There's a horrid time zone difference between the viewing lounge of a Canadian Armed Forces base in Kandahar and the home arenas of the NHL. But a 4 am wake up call probably didn't' meet with any complaints today, it was Hockey Morning in Kandahar and Don Cherry was on the line.
Stanley has come to visit and for the men and women of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, it's like a little piece of home has dropped in from the sky.
The NHL allowed the Stanley Cup to travel to the war zone of Afghanistan to help improve morale of the Canadian contingent that faces danger on a daily basis.
However, they probably aren't too worried about the fabled cup, besides a couple of thousand of Canada's finest soldiers, sailors and aircrews, there's a travelling posse of NHL alumni along for the ride. Not too much is going to happen to Stanley with this group of former NHLers riding shotgun.
Tiger Williams, Bob Probert, Ron Tugnutt and former Montreal Canadiens stars Rejean Houle and Yvon Lambert are among some of the new arrivals there to shake some hands, spin some tales and take part in the constantly moving ball hockey games at Kandahar. A form of recreation that the Canadians treat themselves to when they aren't out on patrol.
The travelling show was featured on the CBC and TSN on Wednesday night, with Don Cherry giving the salute to the troops from his perch on the Coach's corner. There has been no greater supporter of the Canadian Forces than Cherry who regularly praises their work from his pulpit on the CBC.
And they likewise admire him, frequently showcasing his picture and writing him letters from the Afghan battle zones.
Wednesday, those battle zones were the farthest thing from their minds, as a little bit of Canada made the trip. Stanley is used to hanging around with the class of the NHL, but he has never been in the company of better people than the ones that posed for photos today!