In the blog entry below, the New York Daily News' Michael Obernauer also notes Lindsay's first and lets him tell us in his own words.
In 1950, Lindsay was the first to skate around the rink with the Stanley Cup after winning it, which is a rite of victory today. Here's what he had to say about that:
"I was very conscious of who paid my salary. It wasn't the National Hockey League, it wasn't Mr. Norris (the owner), it wasn't Mr. Adams (the general manager), it was the people who were sitting in the stands. At that time, they only had chicken wire, and that was at the end of the rink. On the side of the rink, from where the dots are in the circles, there was nothing on the boards, all the way to the other end. The fans used to sit with their elbows on the boards, and when the play would come by, they'd move back, and when the play would come by, they'd move back, and when the play went into the corner they'd put their elbows back and put their head out to see what was going on in the corner.
"I recognized, I saw that Cup standing there - we didn't have parades and all that in those days - and I saw the Cup, I saw these fans standing just inside the boards, I just said, I'll pick the Cup up, take it over, just so they could see it, get a close look at it. Probably Adams thought, 'What's that idiot Lindsay, is he going to throw it on the ice or something?' But I wanted to show appreciation for the people who paid our salary - never realizing I was starting a tradition. I'm happy it's turned out that way, because it's the greatest Cup in the world, and the greatest game in the world."
Wow! That is so cool, and I can't believe I'd forgotten that. What an awesome gesture. What a start to a great tradition, and he did it for the fans! Also how cool would it be to not only not have to sit behind safety netting, but also not have to sit behind glass? I'd love it.
By the way, kudos to mlive.com's George James Malick who referenced Obernauer's blog so I could find it.
Oh and one more thing. Awhile back one of my Michigan friends, who now lives in Colorado - don't ask - met Lindsay recently. I was jealous of her before, now I'm even more jealous.
The Ted Lindsay statue at The Joe Louis Arena.
I can't post videos or photos on this blog, but I can here.