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Edmonton MP supports idea of awarding Stanley Cup to top amateur team

Mike Bolt, Keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice after members of the Vancouver Angels novice C1 minor hockey team were surprised with it before their practice in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday December 7, 2012. An Edmonton MP is supporting an idea that the Stanley Cup be awarded to an amateur team if the NHL labour dispute isn't settled in time to save the season.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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Mike Bolt, Keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice after members of the Vancouver Angels novice C1 minor hockey team were surprised with it before their practice in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday December 7, 2012. An Edmonton MP is supporting an idea that the Stanley Cup be awarded to an amateur team if the NHL labour dispute isn't settled in time to save the season.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

EDMONTON - An Edmonton MP is supporting an idea that the Stanley Cup be awarded to an amateur team if the NHL labour dispute isn't settled in time to save the season.

Brent Rathgeber (RATH'-gay-buhr) suggests the Cup could be the prize in a national competition to determine the best non-pro team in Canada.

A group of recreational players made a similar suggestion during the 2004-05 lockout when they argued in court that Lord Stanley's mug wasn't the exclusive property of the NHL.

An out-of-court settlement back then said the Cup's trustees have the option—but not the obligation—of awarding the prize to another team if there is no NHL champion.

One of the Cup's guardians made a similar suggestion to Rathgeber's at an event in Montreal last week.

Rathgeber points out the trustees' original purpose was to promote amateur hockey in Canada.

"I propose that the trustees exercise that very discretion and award the Stanley Cup to the best amateur or beer league or women's or sledge hockey team in Canada," Rathgeber writes in his official blog.

"What would be more Canadian than having players, who play only for the love of the game, challenge for a Cup that they would otherwise never even remotely be in contention for?"

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