Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2011, 05

The Stanley Cup was brought to The Steak House in Minneapolis, where the Boston Bruins were holding their scouts dinner and celebration.
The Stanley Cup was brought to The Steak House in Minneapolis, where the Boston Bruins were holding their scouts dinner and celebration.
(Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The Stanley Cup left Vegas on Thursday morning, June 23, following the NHL Awards Show the night before, and flew to Minnesota in order to be fresh for the NHL Entry Draft on Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25. But there was one order of business — a very important item — that was in between the two prestigious National Hockey League events.

The Cup was taken from the airport to 7 The Steak House in Minneapolis, where the Boston Bruins were holding their scouts' dinner and celebration. The entire team of scouts came in from around the world to celebrate the Bruins' Stanley Cup victory and then to put their year of unheralded work to the test through the two-day draft. Cam Neely, the team president, was in attendance and welcomed each of the team's scouts: Mike Chiarelli (Amateur Scout, Ontario), Adam Creighton (Pro Scout, Ontario), Scott Fitzgerald (Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting), Jack Higgins (Amateur Scout, Ontario), Jukka Holtari (Amateur Scout, Europe), Denis LeBlanc (Amateur Scout, Quebec), Dean Malkoc (Amateur Scout, Western Canada), Mike McGraw (Amateur Scout, Midwest United States and USHL), Tom McVie (Pro Scout, West Coast), Ryan Nadeau (Director of Hockey Administration, Amateur Scout, Eastern U.S. and Canada), Wayne Smith (Director of Amateur Scouting), Svenake Svensson (Scout, Europe) and John Weisbrod (Director of Collegiate Scouting).

Members of the Boston Bruins scouting department enjoying their time with the Stanley Cup.
Members of the Boston Bruins scouting
department enjoying their time with the Stanley Cup.
(Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Cam Neely greeted the scouting staff and thanked them for the extraordinary work that helped bring Boston its first Stanley Cup since 1972 as well as for the work that was about to help build the franchise's future through the Entry Draft.

While the assembled dined, Tom McVie provided incredible entertainment, regaling the group with stories, telling jokes and truly expressing what this Stanley Cup victory meant to him.

Tom was a career-minor league hockey player who, regrettably, never got to step into an NHL uniform during his legendary career. After a couple of seasons with the Toledo Mercurys in the old International Hockey League (IHL) (1956-57 and 1957-58), 'Dobie' tore up the Western Hockey League (WHL). Through parts of sixteen seasons, with stops in Seattle, Portland and Phoenix, McVie scored 362 goals, with ten of those seasons scoring 20+ goals. He had a career-best 45 goals with the Portland Buckaroos in 1961-62. But in the six-team NHL, spots were rare and Tom never visited 'The Show.' That is, not as a player.

The Stanley Cup was driven from the hotel to the Xcel Energy Center in a 57 Chevy limousine
The Stanley Cup was driven from the hotel to the Xcel Energy Center in a 57 Chevy limousine.
(Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame)
In 1975-76, McVie replaced Milt Schmidt as coach of the NHL Washington Capitals, staying behind the bench until midway through the 1978-79 season. McVie jumped to the World Hockey Association in 1978-79, the league's final season, coaching the Winnipeg Jets to the AVCO Cup championship. When the team moved to the NHL, Tommy went with them, and stayed behind the Jets' bench for the team's first two NHL seasons. He returned to coaching in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils in 1983-84. After coaching the Devils' AHL affiliate, he again returned to coach New Jersey in 1991-92.

Tom joined the Boston Bruins' organization seventeen years ago and has served them in a number of capacities, including coaching the AHL Providence Bruins in 1997-98 and scouting for eleven of those seasons.

This was a special night for Tommy, who is loved by the rest of the staff, and although it was an organizational celebration, the evening was very much a night for 76-year-old Tommy McVie.

After dinner, the Stanley Cup was carried up to the restaurant's rooftop patio, and there, the general managers and scouts from other NHL teams were able to congratulate the Bruins on their successful season with the Stanley Cup displayed for all to see.

Once the night was winding down, the Boston scouts decided to stage their own parade, taking turns carrying the Stanley Cup above their heads as they marched along 7th Street to their hotel. Once they'd arrived at the Marriott Minneapolis, the Cup was displayed in the hotel lobby for fans and those employed in some capacity by the NHL or its member teams.

Hundreds of fans lined-up to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, home of the Minnesota Wild and for two  days the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Hundreds of fans lined-up to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, home of the Minnesota Wild and for two days the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
(Phil Pritchard/Hockey Hall of Fame)
On the morning of Friday, June 24, the Stanley Cup was driven over to the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, the home of the Minnesota Wild and, for the next two days, a place where the dreams of a group of young men were realized. It was time for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The Stanley Cup was displayed in the arena's concourse, and a crowd surrounded the historic trophy throughout the day.

That evening, with boys and their families sitting on pins and needles, the proceedings began with the NHL's Colin Campbell paying tribute to E.J. McGuire, the former Director of Central Scouting, who had passed away April 7, 2011. E.J.'s wife and two daughters were introduced on-stage. And after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said, "It's time to get started,",the McGuire family, in unison, announced that the Edmonton Oilers would begin the draft by making the first overall selection.

Highlights of the First Round include the selection of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels first overall by the Edmonton Oilers. The Colorado Avalanche chose second and picked Gabriel Landeskog. Third choice went to the Florida Panthers, who selected Jonathan Huberdeau.

The newly-announced Winnipeg Jets, who made their team name official with the seventh overall pick, chose Mark Scheifele from the Barrie Colts. Thousands of fans who made the trip down from Winnipeg let out a Godzilla-like roar when their team's turn to choose arrived. Scheifele, who was coached by Winnipeg Jets' Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk while playing in Barrie, pulled an NHL jersey over his head, as the Jets have yet to introduce their logo and uniform.

The Stanley Cup champions chose ninth, and selected Dougie Hamilton from the Niagara IceDogs. The draft's home team this year, the Minnesota Wild, shook the rafters when they selected Jonas Brodin with the tenth pick.

The Second Round of the draft commenced on Saturday. Prior to that day' first selection, the Stanley Cup was driven from the hotel to the Xcel Energy Center in a '57 Chevy limousine. NHL Senior Vice-President Jim Gregory admired the classic auto, and was only too pleased to get a photograph with the vintage car and the vintage Stanley Cup. But once the picture was taken, he went straight to the podium to help conduct the day's proceedings.

***

With the draft completed, the Stanley Cup spent several days with the Jeremy Jacobs, the Owner and Governor of the Boston Bruins, and you'll find out all about the owner when we get together next Tuesday.

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

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