The Stanley Cup’s Russia tour

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Russian triumvirate of Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Mikhail Sergachev were inseparable during the team’s second championship boat parade up the Hillsborough River in July.

Makes sense the three would essentially blend their individual days with the Stanley Cup into one big celebration when the Cup made its way to Russia this week.

The Stanley Cup arrived Monday in Moscow. Dan Milstein, the agent for Kucherov and Vasilevskiy, posted a picture on his Instagram and Twitter accounts showing the crew, along with former Lightning forward and current Milstein client Alex Volkov, posing for pictures on a pedestrian bridge in the capital city, Kucherov and Volkov wrapping an arm around the Cup, Vasilevskiy hoisting the Conn Smythe Trophy he won for going 16-7 and posting five shutouts, including one in all four clinching games for the first time in NHL history, as the most valuable player of the Bolts’ 2021 playoff run. 

The next day, Vasilevskiy posed for pictures in Red Square with his parents, the goalie lifting the Stanley Cup while his father Andrei Sr. held the Conn Smythe. Later that evening, Vasilevskiy and Sergachev were on the set of Russian’s popular late-night talk show, Evening Urgant. By the end of the show, the two were standing on the guest couch, pumping their fists and drinking a beer along with host Ivan Urgant while the end-of-show music cranked.

Sergachev flew Thursday an hour and a half east from Moscow to his hometown of Nizhnekamsk, where he showed the Cup off to his youth team. He later posted a video on his Instagram wearing his 2020 championship ring and eating egg rolls – at least they looked like egg rolls — out of the Stanley Cup. At home with his family, Sergachev lifted the Cup for his father to drink out of and his father returned the favor. A fireworks show over the Cup capped the night.

Friday, the Stanley Cup continued its eastern route through Russia as Vasilevskiy toted it along with the Conn Smythe Trophy to Ufa, a city of about one million residents the Lightning goalie calls home. Vasilevskiy brought both trophies to the giant Monument to Salavat Yulaev, a statue of a Russian army leader on horseback that rises high over the banks of the Belaya River in Ufa and is a popular landmark in the region. A bride and groom were taking their wedding pictures at the base of the statue too. Vasilevskiy picked up the Stanley Cup and posed for pics with the young couple. Later, Vasilevskiy could be seen parading the Stanley Cup around town in a convertible Bentley, the Cup safely buckled into the back seat.

Saturday is a travel day for the Stanley Cup as it heads back stateside to continue its offseason tour in Plano, Texas Sunday with former Lightning forward Blake Coleman.

Photo courtesy of @HockeyAgent1