beach party hosted by Chris Chelios.

One of the oldest and most storied trophies in sports history, the Stanley Cup causes a frenzy of reaction wherever it goes.

On Wednesday, that frenzy was found in the mid-Wilshire offices of The Hollywood Reporter.

Keeper of the Cup Phil Pritchard -- along with the Stanley Cup itself, in all its glory -- stopped by the THR Cover Lounge to discuss Hollywood's hockey obsession, recalling former Los Angeles Kings star Luc Robitaille and Southern Californian Chris Chelios' time as Stanley Cup champions.

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As is tradition, each member of the winning team is allowed one day to bring the Cup to their hometown. As the Cup's keeper, Pritchard went along when Robitaille -- who won the 2001-02 championship with the Detroit Red Wings -- famously brought the trophy to the Hollywood sign and on the famed Universal Studios tram tour. He was also on hand when a beach party broke out a Chelios' Malibu home just a few years ago.

"When a Stanley Cup party breaks out, you never know who's gonna be there," Pritchard said. "In the case a few years ago, Chris Chelios has a place down on the beach in Malibu, and a Cup party started inside and then ended up on the beach. Then, sure enough, wouldn't you know it, some of Chris' neighbors came by -- Tom Hanks, Sylvester Stallone, John Cusack -- they're all friends with Chris, and obviously as they're walking down the beach and the Stanley Cup is sitting there, it kind of becomes a focal point.

"Tom and Sylvester got their photos with Chris," Pritchard added. "They became a part of the party for the night."

While they may still be waiting for their party invites, die-hard hockey fans Cory Monteith and David Boreanaz both requested to have the Cup stop by the sets of their respective TV Fox shows, Glee and Bones, during its brief visit to Los Angeles this week.

"[Monteith] convinced all the staff to come by and get photos with the Cup, and obviously the cast as well," Pritchard said. "It was pretty magical for a lot of them, as some of them, their dads are big hockey fans, so they got photos for them. They were tweeting them on the spot."

But the moment was bittersweet for Monteith, a longtime Vancouver Canucks fan. The L.A. Kings knocked his top-seeded team out of the playoffs last month.

"Cory certainly loved it, and he knows his hockey," Pritchard added with a smile. "The staff and the stage crew were shaking Cory's hands the whole day because they were loving it as much as the cast was."

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Next stop for the Cup was the set of Bones, where Boreanaz, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., reveled in the statue's history.

"It's great to be able to sit next to the Cup," the actor said. "The history that this Cup has and where it's been and what it's seen. To be around that energy, being the big hockey fan that I am, is just a great experience to be a part of."

He added, "It's quite a remarkable piece of hardware."

Although Boreanaz currently resides in Los Angeles, his heart lies with the Philadelphia Flyers -- who potentially could face off against the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

"I would love to see a Flyers-Kings matchup," he said. "And I would think the Flyers would win in six, if that was the case."

No matter what team they're behind, Hollywood stars and execs have been clamoring for tickets to the Kings' coveted playoff games, including Sunday's Game Four of Round 2 against the St. Louis Blues. Should the Kings win, it would mark a series sweep on the way to the semi-finals -- in which the team has played only once, in 1993, led by NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.

To see more from THR's conversation with Pritchard and behind-the-scenes video from Boreanaz's run-in with the Cup, watch the video above.

Originally dubbed the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was first awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club in 1893. There are three versions of the Stanley Cup in existence today: The original bowl, donated by Lord Stanley of Preston, sits on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Presentation Cup, seen in the video above, is the one awarded to champions each year and featured in films and TV series. It is the same Cup that is passed around to players in the six months following their championship win and travels the globe for promotional purposes, though its home is in the Hall of Fame. The final version of the Cup is a replica, which is displayed at the Hall of Fame while the Presentation Cup is away.

Pritchard has been the Cup's keeper since 1988. His official title: vp of the Resource Centre and curator at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

E-mail: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com
Twitter: @SophieSchillaci

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