I caught up with Dwight King and Jordan Nolan recently and had a chance to look back to last year and the successes…to discuss what is happening now and also to give me a scouting report on some of their Monarchs teammates…in Part 1 they discuss their day with the Stanley Cup, sharing it with friends and family and help they have received from family members on the road to the Cup!
JF: Take us through what you did when you had the Stanley Cup.
Jordan Nolan: Me and my brother picked up the Cup at about seven in the morning and then brought it back home and into Garden River with my parents, took some pictures with the family and then we actually brought it to the graveyard…my dad’s parents grave site and we had some aunts and uncles there and it was pretty emotional…so that was definitely nice to do and then after that we had some pictures and we just showed the youth of Garden River and then after that we had a little parade and started it at our community center…there was a few hundred people there all wanting to get a first look at the cup when we entered into town…then we did a parade, that took an hour and half and stopped for pictures as this one landmark in the community and then we did pictures and autographs for about two hours, which took us to about 2 o’ clock. After that we had family over at the house for a bit, took some more pictures, so it was definitely a busy morning and afternoon. But after that, I rented a bus, I had 10 buddies in town so my buddies and my brother we took a ride to the city and showed my buddies Sault Ste. Marie and took some pictures on the water and we really just spent the afternoon just hanging out with the Cup and just doing normal things and then at night time from 6 to 8, we had a banquet at a hotel in town for all of the volunteers who helped out at the parade and family and friends from out of town came to take pictures with the Cup and then after that we rented another bus to fit more people and we went to Boston Pizza and a few other restaurants and bars throughout the night. Then it headed off to Kevin Westgarth…he sent car and he picked it up at 12 midnight…so it was a long day.
Dwight King: I got it in the morning (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan) , I started off with just a family meal at my brother’s acreage…from there did some picture taking with just family…then went to town and did a public viewing for the community at the rink where I played growing up so a lot of people got to come to and see that. I actually went to see my grandmother, she lives in town at the lodge and stopped in the new rink just outside of town on the way home and came back to the farm, went for a ride with the horses with my dad around the racetrack and had a big extended family, friends kind off party/dance to end the evening.
JF: Can remember any reactions from non-family members…people that were kind of awed when they saw the cup…anything that stands out?
Jordan Nolan: Not too many stories…one I do remember…I picked the Cup up at 7 in the morning and I put it in the front seat and I was driving home and one of my buddies—I guess he was driving by me that morning and he sent me a quick text me saying the Cup looks good in the front seat of your car, that was probably one of the weirdest things. Other than that, just my friends and just how excited they were for the day and the night, so that’s pretty much it.
Dwight King: I mean everyone was just taking it all in. Obviously with the presence of the Stanley Cup, there are a lot of pictures being taken and I think everybody enjoyed the history behind it and being able to see it in person and touch it…so I think everybody enjoyed it. I mean there’s a lot of passionate hockey fans around the area where I grew up, I couldn’t name anybody in particular but there was a lot of big smiles and some priceless expressions on people’s faces when they did get the moment. I think being able to watch a lot of the people come in for the pictures, it was special to see…even the kids being able to see it for the first time, it was something I will never forget.
JF: Obviously your father (Ted) played and he coached…what did you learn from your dad along the way that helped you last year on your journey to winning the Stanley Cup?
Jordan Nolan: I can’t think of anything specific about the difference between last year and the past few years. I obviously struggled when I was playing junior hockey…I wasn’t as good as I should have been and I didn’t work as hard as I should have, so my dad told me to really just focus for about three years and dedicate everything you have to hockey and if this is what you want to do make sure you do it the right way and have no regrets once your done so that’s really just what I did, pretty much when I got called up to LA, I knew that’s where I wanted to play, that’s what my dream was…to play in the NHL and try and win the Stanley Cup, obviously when I first got called up I wasn’t thinking about winning the Stanley Cup, I was thinking about staying there so I really just dedicated everything I had on ice and off ice I put the hard work into the gym and I really just gave it my all. I made sure that Darryl liked me. I made sure that I worked hard for the team and did everything for the team. It was definitely an exciting time in my life and I was just trying pretty much help the team out, stay in the lineup, just work my hardest—I knew that this doesn’t happen every day. My dad said, just stay confident. Just keep working and hopefully you can become a Stanley Cup Champion.
JF: Your older brother DJ plays…what do you think you’ve learned from DJ along the way that really helped you last year in your journey to the Stanley Cup Championship?
Dwight King: He’s helped me in my whole life growing up, especially a brother who set the path I followed…from moving away from home to playing in the same midget organization, the same junior organization, being drafted and making that transition from the AHL to NHL. I think it’s just the fact that he was there to just talk me through…the ups and downs of a season for a hockey player can be tougher when you’re younger and I guess the advice and the support that he’s given me over the years…I’m very appreciative of that.
JF: Is there anything special about sharing the experience with him because he’s still on his journey to try to win. Is there anything there that makes it so much better because you guys are brothers?
Dwight King: Yeah, obviously when you share the memory with someone who has put in the time, hasn’t been rewarded the same but has the same dream, the same fire to achieve what any hockey player aspires to get to and have him be totally supportive in the role of a brother has made it special for me to share with him and for him to enjoy just as much as I have, knowing that he’d like it that way and I would be in the same situation if he were in my shoes.