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The Story Behind Stanley Cup-Winning Gear


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CHICAGO — The order was placed the morning after the Blackhawks clinched a trip to the final. The hats and T-shirts have been kept under lock and key ever since.

On Monday night, we may finally get to see the final product: “Chicago Blackhawks, 2015 Stanley Cup champions.”

When a team lifts the Cup, the official championship gear always seems to appear out of thin air. But it is actually the product of months of planning and an intricate — not to mention sensitive — set of logistics designed to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

The biggest concern is keeping the losing team’s “championship” apparel from entering the public realm. Hats, T-shirts and towels were also produced before this series with a Tampa Bay Lightning logo on them, but the earliest they can get unpacked is after a potential Game 7 on Wednesday.

In the event they lose another game, fans won’t ever get a glimpse.

“You put in all sorts of mechanisms and fail-safes to ensure that doesn’t happen,” Brian Jennings, the NHL’s executive vice-president of marketing, told Sportsnet. “To guard against it is always one of those nerve-racking concerns that we have.”

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