When the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday to capture the 2015 Stanley Cup, the actual Stanley Cup was not present in the building.
The holdup was due to weather and traffic issues that resulted due to flooding in the Chicago area.
When asked about the delay, the league explained it was “late due to flooding on roads.”
The Cup did arrive, if a little late, and the celebration immediately began.
You may think the Stanley Cup is in the building from the start of any game when it could potentially be awarded, but that’s not the case. Each year, the NHL keeps the Cup at the hotel until it looks like a winner will be crowned, and then it is transported to the rink. This year’s weather got in the way.
At least the Cup was in the arena for a celebration this time, unlike the last time Chicago won at home.
When the Blackhawks last won the championship on home ice in 1938, the Stanley Cup wasn’t even in the city because the Blackhawks weren’t expected to win.
From a 2010 Chicago Tribune article:
Frank Calder, the first president of the NHL, thought so little of the 1937-38 Blackhawks that, prior to the Cup finals against the heavily favored Toronto Maple Leafs, he had the Cup dispatched from Detroit – where the Red Wings had won it the previous season – to Toronto, and didn’t bother to re-route it to Chicago even as the Hawks had an opportunity to clinch the series at home.