Read this article - "Cup-championship puck on its way to L.A." - on NHL.com about New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias finding the final puck of the final game of the Stanley Cup finals in his equipment bag, and returning it to the Champion Los Angeles Kings.
This "disappearing puck" thing has happened before in recent years, and a number of people commenting on this article are taking quite a negative look at this and at Patrik Elias. Elias is a veteran player of over 1000 NHL games, all with New Jersey, where he's won two Stanley Cups himself. While he'd obviously be disappointed about the loss to the Kings, I highly doubt his intentions were more than mischievous, if anything.
Knowing Elias' Stanley Cup experience, he actually may have been protecting the puck from getting truly lost in all the hubbub. He would know how important that puck would be to the Kings. If that wasn't the case, he may just have been going along with what I think may be a new tradition in the NHL. A fun thing the players do amongst themselves, but also to entertain the fans.
In all the celebration when the game-ending horn or buzzer goes off, a player on the Stanley Cup winning team is very unlikely to bother to think of the puck. The Cup, after all, is the real prize. So, this is the perfect opportunity for a member of the losing team to start the game of "Who's Got the Puck". Hey, it's a long summer, especially after you go all the way and come up short.
Most every player in the NHL is a grown man (even if some can't grow a playoff beard). They're also a fraternity that has a lot of respect for each other, even when there is great animosity between some players on the ice. Any player who makes themselves unwelcome within the fraternity usually never lasts long on one team, or in league itself, no matter how good of a player they are.
I would not feel right in pointing fingers and making accusations about a missing puck. If a puck was truly missing, I doubt players would call out one of their peers as a "thief". Unless in jest, as some are wont to do. They'd accept the loss, though disappointing. But I'm also sure every player would do their darndest to find the puck. And not to as evidence of their innocence, but simply to do the right thing.
Anyhoo, just a few thought...