Stanley Cup winner shares sports' most iconic trophy with suburban neighbors
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Longtime suburban resident Steve Richmond didn't hold back on sharing the prize of his life Tuesday.
Richmond, director of player development for the Washington Capitals, shared the Stanley Cup with family, friends and hockey fans in Wheeling, Lake Zurich and Glenview. As is tradition, Richmond and other members of the Capitals' roster, staff and front office get to spend a day with the trophy over the summer to celebrate the team's championship season.
His long and fun day began about 7:30 a.m. at The Original Granny's restaurant in Wheeling. Richmond, a Lake Zurich resident, joined Granny's owner and friend George Kastanis for a picture with the Stanley Cup in the parking lot before entering the eatery.
Kastanis said he got to know Richmond when he was a defenseman playing for the Los Angeles Kings in the 1980s and living near Granny's in the offseason. Kastanis was thrilled when Richmond informed him Granny's would be part of Tuesday's tour.
"I told him I love him, and now I adore him and I love him even more," Kastanis said with a laugh amid a festive atmosphere, with customers taking pictures as the Stanley Cup sat in the middle of Richmond's table.
Family friend Elizabeth Rojas got in on the early fun at Granny's by gently placing her 1-year-old son, Adrian, in the Cup.
Richmond later drank hot coffee from it. He poured the leftover coffee into a bus tub and wiped the inside.
"The reason we're here (at Granny's) is we've been coming here with our family for over 30 years," Richmond said. "We used to live in Buffalo Grove, so we used to come every Sunday. And I used to come here four, five times a week for 10 years in a row. George has been a good friend, and they have the best omelets I've ever had. And I've had omelets all over the world."
Richmond, 58, a Chicago native who coached in and directed the Glenview Stars youth hockey program in the late 1990s, was accompanied by a crew that included about 14 family members and friends on his stops. After a stop at a Glenview school, he brought the Stanley Cup for photo opportunities at Lake Zurich police headquarters.
Lake Barrington resident Tom Koziol was among those soaking up the Cup experience at each stop with Richmond. Koziol was a successful Chicago-area youth hockey coach and has known Richmond since 1990.
"It's the Holy Grail," Koziol said. "He's my best friend. It's emotional for me."
Richmond's final public stop was Consume, known for a deep craft beer lineup and seasonal menu on Route 22 in Lake Zurich. He unloaded the Stanley Cup from his red Ford truck and brought it into the jammed establishment.
After the 16-year village resident whistled to get the crowd's attention, he explained why the Cup was at Consume, which he patronizes most Sundays with his wife, Jeanne.
"I brought it here because I want to share it with the people that don't get a chance to see it," said Richmond, drawing "awwws" and applause from the crowd.
Signed as a free agent by the New York Rangers in 1982, Richmond played defense in 159 National Hockey League games for four teams. Like everyone else in hockey, Richmond had a lifelong dream of winning the Stanley Cup.
Richmond said he was hosting a private party at his house to end his Tuesday with the Cup.
"That'll be crazy," he said. "People I haven't seen in 15, 20 years but I keep in contact -- talking, whatever. ... I've been through the battles with them on the ice, and here they are 15, 20 years later with the Cup. It's sort of surreal. It's unbelievable."