Veteran defenseman Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings ice hockey team — and the current Stanley Cup champion — has told Jim Johnson (a.k.a. J.J.) and Lynne Woodison of the Detroit rock station 94.7 WCSX that DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott placed the Stanley Cup upside down (see video below) "on purpose" during the band's performance last Thursday night (October 9) at Detroit's Fox Theatre prior to the NHL's North American opener between the Red Wings and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. An excerpt from Chelios' interview, which aired Wednesday morning (October 15), follows below.
Chelios: "Someone should have drove that guy, he did that on purpose."
Lynne: "Joe Elliott did it on purpose?"
J.J.: "You think he did it on purpose?"
Chelios: "No, we know he did... we talked to people at the show and the guy was being real rude to everybody. He was in a bad mood when they got there, so for whatever reason he didn't want to be there. And that's his way of showing it and taking it out on the NHL.... Darren McCarty didn't really get a chance to see it; I guess he was going off the stage when it happened. And you know, Quincey (Kyle Quincey) was the only one that said he would have done something to him."
Lynne: "Do you think Quincey would have really popped him?"
Chelios: "No I don’t know if he would have popped him, but he could have gave him a good shove."
Joe Elliott issued a statement earlier in the week defending himself against criticism that he should have known better than to place the Stanley Cup upside down. He said, "I will, as always, take full responsibility for what happened because I have big pucks. However, someone at the NHL should have known better and informed me first instead of keeping the Stanley Cup under lock and key until the last minute. The practice run the day before with a coffeemaker went swimmingly because it, like every other sporting cup I've ever seen, was wider at the top than the base. Ironic, isn't it, that after that night's gig, a NHL insider told me that long ago the Stanley Cup was also designed to be put down that way? Like most of my fellow Brits, I'd never seen it before until it was handed to me sideways by which time I had a 50/50 chance of getting it right. Whoops..."
DEF LEPPARD puts the Stanley Cup upside down: