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Six degrees of separation

Compiled by Tim Sullivan
Published May 24, 2004

So you think the Stanley Cup doesn't belong in Florida? Follow us on a path from Lord Stanley himself directly to the Lightning:

LORD STANLEY: Lord Stanley of Preston, who represented the British monarch as governor-general in Canada from 1888-93, purchased the trophy in 1892 for an amateur hockey competition. Lord Stanley never watched a championship game or attended a presentation of the Cup, but his trophy lives on.

HAVILAND ROUTH: In 1893, he was one of eight players for the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, which won the Cup Lord Stanley had purchased after a round-robin tournament. In 1895, Routh took his services across town to the Montreal Victorias, who would win five Cups before 1900.

MIKE GRANT: He was the coach and captain of the Victorias. In 1900, Grant joined the Montreal Shamrocks, who won the Stanley Cup that season.

HARRY TRIHEY: He was the coach and captain of the Shamrocks.

JACK LAVIOLETTE: In 1908, Hall of Fame player Jack Laviolette left the Montreal Bell Telephone (and you thought corporate advertising was bad now!) and joined Trihey's Shamrocks. But the next year, Laviolette joined the fledgling Montreal Canadiens, where he became a building block of their dynasty.

TONY ESPOSITO: He began his career with the Canadiens in 1968. (Okay, so we're skipping ahead 60 years. Play along. It's fun.) More remembered for his 15 seasons with the Blackhawks, Esposito went 5-4 with a 2.73 goals-against average for the Canadiens. His brother is. . .

PHIL ESPOSITO: The man who founded the Lightning and served as its first general manager still is a radio analyst. So ta-da! There you have the links that establish the Lightning as rightful heir to Lord Stanley's Cup.

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