SOREL-TRACY, Que. — Anie Aube turned all around, and she noticed her son dealing with the dream shared by youngsters all over Canada. Nicolas Aube-Kubel was walking through the gate into the backyard with the most storied trophy in sporting activities hoisted earlier mentioned his head. The Stanley Cup had arrived.
It was all over 9 a.m. Saturday, and a group of much more than 20 spouse and children and buddies had previously gathered at Aube-Kubel’s childhood home, waiting for this second. As a member of the Stanley Cup winner Avalanche, the ahead was having his working day with the Cup, kicking off the trophy’s intercontinental summer time tour, in the course of which it will go to a town of each and every player’s deciding on.
Anie known as her feelings “hard to explain” as she watched her son have the Cup into the backyard. Times of pleasure can be interesting and overpowering. A whirlwind.
“So quite a few factors that are favourable in your mind,” she reported. “It requires time to method.”
The 26-year-previous Aube-Kubel, whom Colorado picked up on waivers from the Flyers in November, didn’t have a large statistical effects in the playoffs, failing to log a position in 14 game titles. But he experienced a as well as-2 rating and, for the most portion, stayed out of the penalty box, a little something he struggled with in Philadelphia. He brought a actual physical presence to the base-6 ahead group that proved instrumental in the team’s championship run.
Aube-Kubel also made his mark on the Cup in a extremely literal perception. Just after Colorado clinched the championship Sport 6, Aube-Kubel — a nutritious scratch that night time — skated the trophy toward teammates collecting for a team picture. But as he neared the rest of the staff, his blade hit a crack in the ice, and he tumbled. The Cup’s base strike the challenging area, coming absent with a dent. Hockey Hall of Fame employee Steve Poirier, who was on trophy babysitting duty Saturday, said the Cup underwent repairs while in Montreal for this week’s NHL Draft.
“Hopefully, it stays undented and in fantastic shape,” Aube-Kubel stated jokingly in the course of the early morning gathering.
Dozens of relatives customers and mates wandered around the yard Saturday, and they trickled inside the home, which Aube-Kubel moved into when he was all over 11. Attendees grabbed croissants, cheese and fruit from a desk in the kitchen area, and the dwelling carried reminders of Aube-Kubel’s thrilling past few yrs, which provided monumental events on and off the ice. He proposed to his now-fiancee, Madison Fidler, this 7 days, and a photograph of him dropping to a knee sits in entrance of the stairs to the 2nd ground. Close by, a large print of him in a Flyers uniform hangs higher than a landing, and at the top of the picket actions is a large circumstance holding the puck he potted for his very first NHL intention, two images of the perform and the black Flyers jersey he wore that match.
Anie Aube is speedy to level out that the pictures demonstrate her son wearing the wrong uniform. The good thing is, there is even now white room to work with, space for an Avalanche Stanley Cup photo or two.
Back again exterior, hockey’s holy grail sat on a table future to the family’s pool. Both of those of Aube-Kubel’s sisters, Alex-Anne and Gabrielle, were being struck by the trophy’s paradox.
“You do not notice since there are so a lot of names, but it’s only a couple of the quite best hockey players,” Alex-Anne mentioned.
Now their brother’s will be amid them all.
Aube-Kubel’s grandfather, Jean-Yves Aube, walked as a result of the solar-stuffed garden, using in the scene all over him. The 79-year-outdated texts his grandson just before every activity, reminding him of the competencies that took him to the NHL: backchecking, skating hard and enjoying bodily. Jean-Yves explained following the Avalanche received Sport 6, he obtained a FaceTime call from Nicolas. He was crying and told his grandpa it was the greatest day of his daily life.
“To be waived and to gain the Stanley Cup in the similar yr, that’s a thing,” Jean-Yves mentioned Saturday while donning a signed Avalanche championship hat.
A picture of Aube-Kubel hoisting the Cup and an Avalanche banner hung from a line above the lawn, and Aube-Kubel mingled with attendees, having photo just after photograph up coming to the Cup. At a person place, he did a martial arts pose following to a youthful girl who, possibly coming from a class, arrived at the bash in total uniform. Even Aube-Kubel’s French Bulldog, Chanel, was well prepared for the situation, carrying a burgundy Avalanche shirt with a sparkling 16 on the again. Mochi, his black petite Pug, also was included, letting herself to be put in the bowl of the Cup for a picture. All all-around Aube-Kubel ended up beloved kinds, canine and human alike, supporting him.
“That’s what I enjoy the most,” he stated.
The accumulating of buddies and loved ones was just the commencing of Aube-Kubel’s time with the trophy. Players never get the Cup for lengthy, so they have to make the most of it.
“Wait until eventually you see the total day,” he stated.
Sorel-Tracy, with a populace of about 35,000, may well be a smaller town, but it has a strong hockey record. Pierre Mondou, a 3-time Cup winner with the Canadiens in the 1970s, is from there. So is Francois Beauchemin, who gained the Cup with Anaheim in 2007 and completed fourth in 2014 Norris Trophy voting. Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury grew up less than 2 miles from Aube-Kubel’s childhood house, and Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier was even closer: only a couple of blocks.
There’s a basketball court docket in the community that, when flooded in the wintertime, freezes above and turns into a makeshift hockey rink. Aube-Kubel skated there as a kid, neighbor Eric Parenteau stated, introducing that when Aube-Kubel was in town final summer, he would stickhandle with local little ones on the court docket.
So, with the Cup in city, Aube-Kubel desired to share the expertise with those all around him. That did not signify he experienced to be flawlessly on program. The parade by way of downtown started off at 12:30 p.m., a 50 percent-hour at the rear of the initial plan. No a single seemed to brain.
Les Éclairs de Quebec, a marching band dressed in red and black uniforms, performed “I Will Survive” and led the procession. Aube-Kubel followed a pair of autos behind, standing in the mattress of a mild blue Ford truck, the Cup within arm’s reach at all occasions. A team of dancers adopted, all wearing navy T-shirts with his title on the again. They jammed out to pop music, including “All I Do Is Earn,” in the course of which Aube-Kubel lifted and reduced the Cup together to the lyrics “up down, up down, up down.”
And, the natural way, the parade playlist featured “All the Modest Factors,” which has become an anthem for the Avalanche. The dancers sang along to the Blink-182 strike.
About an hour outside the house of Montreal, Sorel-Tracy is a major more than enough city that the parade felt like a celebration but modest adequate that Aube-Kubel could prevent the truck and just take photographs with mates alongside the route. He even obtained off the automobile to carry the Cup inside of a few corporations shut to his heart: a cafe he grew up going to owned by a friend the jewelers the place he bought his fiancee’s engagement ring and the barber shop exactly where he’s gotten his hair slice given that he was small.
“It’s been mad,” Aube-Kubel explained. “It’s a tiny city, a modest metropolis, and it’s awesome how several folks confirmed up. On this kind of limited notice, also? Which is fairly amazing.”
In excess of the program of the parade, Aube-Kubel shotgunned 5 cans of beer or seltzer, stretching his arm to make a slick catch on one consume thrown his way. He also obtained a pitcher of a popular local consume that mixes tomato juice and beer and poured it into the Stanley Cup. Fidler assisted him tilt the trophy back so he could consider a sip.
Aube-Kubel remembers when the Cup came to town in the course of Fleury’s 3 wins with the Penguins, and the celebrations spurred an important assumed in his intellect.
“That’s the very first memory of (pondering), ‘The Cup in city would be so exciting,’” he mentioned.
And it was. Following the parade, he took the stage in entrance of a packed sq. downtown. Alex-Anne emceed the ceremony, expressing in French that it was a historic working day for Sorel-Tracy. (Sasha Kandrach of the Avalanche assisted the author with translation to English.) She launched town deputies, and prior Cup champions from the spot posed for shots with Aube-Kubel, such as Eric Messier, who gained with the 2001 Avalanche and experienced his Cup day in Sorel-Tracy.
“To carry the Stanley Cup with somebody who played (with the Avalanche), that’s special,” mentioned Messier, introducing that he desires Aube-Kubel to get a Stanley Cup tattoo matching the 2001 piece he has on his leg. “My heart is heading to be with Colorado for good.”
Shortly ahead of signing the town guestbook, Aube-Kubel sprayed the group with champagne and, when he eventually took the microphone, joked that speeches are not his toughness — in particular soon after a several drinks. Then he thanked the crowd, telling attendees he was proud to share this day with them. He was happy to be from Sorel-Tracy.
Soon after the ceremony, throngs of admirers structured in a line to pose for shots with Aube-Kubel. At 1 point, about 160 people today were in the queue, stretching close to a Ferris wheel in city for Gib Fest, a area festival. Everyone desired a piece of the day’s local hero.
At last, it was time to get absent. And Sorel-Tracy has the ideal spot for that: the h2o.
Aube-Kubel and his closest family members and good friends took a two-decker boat on to the nearby river. He shared beverages with his buddies and ate gibelotte — a regular soup from the place — out of the Cup.
Nic organized a regular soup, Gibelotte, from his hometown of Sorel.
And now the boat usually takes the Cup down the river!#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/8nJnC6R7QX
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 9, 2022
The cruise gave way to a party on land, and the party showcased a surprise for Aube-Kubel. One particular of his shut close friends, Clarence Farley, informed him he wouldn’t be equipped to make the Cup day since of a hectic stretch performing a songs pageant in Quebec Metropolis. But Farley freed his program by night, and he walked into the party hiding his encounter with a photo of Aube-Kubel. He walked to his pal, he explained to The Athletic, then decreased the image.
Aube-Kubel was caught off guard, and he pulled Farley in for a hug. It was a memory on a day complete of them.
As Anie said, overwhelmingly joyful activities can acquire time to course of action. She planned to depart Sunday for a beach front holiday on the Maine coast. When she will get there, she’ll have a possibility to decompress with ocean air about her. Then perhaps, she says, the craziness of the previous weeks — the magnitude of what her son attained — could possibly lastly start to set in.
(Prime photo: Peter Baugh / The Athletic)
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