Barclay, the Blues’ team dog who became a viral internet star in the club’s worst-to-first championship run, had his day with the Stanley Cup on Wednesday.
Let’s just say he drank in the moment.
The young yellow Labrador retriever has grown to dog size since he was first seen online as puppy in December chasing a puck with a stick. And in the same span the Blues grew into unlikely NHL champions, the franchise’s first title since it entered the league in 1967.
Because of that connection, the Blues wanted to make sure Barclay got his traditional turn with the Cup.
He wasn’t sure at first, according to Philip Pritchard, the official “keeper of the Cup,” but then the pup warmed to the task. It’s appropriate that former Blues great Bob Plager helped Barclay get over his celebration jitters. His late brother, another franchise icon, is who Barclay is named after.
Barclay was timid of the shinny silver thing at first, but after one sip out of the #stanleycup thanks to Bob Plager, Barclay is a fan for life. @nhl@StLouisBlues @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/s9rA6MIBaG
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) June 26, 2019
The Lab has a backstory, too: He was adopted by the team to help socialize him, and he eventually will become a service dog. (Although he is adorable. He was voted the best team dog earlier this month in the NHL Fan Choice Awards.)
And though Barclay savored his moments with the Cup, it was back with the humans for celebrations later in the day.
Blues players brought it to the Cardinals game Wednesday night at Busch Stadium and continued the citywide celebration.
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) June 27, 2019
For feel-good background: Below is when most hockey fans were introduced to Barclay, via his first meeting with NBC Sports Network’s Doc Emrick: