Photos recently hit sports blogs across the Internet showing Handler holding baseball, football, and basketball trophies — some as young as 17 years-old — both with white gloves and without.
“It’s true. I have handled other trophies. And I’m very sorry. I apologize to my family and friends, and to the NHL and the Stanley Cup most of all,” said Pritchard. “I never intended to hurt anyone.”
Pritchard claims he never sought out handling relationships with other trophies, but his fame as the Stanley Cup handler made him a high-profile target.
“I have opportunities to handle trophies all the time. And, well, it turns out I am weak,” he said. “It started out with just one slip up a few years ago — one night handling the Grey Cup. But then it just spiraled out of control from there. I found myself handling a new trophy almost every night.”
Pritchard’s illicit trophy handling boiled over this weekend when reports surfaced that he had left the Stanley Cup unattended in a suburban Chicago Motel 6 while engaging in a passionate handling of a Little League baseball trophy at a nearby baseball complex. The long-time Cup handler was then subject of a blackmail attempt, in which $50,000 was requested in exchange for destroying pictures of him handling the Little League trophy.
“Everyone makes mistakes and I hope I am able to show the Stanley Cup that it’s the only trophy I really want to handle,” said Pritchard.
Yet just hours after his press conference, Pritchard was spotted by multiple witnesses at a nightclub with the Lady Byng Trophy.