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The Dallas Stars and the Mystery Dent in the Stanley Cup

Throughout the Stanley Cup’s history, it has come to be known as one of, if not, the most coveted trophy in all professional sports, with a history dating back to 1892. Lord Stanley’s Cup has taken many different forms throughout the years, always keeping the “cup” as the centerpiece.

Despite being such a special trophy, the Stanley Cup has taken quite a beating since it was created, practically going to Hell and back at the hands of the winners.

Its rich history of misadventures and misfortunes includes:

  • Being drop-kicked into the Rideau Canal in 1905 by the original incarnation of the Ottawa Senators
  • Briefly misplaced by the 1906 Montreal Wanderers as they posed for their championship photo
  • The New York Rangers burned the mortgage to Madison Square Garden after their 1940 win
  • Maurice Richard chipped two teeth in 1957 while drinking from the Cup
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped the Cup into a bonfire in 1962. Repairs were made at the expense of the team
  • The Cup sustained butter stains and salt damage in 2003 after Martin Brodeur ate popcorn out of it. The stains remained for eight days until Jamie Langenbrunner cleaned it out
  • Most recently, after the Boston Bruins‘  2011 win, Michael Ryder brought the Cup to a media event in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where it fell after being set on a table that collapsed shortly after, leaving a notable ding and giving him a reason to fit perfectly with the Dallas Stars

While most of the Stanley Cup’s damages have been accounted for, one story has never quite been explained.

After the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup against the Buffalo Sabres in 1999, there was a very large and noticeable dent located in the base. Stars spokesperson Larry Kelly has claimed that the Cup was accidentally dropped in the locker room while celebrating the win in Buffalo. Another theory that has circulated since is that the Cup was dropped at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport when it was brought to Texas.

While those theories are definitely plausible, they don’t seem to add up upon hearing the third and most likely theory. After returning from Buffalo, a party was thrown at the house of Stars’ defenseman Craig Ludwig and Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul to celebrate the big win. The Stars had managed to build a friendship with members of Arlington, Texas native metal band Pantera, most notably Vinnie Paul and his brother and guitarist, the late and great Dimebag Darrell. For those who aren’t familiar with Pantera and their notorious parties, these guys love to do three things: play metal music, party, and drink… A LOT. This led to quite a party, with hundreds of people attending.

I managed to speak to a Stars fan and attendee of the party, who chose to remain anonymous, that witnessed the events unfold.

The source explained the incident as such: “I don’t remember a whole lot. I got there late and remember it was like a huge frat party. The guys were jamming downstairs and Guy [Carbonneau], Luds (Craig Ludwig), and Matty (Richard Matvichuk) were upstairs. They were yelling something out of the window that I could not make out.” He went on to explain that Carbonneau tossed the Cup out of the window, but said it looked more like he accidentally dropped the Cup than intentionally threw it. The cup then hit the lip of the swimming pool and fell in. While the keeper of the Cup claims that didn’t happened, the source I spoke to simply said, “Didn’t see him,” and that reactions were a mix of party attendees laughing, indifference, or shock.

Vinnie Paul himself has said that the Cup was tossed from his balcony, stating, “It really got dented when Guy Carbonneau threw it off my balcony into my pool.” Craig Ludwig has also come out and said that Carbonneau was the one that threw the Cup, which would make sense, considering he also tossed it into Patrick Roy’s pool after his 1993 Stanley Cup win with the Montreal Canadiens, but he has not stated whether that is what caused the dent or not.

Vinnie Paul, drummer of Pantera and Hellyeah, has stated that Guy Carbonneau tossed the Stanley Cup into his swimming pool from the balcony, missing  the pool and causing the dent. (Photo courtesy of Dallas Stars)
Vinnie Paul, drummer of Pantera and Hellyeah, has stated that Guy Carbonneau tossed the Stanley Cup into his swimming pool from the balcony, missing the pool and causing the dent.
(Photo courtesy of Dallas Stars)

While all fingers seem to have been pointed at Carbonneau over the years, he has claimed that not only did he not throw the Cup into the pool, he did not witness anyone else do it at any point in the night.

While details of exactly what unfolded that night still remain a bit hazy, most witnesses that have spoken out about it have all agreed that the Cup was thrown from the second story by Guy Carbonneau into the pool and it missed, hitting the edge before rolling into the pool.

Perhaps we will never know the full truth, but what we do know is that Guy Carbonneau has a thing for tossing the Stanley Cup into swimming pools. Whether he admits it or not, we all know his secret.


A new star is rising in Dallas.


Brendon Carlton

Brendon Carlton

21 year old aspiring film director/producer, writer, and lifelong fan of hockey and the Dallas Stars. Dallas Stars contributor for Hooked on Hockey Magazine


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