Panthers coach Paul Maurice pauses an interview to celebrate with the Stanley Cup. Photo Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating Edmonton Oilers in game seven of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final ended, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice was interviewed by Emily Kaplan, ESPN on ABC’s on-ice reporter. Kaplan asked Maurice to describe his emotions. But before he could, the interview was interrupted by “a visitor,” as Maurice said.

The visitor? The Stanley Cup.

As Kaplan was asking her question, Florida’s backup goalie, Spencer Knight, was wrapping up his lap with the trophy and brought it to his coach. Kaplan graciously stepped aside. Maurice, who is a Stanley Cup champion for the first time in 26 years as a coach, gripped the trophy, leaned down and said what he later described as “Some unkind words about how hard she was to catch.” He then stood up and hoisted the Stanley Cup above his head for the first time.

After passing the Stanley Cup off, he returned for his interview.

He praised the team, noting specifically how well new players meshed with the team’s longer-tenured players.

Maurice then summed up what it was like to win a Game 7 after losing a 3-0 series lead.

“It was perfect Florida Panther fashion. Nothing’s easy. Nothing’s easy for us. It wasn’t easy last year. They did everything they could to win that. And the people that were there — Radko Gudas, Eric and Marc Stall — all of those guys that were a part of it, they’re a part of this, too. But there’s nothing easy. So we needed to lose three in the finals to learn how to win four. And the fact that it was so hard makes it so special.”

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