Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2011, 03

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz with Lord Stanley
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz with Lord Stanley.
(Bill Wellman/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The Bruins spent the night of Saturday, June 18 with the Stanley Cup at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Ledyard, Connecticut. By 11:00 the next morning, they were showered and checked out of their rooms, climbing into the bus that would take them back to Boston. When they arrived at the Massachusetts border, the police were there waiting for them. Nothing was amiss — they were there to escort the team to Fenway Park.

Zdeno Chara arrives at Fenway Park with the Stanley Cup
Zdeno Chara arrives at Fenway Park with the Stanley Cup.
(Bill Wellman/Hockey Hall of Fame)
When they arrived at the venerable old ballpark, the Bruins emptied from the bus, Stanley in tow, and entered the clubhouse to see their colleagues from the Boston baseball world. The Red Sox players gathered around the Stanley Cup, marvelling at the heritage and names readily recognized: Orr, Esposito and Sanderson from the Boston teams of 1970 and 1972, and other superstars like Gretzky, Lemieux and Crosby. Donated by Lord Stanley in 1892 and first awarded in 1893, hockey's championship trophy is among the oldest trophies in existence. The Cup has endured the years and passed along to the NHL champions each spring. Conversely, baseball's World Series Trophy is newly-minted each fall and awarded to the baseball champions to keep permanently.

Zdeno Chara showing off the Stanley Cup at Fenway Park
Zdeno Chara showing off the Stanley Cup at Fenway Park prior to a Boston Red Sox game. (Bill Wellman/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Three duck boats drove the Bruins' players onto the ball diamond from centre field, circling the warning track around the perimeter of the field so that the capacity Fenway crowd could marvel over the Stanley Cup.

Once the duck boats had made the circuit, they dropped off the players in centre field so that they could walk together to the pitcher's mound. Now, traditionally, one player tosses the ceremonial opening pitch, but on this occasion, each of the Bruins' players lined up across the middle of the infield, paired with a Red Sox player standing across from them adjacent to home plate. With the signal given, the hockey players threw strikes to their baseball brethren, and the stands shook from the thunderous applause. By the way, the Bruins took the Stanley Cup but left its good luck as the Red Sox spanked the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 12-3 on Sunday, June 19.

Patrice Bergeron became the 25th player to become a member of the Triple Gold Club
Boston's Patrice Bergeron became just
the 25th player to become a member
of the Triple Gold Club.
(Bill Wellman/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Back on the bus, the team was transported to the TD Garden. They had one final team photo taken with the Stanley Cup, and while each completed his exit interview, the others had portraits taken with Lord Stanley's mug as well as the Prince of Wales and the Conn Smythe Trophy. While there, Patrice Bergeron was applauded for becoming just the 25th player to complete the trifecta of winning a World Championship gold medal (with Team Canada in 2004), Olympic gold (with Team Canada in 2010) and the Stanley Cup. Incidentally, he was also a member of the gold medal Canadian team at the World Junior Championship in 2005.

The players departed and left the Cup with the coaches, who, along with their wives, crossed the street and enjoyed a meal in Stanley's company at The Greatest Bar.

* * *

On Tuesday, let's all meet up right here and we'll spend some time visiting Vegas for the NHL Awards and Minnesota for the NHL Draft.


The Boston Bruins getting ready for the official Stanley Cup Champion team photo
The Boston Bruins getting ready for the official Stanley Cup Champion team photo at the TD Garden. (Bill Wellman/Hockey Hall of Fame)

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

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