Equipment Manager for Tampa Bay Lightning Loses Championship Ring

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."