National Hockey League

A baby baptized in the Stanley Cup: What kind of person does that? And why?

A baby baptized in the Stanley Cup: What kind of person does that? And why?

I don't know if Peter Smith, the all-star religion writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is a hockey fan.

If he is — and even if he is not — I'd like to request his help on a story.

Here's what I'm curious about: A Pittsburgh Penguins player had his son baptized in the Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup — for those not familiar with it — is the championship trophy awarded annually to the team that wins the National Hockey League playoffs. Traditionally, each player on the winning team get a private day with the cup. 

The Sporting News notes that the Cup "has held lots of babies, but it has rarely hosted a baptism."

USA Today points out:

The Cup has been partaking in a wide variety of activities this summer. It visited a children’s hospital, enjoyed some spaghetti, briefly went to college, practiced water safety and has spent a lot of time on the golf course.

And oh, there was a pedobaptism!

From a Post-Gazette sports writer, the brief story that sparked my interest:

Josh Archibald is taking the spiritual experience of winning the Stanley Cup to a new level. 
The Penguins winger had his son, Brecken, baptized in the NHL’s championship trophy during his day with it Wednesday in Brainerd, Minn. The Hockey Hall of Fame’s Philip Pritchard captured the moment on Twitter. 

Alrighty! You definitely grabbed my attention.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

A high-profile believer's 'amazing' cancer recovery: God is (not) in the details

A high-profile believer's 'amazing' cancer recovery: God is (not) in the details

Frustrating.

That's how I'd describe the Dallas Morning News' Sunday front-page profile of Bekki Nill, wife of Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill.

Frustrating because the story comes so close — oh, so close — to explaining the role of faith in Nill's "amazing" cancer recovery. 

But ultimately, holy ghosts end up haunting the in-depth feature.

The first clues that religion is, or should be, a major angle in this story come right at the top:

In the nearly three years since she came to North Texas, Bekki Nill has seen two of her kids graduate from college, one get engaged and her husband's career flourish.
And she became a grandmother!
"Amazing things," she said.
Blessings, truly, and somewhat newsworthy because Bekki's husband is Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill, architect of one of this NHL season's most improved teams.
But more so because Bekki, 55, is nearing the fifth anniversary of being diagnosed with incurable cancer and told she had two months to live.
Would anyone blame her if she quietly focused on prolonging her life while privately cherishing these milestones? Instead, she openly discusses her cancer fight while becoming a guiding light within the Stars' organization -- and an inspiration to many outside of it.
"The way she lives her life probably allows me to do this," Jim said last Monday, mere hours after acquiring Calgary's Kris Russell before the NHL trade deadline. "She doesn't put herself first in anything, though she probably should at times."

It's impossible to read that opening and not suspect strongly that there's more at play here than a positive outlook on Bekki Nill's part. All the signposts point to Nill being a woman of faith. Strong faith. 

Please respect our Commenting Policy