Robbie Laird will have the Stanley Cup for only about six hours, but he’s making sure local fans will get a chance to spend time with it, too – all for a good cause.
The former Komets player and coach, who is a professional scout with the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings, will bring the most celebrated trophy in sports to the HOPE for Animals Low Cost Spay/Neuter/Wellness Clinic, 1333 Maycrest Drive in Fort Wayne, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 7.
For a $5 donation to the HOPE for Animals, which hopes to end euthanasia of healthy adoptable pets, people can get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup or any of the Komets’ championship hardware that will also be on site.
“Obviously, every player gets to have the Cup for a day, and the coaches and everyone,” Laird said. “They have been very good about getting it out to the staff members. I was fortunate to get it early. … It’s flying in to Fort Wayne from Detroit late in the afternoon and then I have it for the rest of the day. We thought we would try to get it to many people as possible.”
Laird’s wife, Madeleine, is Hope’s executive director, and the couple have two dogs.
What else will happen with the Cup in Fort Wayne?
“I have a lot of family and friends that are going to be invited over to my residence,” said Laird, who has worked with the Kings for 18 years. “Just going to enjoy it that evening and have a little get-together, low-key. … I wish I had it earlier in the day, so we could move it around a little bit more.”
Laird, 57, played for the Komets from 1974 to 1979 and 1983 to 1985.
He coached them from 1985 to 1989.
He skated in only one NHL game, with the Minnesota North Stars, and he was an assistant coach with Washington in 1989-90, so it’s been particularly special for him to realize the dream of hoisting the Stanley Cup, even after his playing and coaching career was over.
“The most enjoyment I get about (winning the championship) is when it’s very quiet and you have time to realize, holy smokes, we won the Stanley Cup,” Laird said. “It’s certainly a dream. When you are hockey players growing up, it’s a nice goal that we all have and want to accomplish it.”
The Komets are expected to have the President’s Cup, which they won in the CHL last season, as well as the Turner Cups from the now-defunct IHLs, at HOPE for Animals.