A day with the Cup: DJ Kogut

A day with the Cup: DJ Kogut

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

Made of silver and nickel alloy, he steals the spotlight wherever he goes — at just more than 35 inches tall and weighing 34 pounds. He has engravings from top to bottom and allows babies to sit in him, food to be eaten out of him and alcohol to be poured into him.

The Stanley Cup, the National Hockey League’s championship trophy, made its way to the northwest suburbs of Chicago on Monday afternoon for DJ Kogut’s day with the Cup.

Kogut, an equipment manager for the Chicago Blackhawks, waited 77 days to see Lord Stanley again, a wait he did not mind.

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“When you win the Cup, you want to get your hands on it again,” he said. “It may take a couple months, but it’s always worth it when you get to lift that thing up.”

After winning the Stanley Cup, each member of the team is allowed a personal day with the Cup — a tradition started in 1995.

Upon the Cup’s arrival, Kogut hoisted it for family, friends and neighbors in front of his parent’s home.

After taking family pictures, Kogut dropped to one knee, exposing a diamond ring to his girlfriend Jenny Pate, a moment he planned since winning the Cup. Even though he did not speak, it was understood it was the life-changing moment that caps their seven-year relationship; he proposed to marry her.

“I had the ring before we won the Cup,” he said. “But when we won, I knew that’s when I was going to do it.”

From there, Kogut and the Cup traveled to Rookies Sports Bar & Grill followed by an appearance at the Elgin Country Club, before a private party for friends and family including Chicago Wolves coach John Anderson and 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Brent Sopel.

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Kogut, who began with the Blackhawks this season after the death of equipment manager Clint Reif, is responsible for doing laundry, sewing and fixing equipment, and picking up the visiting team’s gear.

During the season, Kogut worked primarily with defenseman Kimmo Timonen and center Brad Richards, but helped with any equipment needed.

“I broke in [Patrick Kane’s] gloves in the playoffs,” he said. “I would put them in the oven and keep them warm for him, little superstitions like that.”

Kogut said winning the Cup in his first year leaves him spoiled.

“You always want to [win the Stanley Cup] and to do it after a half-season is pretty cool,” he said. “You’re not going to win it every year, and I might not ever win it again, but it’s good to win it at least once.”

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brentmeskeDE. 

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