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Farm Fresh, NHL Ready
Michael Farber
October 30, 2006
The Staal brothers, Marc, Eric, Jordan and Jared, grew up turning soil and tearing up the ice. Now they've begun work on a collection of Stanley Cups
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October 30, 2006

Farm Fresh, Nhl Ready

The Staal brothers, Marc, Eric, Jordan and Jared, grew up turning soil and tearing up the ice. Now they've begun work on a collection of Stanley Cups

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Staal's breakout season delighted Thunder Bay, but the arrival of the Cup on Aug. 10 captivated it. There is something about that hardware that turns everyone into a kid on a backyard rink, including the 5,000 who showed up for a celebration downtown. Eric had won the Cup before, of course, at Staal Gardens, but the enormity of capturing it beyond the confines of the farm did not fully register until a few nights after Game 7, at the NHL awards ceremony in Vancouver, when the Stanley Cup was set up in a VIP lounge. "Other [players] were taking pictures of it but not touching it, of course," Eric said. "But I was right in there, grabbing it, like I won this. I can do this." The Cup didn't change Eric--"He's still just my brother," Jared said--but it has set the standard for the younger Staals, who are less envious than proud.

For the next two decades or more, barring misfortune, a Staal brother will be grappling for it. The reign could last until 2030 if Jared continues to improve. As he kicked at some old pucks on the remains of Staal Gardens, Henry mentioned how well his youngest son had played at an under-17 camp in the late spring. "What I saw then was a fear of failure," Henry said. "I don't think he wants to be known as the guy who didn't get out of Thunder Bay."

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