The Colorado Avalanche clinched the Stanley Cup finals on Sunday night, defeating defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5. Naturally, the team — including Quebec's own Nicolas Aubé-Kubel — was overjoyed.
Aubé-Kubel had the honour of parading the famed trophy around the ice as the team gathered for a group photo. But it appears his excitement got the better of him.
Moments before crashing down into the prickly pile of scruffy men, Aubé-Kubel tripped over his own feet, sending the cup down onto the frozen ground as his team members let out an anxious cheer.
As a grinning Aubé-Kubel recovered, it was clear the accident left a large dent in the trophy base.
\u201cNicholas Aube-Kubel might have ruined his chances at being a future Keeper of the Cup \ud83d\ude2c\nhttps://t.co/4JcMPxg9XK\u201d— Hockey Night in Canada (@Hockey Night in Canada) 1656300954
Officials seem to have welcomed the moment with good humour. The Stanley Cup's official Twitter account called the dent "another beauty mark."
Of course, this is not the first time the coveted chalice has seen some damage in its many years as a plaything for burly professional athletes.
In 2021, a photo on Twitter appeared to show a guilty-looking Tampa Bay Lightning player holding an extremely warped cup after some celebratory debauchery. The trophy was reportedly sent to a Montreal smith for repairs.
As Narcity Québec reports, Nicolas Aubé-Kubel's little tumble even elicited some sibling mockery.
"I was sure he was fooling around," his sister, former Occupation Double contestant Alex-Anne Aubé-Kubel, wrote on her Instagram story.
She also congratulated him. "Extremely proud of my brother," she wrote in a post showing her standing alongside the player and a dented Stanley Cup.