After the Las Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup on Tuesday, June 13, defeating the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5, the Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association posted pictures of Knights defenceman Shea Theodore hoisting the Stanley Cup.
“Sending out HUGE congratulations to Aldergrove’s own Shea Theodore on winning the Stanley Cup,” the message read.
Aldergrove Minor Hockey president Jeff Crossman said the association was “absolutely thrilled for Shea and the entire Theodore family.”
“Shea has made it clear many times just how proud he is to be an AMHA alumni and this is what helps him to be such a hope and inspiration to the young hockey players here in Aldergrove,” Crossman added, calling it “a great source of pride for our entire community to see a young man from such a small family-like town excel at the highest levels of hockey possible.”
Las Vegas won the Cup in its sixth season, becoming the second-fastest team to a championship in the expansion era (since 1967-68) behind the Edmonton Oilers (five, 1983-84).
The nine goals tied the record for the most in a Cup final.
Theodore, aged 27, had 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) in the series, including three assists for the Knights in the final game.
In a post-game Sportsnet interview with Kyle Bukauskas, Theodore called the win “awesome.”
“It’s unbelievable, I can’t even imagine we’re here,” Theodore enthused.
His family came to Las Vegas for the final.
“It’s pretty special to have them here for it,” Theodore commented.
” [I’m] definitely looking forward to bring the cup back home [to Aldergrove].”
He’d ended a 27-game scoring drought just in time for the championship series, scoring in Game 1 with a wrist shot through traffic to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead in the second period, on the way to a 5-2 victory.
After the goal, Theodore banged against the glass, pumped his fists and yelled, “Let’s go!”
Theodore was one of the six so-called “Golden Misfits,” members of the team that reached the Stanley Cup final in 2018 in Vegas’ first NHL season.
Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy had five of the start the final game: Theodore, forwards William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and defenceman Brayden McNabb.
Theodore called the coach’s decision “pretty cool,” and “definitely a nervous shift that’s for sure – but you know, we got it under control.”
Back when he played at the atom level, Theodore was an outstanding Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association player, who turned down an chance to play at the Burnaby Winter Club, a big organization known for producing elite level players.
The decision allowed him to play with life-long friends at a rink just two minutes away from home until the bantam level.
Theodore then made the jump to the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds where he played for two seasons, then going to Norfolk of the American Hockey League before beginning his NHL career with the Anaheim Ducks.
In 2018, he signed a seven-year, $36.4 million contract with the Vegas Golden Knights.
He has been back to Aldergrove more than once, including the official opening of the new Aldergrove community centre the same year.
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Theodore was a member of the Team Canada U18 squad when it won gold at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships.
He also played for Canada during the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, where he helped hold the Russians scoreless in the third period to win gold.
In 2019, Theodore went public after doctors discovered he had early signs of testicular cancer.
He underwent a successful surgery, and made a full recovery.
Since then, Theodore has become a campaigner against cancer, launching Kay’s Power Play fund to make mammograms more accessible in 2021, named after his grandmother Kay Darlington, who died of cancer in June 2020.
“I’m definitely grateful for every day, and especially for a day like today,” he said following his first Stanley Cup win.
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