Enough already. Let the quest for the cup begin!

May 29, 2008 | By Bruce Bennett | Creative

Photo (L-R): Bob Covington, Dave Sandford, Christian Petersen, Patrick Sutton, Jim McIsaac, Bruce Bennett

Yes, it’s another Memorial Day spent on the “Trail to the Stanley Cup.” A few days short of eight months time, and 1,300 games later, the NHL Stanley Cup Finals are set to begin. A classic confrontation between the Pittsburgh Penguins rising stars and the veteran laden Detroit Red Wings. Getty Images headed to Detroit well stocked with its veteran crew. Editors Patrick Sutton and Christian Petersen are joined by photographers Bruce Bennett and Jim McIsaac, along with freelancer Dave Sandford. Added in the mix is Claus Andersen in Detroit and Jamie Sabau for Penguin games.

The joy in this Cup journey is in the travel. A 285 mile trek between cities on an NHL chartered bus will be smooth sailing over the three previous final pairings: Tampa Bay and Calgary, Edmonton and North Carolina, Ottawa and Anaheim. It could only get worse if the NHL expands to Hawaii! No long flights, and no customs or immigration. Just sit back and leave the driving to…Patrick. Shhh. (I haven’t told him he’s driving the bus yet).

So Saturday, the day of game one, is reserved for the designation of our shooting positions, and for setting up net-cam, dasher-cam and rafter-cam. Bob Covington has spent time the previous week wiring the four possible Cup venues and will be on hand to hard wire the ice level shooters. Each photographer will have a laptop by his side to download digital cards which will network directly to the editors thereby saving an enormous amount of time. The NHL is providing runners to hand carry digital cards from shooters on the concourse level. And yes, some day soon the equipment will be available and the wireless will be fast enough to transmit wirelessly from our cameras directly to the editors. That day isn’t far away.

There will be about forty photographers from varied outlets and countries covering each game and the atmosphere provides for healthy and friendly competition to get the best shots. In fact, since the team photographer has his netcam in one net and we occupy the other, our netcam images are pooled with other major wire services.

Lastly, as with most best of seven series at this point in nine month season, media members including our staff will be taking sides. Whoever wins the first game will hopefully sweep.

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