As captain of the Vegas Golden Knights, Mark Stone had the opportunity to skate up to Commissioner Gary Bettman, who presented him with the Stanley Cup.
Stone then hoisted the 34.5-pound trophy above his head, a remarkable feat for the veteran winger who had undergone two back operations within the previous nine months.
“The look in my teammates’ eyes when I got it is one of the craziest feelings I’ve ever had,” said Stone. Knowing that I did it with my 25 to 30 closest companions makes it even more special.
Stone scored a hat trick in the series-clinching Game 5 victory for Vegas on Tuesday, giving him nine points in the Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon remarked, “He’s a great leader; he’s incredibly passionate about his play.” “The more you observe him, the more you value him… He improves the lives of those around him.”
Stone has been the commander of the Golden Knights since 2021, when he was named the franchise’s first captain. He was also their greatest trade acquisition after their 2018 Cup final debut, which ended with a loss to Washington on home ice.
With the first hat trick in a Cup-clinching victory since Babe Dye in 1922, he ensured that this game would go to extra innings.
Chandler Stephenson, his teammate and golfing companion, remarked, “His play is simply outstanding.” “It’s not surprising that he is leading by example tonight,” the speaker said.
Stephenson stated that Stone has not been able to play golf since January due to his back injury. The team believed Stone would be able to recuperate and return, but a setback necessitated surgery and raised doubts as to whether he would play again.
He missed the rest of the regular season but returned for the first game of the playoffs.
There were concerns that his career was in peril, as stated by McCrimmon. “He deserves credit for the effort he has put forth.”
Stone averaged a point per game during the postseason. However, he is also undoubtedly the best defensive winger in hockey and was a major contributor to Vegas’ physicality and edge.
Teammate Alex Pietrangelo said, “If you see him and stand next to him, there’s a reason why he’s as powerful as he is, so I don’t think he gets enough credit on the defensive side of the ball for what he’s capable of doing.” “He does a lot of things away from the puck that go unnoticed.”
He will be immortalised in photos and video of Stone hoisting the Stanley Cup because he was very conspicuous during the playoffs.
“I can’t even describe the feelings in my stomach right now,” Stone said. “It is everything imaginable. The grind of an 82-game season, four postseason rounds, grinding and grinding and grinding until you are the last team standing. It is remarkable.”