Earlier this week, SB Nation Chicago's David Miller wrote about the Flyers' Chris Pronger's attempt to get $50,000 from any Blackhawks fan who wanted the puck from last spring's Stanley Cup Finals Game Two, which Pronger has in his possession.
No one's taken him up on that -- yet -- but there's an even bigger mystery to be solved. Where is the puck from the Cup-clinching Game Six? No one, apparently, has seen it since it slipped under the folds of the net past Michael Leighton and briefly caused confusion about whether the Hawks had won. Grant DePorter, CEO of Harry Caray's restaurants, really, really wants that puck to display in the new Harry Caray's location on Navy Pier, which will have a hockey theme.
Today, the Chicago Tribune reports that the FBI is helping DePorter in his quest to find this elusive puck.
Why are they doing this? DePorter, according to the Tribune article, had received a puck from a man who claimed someone had given it to him at the game. DePorter had once taken a FBI class and called up their local spokesman, Ross Rice, who helped get the agency on the case:
Armed with footage from NBC of the winning goal, the FBI took on the task.
The FBI determined that a single puck was used the entire 4:06 of overtime. But unfortunately — for the purposes of this investigation anyway — the NBC cameras had panned away after the score to focus on Kane as he streaked to the other end of the ice.
"The last image of the puck was it was in the back of the net and a referee can be seen skating into the camera shot," Rice said.
But that was hardly enough to lead to a suspect.
So the forensic examiners turned to the more immediate question — was the turned-in puck the Stanley Cup winner?
Again, they studied the high-definition NBC footage to isolate nicks and marks on the puck used in overtime.
"Hockey is a very fast game and to freeze a frame and get a usable image takes specialized equipment that we have," Rice said.
But after examining photos of the puck handed over to DePorter, it was clear — no match, the FBI concluded.
They haven't given up. Using the latest technology, they can compare microscopic cut marks on used puck, which is how they determined the puck DePorter got wasn't the right one. The article goes on to say that they may ask the Flyers to examine footage from security cameras; amazingly enough, six months later, Flyers spokesman Ike Richman says:
"No one has asked us to (check)," he said.
I'm sure this agency can get to the bottom of this. Somewhere, someone has that puck. The Blackhawks want it. The FBI is on the case! Someday, it'll be displayed at Harry Caray's at Navy Pier -- although, it would seem to us that the United Center might be a more appropriate venue.