Grant has memorable day with friends, family and the Calder Cup


By: Lanny Stewart

It was a day Triston Grant will have stored away in his memory bank for a long time.

On Saturday, the Neepawa product brought the Calder Cup to his hometown to celebrate with friends and family after his team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, defeated the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League championship final a couple of months ago.

"We had a good time," said Grant. "Lots of folks showed up and we had a lot of laughs."

Grant signed autographs for people at the Yellowhead Centre during the afternoon and was available for pictures with the cup. This was the second time in three years a significant hockey trophy has made a stop in Neepawa. Shane Hnidy brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown after winning the title in 2011 with the Boston Bruins.

"Neepawa has been kind of spoiled recently with the Stanley Cup being here only a couple years ago and I was fortunate enough to bring the Calder Cup here," said Grant. "Two impressive pieces of hockey hardware -- that's a pretty cool thing, especially for a small town like Neepawa. To be part of that, it's definitely something to be proud of."

A social took place that night at the Viscount Cultural Centre. Approximately $1,500 was raised and will be donated to Neepawa Minor Hockey.

"The social went well. I think everybody that was there, was able to take a drink out of the cup," he said.

"We had some food, we had some drinks and the cup didn't get damaged," he joked. "It was one of those things that I wanted to get checked off the list and was happy I was able to bring the cup to my hometown."

He says his family enjoyed the festivities as well as both his mom and dad also took a celebratory drink from the cup. The Grant family were also able to get some pictures taken with Triston and the cup as well.

"My buddies were really excited about it. I think they drank out of the cup for a good five to six hours," he said with a smile. "It was a pretty memorable day for sure."

Grant will remain in Neepawa until the beginning of September and will then head to Griffins training camp. He signed a one-year deal to remain with the AHL team in early July.

"They had a good group of guys and a great [coaching] staff that was very enjoyable to work with last year. We should have another good team this year," he said. "I've been in situations before where I hadn't had a contract since early October, so when the opportunity came up where they wanted me back, it was pretty hard to say no.

"I'm at peace of mind right now," he continued. "I know where I'm going to be playing next year, so I'm pretty excited about that."

In photo: Triston Grant of the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins with his former Neepawa Area Collegiate high school principal Pat Angers and the Calder Cup on Saturday at the Yellowhead Centre.

Photo by Ken Waddell