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

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2012 - Los Angeles Kings captian Dustin Brown hoists the Stanley Cup after his team defeated the New Jersey Devils during Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey final in Los Angeles, June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS

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 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.

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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 Mr. Rathgeber's at an event in Montreal last week.

Mr. 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," Mr. 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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