Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2011, 01

Boston's Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas showing off their hardware.
(Craig Campbell/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The flight from Vancouver took the Bruins back across the continent, and while it was an overnight flight, not one of the team members slept a wink on the trip home. They arrived at Logan International Airport Thursday morning, June 16th, greeted by hundreds of screaming fans clad in black and gold.

The boys went home long enough to shower and, in most cases, shave off their playoff beards, and then met at 4:00PM for a team gathering at Tia's Restaurant and Bar, right on the waterfront. The boys sat on the patio, nibbling on finger foods and enjoying a beer. Word quickly trickled out that the Bruins were at Tia's, and soon, a sea of people surrounded the area, including news outlets that delivered live hits from the waterfront location. The team howled when, in the distance, they saw Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ferrence arriving with the Stanley Cup being pushed in a baby stroller! Police helped carve a path through the crowd to get Zdeno, Andrew and Stanley onto the patio with their teammates. It was all but impossible to hear any conversations because of the cacophonous din of the screaming fans.

Tim Thomas and the Stanley Cup addressing
the crowd outside of the TD Garden.
(Craig Campbell/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The Bruins left Tia's for a team dinner at Stella, one of their favoured restaurants in the heart of Boston's south end. It was a private evening for players and their partners only, dining on delicious pasta and steak. They gathered at 7:30, but several left after dinner, exhausted having not slept since their Stanley Cup victory. Those that remained at 11:30 that evening drank wine from the bowl of the Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup was flown to New York City for Friday, June 17. Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas accompanied the Stanley Cup. The three Bruins' stars walked into the Green Room at the Today Show at 7:30 that morning, only to find New York TV and radio stations already on set waiting for their arrival.

Zdeno Chara showing off the Stanley Cup during the team's Stanley Cup parade through the streets of Boston.
(Craig Campbell/Hockey Hall of Fame)

The show, originating from New York's Rockefeller Plaza, also featured country star Kenny Chesney. Before he performed 'Somewhere With You' and 'You and Tequila,' a duet with Grace Potter, Kenny got his photo with the Cup and was eager to hear the history of the magnificent trophy.

Bergeron, Chara and Thomas were greeted by the hosts, each of whom asked the boys a question about winning the Stanley Cup. Ann Curry then gave each a congratulatory kiss as well as planting a kiss on the Cup itself.

The Stanley Cup spent some time at the home of
Tim Thomas for some family photos.
(Howie Borrow/Hockey Hall of Fame)

Next up was a visit to the NHL Store, where shoppers buying Bruins' championship banners got the thrill of their lives when the team's captain, sniper and goaltender walked in. The guys then did an interview for NHL Live with host E.J. Hradek.

Returning to Boston after spending the morning in New York, the Stanley Cup made a stop at the home of Tim Thomas for family photos. The Thomas's garden is magnificent, and features the Bruins' logo carved out of stone.

Fans will undoubtedly know that Adam Sandler is a fan of the Boston Bruins. In fact, in his 1996 hit film 'Happy Gilmore,' Sandler wore a Bruins' jersey while golfing in a most unique manner. This summer, Adam will play the cranky father to Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg's character in 'I Hate You, Dad.' The Stanley Cup was taken to the film set and was immediately surrounded by cast and crew. Adam Sandler was ecstatic, and was really interested in examining the trophy.

Adam Sandler getting a chance to hold Lord Stanley on the set of his upcoming movie.
(Howie Borrow/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Later, several of the players wrapped up the eventful day by spending about 45 minutes with the Cup at the Gypsy Bar.

Saturday, June 18, it was the much anticipated Stanley Cup parade through Boston. The Bruins were seated with identifying signs in Boston's famous Duck Boats, vehicles that can drive through streets as easily as they can take to water. Just prior to the parade, a few members of the Bruins' family addressed the crowd at the TD Garden at 11:00AM. Owner Jeremy Jacobs thanked the crowd for their support, and teased team president that the championship was something he was never able to do as a player. Tim Thomas said, "You guys wanted it, we got it and we want to share it with you today," which drew a Godzilla-sized roar from the fans. Captain Zdeno Chara held the Cup aloft, and with his height, there were fans in Cape Cod who could just about see the trophy above the city. Patrice Bergeron introduced Brad Marchand, who reprised the chorus of rapper Wiz Khalifa's 'Black and Yellow.'

Tim Thomas showing off the Stanley Cup during the team's Stanley Cup parade through the streets of Boston.(Howie Borrow/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The parade began immediately afterwards, following the same route that the basketball Celtics took when they won the championship in 2008. The parade took the Bruins along Staniford Street, Cambridge, Tremont and Boylston as it concluded at Copley Plaza. Boston has now become the City of Champions, hosting seven tickertape parades for its victorious sports teams in the last ten years.

Well over a million fans came out to cheer on the champions, making it what the police claim is the largest civic celebration in the city's history. Homemade signs were abundant along the parade route, many proposing marriage to rookie Tyler Seguin. The players, all wearing matching championship t-shirts, smiled and waved at the throngs lining the parade route.

Zdeno Chara showing off the Stanley Cup during the team's Stanley Cup parade through the streets of Boston.(Howie Borrow/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Following the parade, the team members climbed into a bus and took a 90-minute excursion to the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, an entertainment complex in Ledyard, Connecticut. There, they took the entire fourth floor.

At 7:00PM, the boys met at High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge in the entertainment complex. For three hours, they laughed and bowled as they noshed on pizza and sliders. Then, they visited the Shrine Club in the hotel. Owners Randy Greenstein and Ed and Joe Kane had cordoned off a special area for the visit. "We have a very, very special surprise for you, gentlemen," the owners said. They then delivered a 30-litre bottle of Ace of Spades 'Midas' champagne. The bottle, one of but six in existence, had been flown in and then brought by limousine from the airport to the Shrine. The Bruins all took turns enjoying a gulp of extraordinary champagne from the Stanley Cup, signing the label of the bottle after their turn. The bottle, now empty, was signed by all of the Bruins and will be displayed at High Rollers with plans to raffle it off at a later date.

The Stanley Cup makes an appearance on the Today Show in New York. (Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The party ended at midnight, and while the players lingered for awhile, they eventually returned to the fourth floor and caught some sleep. After all, it had been a most memorable day!

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On Friday, we'll take you out to the ballpark to observe sports collide as we take you to Fenway Park to watch the Bruins watch the Red Sox. Grab your glove and we'll catch up with you then.

Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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