Chris Hayes was eligible for a Stanley Cup ring thanks to a brief appearance for the Boston Bruins in the playoffs — in 1972.
A Stanley Cup ring is one of the ultimate goals for any professional hockey player, but one man in Canada had to wait nearly five decades to get his.
As reported by Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen, 71-year-old Chris Hayes, a retired banker, had made a brief appearance for the Boston Bruins in the 1972 Stanley Cup playoffs.
"I didn’t even know I was entitled to a ring," Hayes told Egan.
Hayes spent a few more years in the Boston system after that, but never really broke through with the Bruins. Fortunately, a childhood friend decided to contact the Bruins on Hayes' behalf, who were able to confirm that Hayes was eligible for a ring and find a ring-maker who could closely recreate the design of the original 1972 ring.
In early April, a FedEx package arrived at Hayes' house, carrying a ring with the phrase "World Champions" around 18 diamonds, and Hayes' name engraved on the inside.
"I’m a pretty laid-back guy, but I guess you could say I’m quietly ecstatic about it," Hayes said. "I look at that ring, and it brings back so many memories. So many people you met along the way, not just the stars, but the trainers, the billets, people like that."