Published June 22, 2007
ST. GEORGE, S.C. – An equipment manager for 2004 Stanley Cup winners Tampa Bay Lightning thinks he lost his National Hockey League championship ring in South Carolina while changing a flat tire along Interstate 95.
Vincent Humphries put the ring in his pocket so he wouldn't scratch it, but realized about a mile down the road that the ring was gone.
"I'm sick," said Humphries, who lost the diamond-studded ring Tuesday night on his way to Florida from Myrtle Beach. "It's the only memento I have in my life to pass on."
Humphries searched the area where he thought he changed the flat tire for about four hours at night with a small flashlight, but had no luck.
David Pilch, a maintenance engineer for the state Transportation Department, oversees the crews who clean up along I-95 near St. George, where the ring was lost.
"I've heard of people losing stuff along the interstate but never a championship ring," he said. "The odds of finding a ring are pretty slim. But I can definitely let my guys know."
Humphries, a former bus driver for the New York Islanders, has been with the Lightning since 1997.
"I remember I was shaking when I got that ring," Humphries said. "In hockey, you dream all your life about getting it."