A treasure hunter searching in Florida waters came across a true Canadian find - a Stanley Cup ring marking the last time Toronto's Maple Leafs were able to clinch the hockey championship.
The ring has been missing for some thirty years. It belonged to former Maple Leaf right-winger Jim Pappin, the player who led his team during the 1967-68 season playoffs with seven goals and 15 points.
Pappin was so disillusioned with the Leafs after they traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks, he gave his ring to his father-in-law.
"I didn't want anything to do with the Toronto Maple Leafs," he told CTV's Naomi Parness.
His father in law, Peter Kyrzakos, wore the ring faithfully until he lost it sometime in the 1970s during a stay at his vacation home in Vero Beach, Fla.
Kyrzakos was so distressed, he hired people and divers to look for the ring, but to no avail. Too upset to tell Pappin, he asked former teammate Eddie Shack for his ring so that he could have it replicated. Kyrzakos only told Pappin about the lost ring in 1982 when his daughter and the hockey player divorced. He gave Pappin the replica and the two remained close until Kyrzakos died in 2004.
Pappin never thought about the ring again until the treasure hunter gave him a call from Florida.
Early in August, Mark DesErmia was in the Gulf of Mexico, off the shores of Clearwater Pass, Fla. with an underwater metal detector when it detected the missing treasure with Pappin's name inscribed on the inside. DesErmia said he's been offered $20,000 for the ring but that he would gladly give it back to Pappin for a reward.
"What's amazing is that the guy wants to give it back to me," he said.
Pappin said he hopes to sell the replica and give DesErmia that money as his reward.
The ring also has special meaning for Pappin's daughter, who is getting married next week. She was very close to her grandfather and having the possession he treasured would be just like having him there with her, Pappin said.