While the 2016-17 AHL season is already underway for the Cleveland Monsters, the 2016 Lake Erie Monsters still had one piece of unfinished business to attend to from their Calder Cup Championship campaign. The team, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets’ management and the Monsters’ hockey operations staff, received their 2016 Calder Cup Championship Rings on Monday night at a private ceremony, hosted by Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell at Double Eagle Club in Galena, OH.
“It is a privilege to be associated with an event such as this,” said Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager and Monsters General Manager Bill Zito on Tuesday. “These players managed not only to achieve individually, but they turned their personal success into collective triumph. They epitomize the best of team values.”
Zito addressed the group before distributing the rings to each player and staff member. A 10 karat white gold ring with satin finishes, the Monsters’ 2016 Calder Cup Championship Ring features a grand total of 188 individual diamonds, is framed with the text “Calder Cup Champions” and features a custom black, blue, yellow and red enamel Monsters logo rising from the top of the ring’s face with a pave-set diamond Calder Cup trophy behind it.
The Monsters’ now-famous dasher board countdown (which the team used inside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena to cross off each win on the path to a championship) surrounds the perimeter of the ring, along with a row of diamonds.
The side panels of the ring showcase several additional unique elements, including each player’s last name and number on the left panel, along with the Blue Jackets logo, crafted in colored enamel and high-polished metal.
On the right side panel, the “Lake Erie Monsters” wordmark is proudly displayed, along with one diamond-set stone to represent the franchise’s first Calder Cup Championship. A star set above the wordmark pays tribute to the Monsters’ late assistant equipment manager Phil Simon, a Cleveland hockey legend who passed away during the Monsters’ title run following a six-year battle with leukemia. Within the “Monsters” wordmark itself, the “R” and “S” are slightly hollowed out so as to read subtly as “PS,” an additional homage to Simon’s lasting contributions to the Monsters and Cleveland hockey in general spanning a 60-plus year career in the sport.
Cleveland’s iconic skyline rests below the wordmark in high-polished metal, along with the Calder Cup, surrounded by the championship year’s date, “2016,” accented with the AHL logo. The Monsters’ historic 15-2 postseason record is placed inside the base of the trophy and completes the ring’s right side panel.
The Monsters additionally utilized the inside of the ring to help further commemorate the team’s record-setting run through the Calder Cup Playoffs by featuring an arbor that contains the team’s record in each of its four postseason series, along with the logo of each opposing team the Monsters defeated en route to Cleveland’s first Calder Cup Championship since 1964, an accomplishment that ended a 52-year AHL title drought for Northeast Ohio.