Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Blues impressed with Stanley Cup rings

Ceremony honoring champs took place Monday at the Missouri History 
Museum, leads up to season-opener, banner-raising ceremony Wednesday

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Alex Pietrangelo knew what was coming when he sat at the table of the Missouri History Museum ballroom, but that finality of opening the box and seeing the Stanley Cup ring for the first time Monday night was a sight to be remembered.

"It's big. It's pretty cool, it's big, and shiny," Pietrangelo said. "It was a pretty cool. It's pretty amazing, it really is. I got home, put it down, went to bed, woke up this morning, showed my kids. When you look at it again, it's pretty cool."
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues players pose for a picture after receiving their Stanley Cup rings on
Monday at the Missouri History Museum.

That's the sense that the Blues had when they all unveiled their rectangular boxes, and placed the bling on their fingers. 

Crafted in 14-karat white and yellow gold, the Blues 2019 championship ring celebrates their journey and pays homage to not only the team but the fans and the city of St. Louis. 

Inside the rings are the opponents in the playoffs and number of games played to win each series, signifying the 16 wins needed to win the Cup with 16 genuine custom-cut blue sapphires that are arranged on the ring top to form Blues logo in a yellow gold outline. Also highlighted in yellow gold are the words 'STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS' in a custom blue antiquing. On the top and bottom of the ring top's edge are princess-cut sapphires, channel-set in yellow gold: ten on top, and ten more on the bottom, combining for a total of 20. Beneath the logo is the Stanley Cup itself, made up of 45 pavé-set diamonds. Surrounding the Cup are 30 more diamonds. When combined, the 75 diamonds represent the 75 goals scored by the Blues during the playoffs. Completing the ring top's display are an additional 115 diamonds set to create a cascading waterfall effect.

Also engraved is the name 'LAILA', which is found along the interior of the palm for Laila Anderson, the young lady the Blues helped battle her disease of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). The palm crest reads 'PLAY GLORIA', the team's rally song they adopted from the 1982 hit by Laura Branigan and played after victories, both on home ice and in the locker room.

The left side of the ring pays tribute to the strong connection between players and fans, with both featured celebrating with the Cup. The name of each player is highlighted, along with their jersey number set in diamonds. A pair of Blues logos crafted from custom-colored enamel provide a contrasting splash of color on the white and yellow gold backdrop. A final element to the ring's left side is the championship year date of 2019.

The ring's right side honors the bond between the Blues, their fans and the city of St. Louis. The Blues logo, crafted in contrasting yellow gold, appears at the top of the right side. Intricately detailed music notes for the song "When the Blues Go Marching In" are also featured. The music notes flow through the iconic St. Louis Arch, formed by 16 diamonds, again representing the number of victories earned in the playoffs. The scene is inspired from photos taken from an overhead blimp during the city's championship parade celebration. A mix of 76 diamonds and 15 sapphires represent the massive crowd turnout that surrounded the stage, celebrating the historic victory.

The expertly-crafted ring by Jostens celebrating the Blues historic first Stanley Cup victory features a total of 282 diamonds, 20 princess-cut sapphires, 16 custom-cut blue sapphires and 15 round sapphires for an impressive precious stone carat weight total of 10.6 carats.

"I didn't know what to expect, but it was awesome," defenseman Carl Gunnarsson said. "I think we all kind of had that 'wow' feeling when we opened that box. It was pretty amazing.

"It was nuts. When the guy went up there and explained the whole story behind it, that makes the whole ring. When you look at it, you remember what it's for, all the inscriptions on it. It's another dimension to it."

The rings were everything the players thought, and then some.

"I think more," center Brayden Schenn said. "Everyone was in the consensus of those things were huge, well-thought out, well thought of, well done. It's amazing just to see that looking at it on your finger. It's pretty special, we'll have that together as a team.

"Rings were unbelievable. We're not only fortunate to win the Stanley Cup but to have a nice keepsake to go along with it."

It's one of the final moments the Blues had before finally laying to rest their historic season signifying their first-ever Stanley Cup championship. To go with the banner-raising ceremony Wednesday night when they open the 2019-20 season against the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, it's a series of events the Blues can share one last time.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Vladimir Tarasenko's Stanley Cup ring sits in front of the names of Blues
players engraved on the Stanley Cup on Monday.

"It's a great way to kind of end it and get next year started," center Ryan O'Reilly said. "The building's going to be amazing. I think it's going to be really cool for everyone to be a part of that. It'll be exciting, too, to get the season going."

When Pietrangelo woke up Tuesday, he found his triplets playing with his new ring, like a toy. 

"It's almost the size of their hand," Pietrangelo said. "I had to take it away though when they started playing with it. That's where I drew the line." 

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