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Summer with Stanley 2011 blog: First 10 days

Saturday, 07.30.2011 / 12:00 PM / Summer with Stanley

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Summer with Stanley 2011 blog: First 10 days
Follow the Stanley Cup around the world as each member of the Boston Bruins gets his day with hockey's most famous trophy.
Campbell takes Stanley to visit the kids of Kitchener
07.30.2011 / 10:22 AM ET

Gregory Campbell moved around a lot as a kid, which is part of the deal when your father is a player and coach in the NHL.

Still, the Kitchener/Waterloo area of Ontario has always felt like home for the Boston Bruins forward, so that is where he spent his day with the Stanley Cup.

"Obviously, I grew up everywhere, but it's always been a place, my parents were both born there, and it's been a place every summer we've returned back there," Campbell told the Bruins’ website. "Moving around my entire life, it's an area I could call home ... and there's something about small towns and the feel that you get when you go into a small town, and it's definitely an area that I've grown to love."

Campbell took the Cup to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener because he wanted to share it with kids who "are fighting a much bigger fight than we had to, to win this thing."

"The Stanley Cup is something that is so important to Canadians and it's something that you grow up with," Campbell said. "Many kids grew up playing hockey and wanting to win it, so it's definitely a thrill, I think, for me to be able to share my experiences with other kids and specifically kids that are having a tough time right now."

The Campbell family has spent time with the Cup before. His father, Colin, was an assistant coach for the New York Rangers when they captured it in 1994. Gregory Campbell wanted to spend part of his day with the Cup with another family who played a large role in his life at a critical time.

"We went on to see my billet family, in Waterloo," Campbell said of Bob and Anne Slipec. "Although I only spent a year with them, it really left a big mark on my life and my career and have been two very influential people on me, just how they took me in and treated me as their own son. I definitely wanted to let them experience it, as well. I feel like it's important when you win something and when you have success, that, you (realize) I didn't do it alone."

Campbell was a third-round pick in 2002 by the Florida Panthers and spent his first two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League playing for the Plymouth Whalers. His third year he spent with the Kitchener Rangers, and they won the Memorial Cup.

After parts of six seasons with the Panthers, Campbell was traded to Boston before the start of the 2010-11 season and became a key role player for the Bruins. He also realized his dream of winning the Stanley Cup, and the Campbell family was able to celebrate such an accomplishment for a second time.

"For me it's important to share my joy with the people that helped me achieve winning the Stanley Cup, and that's none other than my family," Campbell said. "Along the way I've had tremendous support from my extended family and all my friends, so the people that I wanted involved in my day are people that have touched me along the way."

-- Corey Masisak



Mostly quiet day with Cup for Peverley
07.29.2011 / 9:15 AM ET

Rich Peverley had a bit of a different experience with the Stanley Cup on Thursday, which sort of reflected the different season he had.

Arriving in Boston following a Feb. 18 trade, it was a whirlwind of adjustment for not just him, but his wife and daughter. Then came the emotions of the playoff run, culminating in the Cup victory in Game 7 in Vancouver.

So with the season over and the legendary chalice in his hands at home in Guelph, Ont., Peverley decided it would be a good time for a nice, quiet celebration with family and close friends.

"For my family it's been (a long season)," Peverley told the Bruins' website. "My wife and my daughter, they go through a lot throughout the playoffs and my wife does a lot. To have a little bit of alone time with her is important and her parents and my parents, they both contribute a lot of their time to help us throughout the year, especially this year getting traded.

"I think it's important that they're recognized and get a little bit of time to spend some time with it, too."



Peverley did make one big public appearance, taking the Cup to Sleeman Centre, home of the OHL's Guelph Storm.

"I just felt that, especially on a (cloudy) day like today, I was kind of prepared if it was raining and we could get as many people in as possible. We just wanted to have everyone get a chance to see it."

And everyone got the chance. Peverley rolled into the arena sitting on the hood of a police car, the Cup next to him. Fans lined the floor of the rink, and every fan in attendance came away with an autograph, a picture and chance to touch the Cup -- even the fan who arrived wearing a Roberto Luongo Vancouver Canucks T-shirt.

"I was really nervous last night and nervous just for the day," said Peverley. "So once it got here this morning I was so excited and I just kind of had a permanent smile on my face.

"It’s been a lot of fun."

-- Adam Kimelman

Paille takes Cup on 'Maid'-en voyage
07.28.2011 / 9:03 AM ET

The Stanley Cup has gone to some pretty exotic locations in its history, so it's rare that a player today is able to take it some place new.

But that's what Daniel Paille did Wednesday during his day with the Stanley Cup, taking it on the famed Maid of the Mist boat, which sails through the spray and foam at the bottom of the famed Falls.

"The first thing I did was to take it on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls," Paille told the team's website. "It was something I always wanted to do. I (was on the boat) as a kid and I always wanted to go back and this kind of just gave me another reason."



His boat ride over, he next took the Cup to City Hall in his hometown of Welland, Ont., for a special ceremony at City Hall that featured a town crier reading a proclamation making Wednesday "Daniel Paille Day" in the city. He also was presented with a ceremonial key to the city by the mayor.

"I was honored today at the downtown City Hall," Paille said. "I was tremendously honored with how that all played out."

After a stop at Welland Arena, where Paille played some of his minor hockey and spent time sharing the Cup with fans, friend and his minor hockey coaches, he made a personal visit of another sort.

Taking the Cup to Foyer Richelieu nursing home was a return to a place he visited when his grandmother was a resident.

"I decided to bring it to a retirement home," he said. "My grandmother was here, years back, and she passed (away). And I know that my family is very ... involved with this community here at the retirement home.

"I think that people tend to forget the excitement and joy that senior citizens have for everybody. So it was something for me to try and get a little smile out of them."

His memorable day ended with dinner with family and friends and a local restaurant.

"I was definitely excited with everything I did," said Paille. "Everyone was appreciative and realized that I was on a schedule to follow, but it was nice just to see everyone be happy just to see the Stanley Cup. … Everything went according to plan and I guess I can just be thankful for that."

-- Adam Kimelman

Thornton's 'selfish' day
07.27.2011 / 9:51 AM ET

Experience served Bruins forward Shawn Thornton well on Tuesday, his day with the Stanley Cup.

It was the second time Thornton had earned a day with hockey's holy grail -- he won the Cup in 2007 as a member of the Ducks -- so rather than have a huge party, he kept it more low-key.

"I think when you tell the city or whatever you’re going to show up somewhere, you end up being there for a lot longer and we don’t have it for that long," Thornton told the Bruins' website. "I've seen it happen before, you schedule two hours to be at an event and you end up being there for four or five because you don’t want to say no to the kids.

"I'm fortunate enough that this is my second time and I did a lot of the 'taking care of people' the first time I had it, so this time is a lot more chill, a lot more relaxed."

Thornton started his day by placing the Cup in the living room of his parents' house in Oshawa, Ont. After a stop at his in-laws' house in Whitby, Ont., he brought the Cup around Toronto.

While Thornton didn't go for a big party, he certainly signed his share of autographs during his time with the Cup.

His most memorable stop in Toronto was taking the Cup to the top of the CN Tower to, as he put it, celebrate "on top of the world."

After a party at a Toronto restaurant with family, friends and a live band, Thornton's day was done, but the memories will be everlasting.

"Definitely, that's what it's all about for me," he said. "I'm being kind of 'selfish' this time, but it took a lot to get here and I want to enjoy it as much as possible."

-- Adam Kimelman



Parting is such sweet sorrow
07.24.2011 / 6:11 PM ET

Summer with Stanley's European Tour has officially ended.

Cup Keeper Phil Pritchard has locked away the Cup for Sunday night  in preperation for its flight out to its next destination.

After more than 1,500 miles traveled in car, countless hours on airplanes, a ripped shirt and getting lost in the woods -- don't ask -- I just wanted to thank Eric Tosi of the Boston Bruins PR staff,  along with Zdeno Chara, Tomas Kaberle, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask for allowing us to share with them their day with the Cup.

Truly a wonderful experience. To see all videos of for the European Tour be sure to check out NHL.com.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Four hours later, Savonlinna celebrates with Rask
07.24.2011 / 12:20 PM ET

After four hours on the road and a switch in cars (from a bus to a Chevy Impala), we finally arrived at the Savonlinna Ice Rink in Tuukka Rask's hometown.

Upon arrival, Rask is greeted warmly by several hundred people that have been waiting for him and the Stanley Cup. Rask is scheduled to spend around an hour here before his private party with his family starts.

More later...

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Cup arrives in Finland, Rask's day begins
07.24.2011 / 7:26 AM ET

The Cup has landed in Finland. I know because I was on the flight with Cup Keeper Phil Pritchard. As we pass through security, waiting for us is Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

Actually, I take that back, waiting is the wrong word. Rask didn't hesitate. He pretty much walked right over to Phil and took the Cup graciously. He is now posing for photos and some autographs.

Once that is complete we have a four-hour car ride into his hometown where the first stop will be the Savonlinna Ice Rink.

More later...

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Meet Sir Zdeno Chara
07.23.2011 / 3:04 PM ET

After all the speeches, Chara was then greeted with what I can only relate to as a 21-gun military salute.

If you read this blog last year, you would know that both Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky were knighted, so it appears to be Slovakian tradition as they can now welcome newly-knighted and friend, Sir Zdeno Chara.

Following that ceremony, a fire show began and many of the people who were mingling quickly found their seats. A tremendous show -- let's call it the Macy's Day Parade of Slovakia -- is going on.

The party here is still continuing and doesn't look like its going to end. Next stop for the Cup will be Finland where backup netminder Tuuka Rask will get his day with Lord Stanley.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Take a chance on 'Z'

07.23.2011 / 2:52 PM ET

Judging by the standing ovation from the 200 or so guests, the guest of honor has arrived. The festivities have kicked off with a speech from Chara, who I believe is thanking everyone (I am assuming since I don't speak Slovak).

I do find it odd that ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" is playing in the background, but to each his own.

More to come …

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Chara headed for Trencin Castle

07.23.2011 / 2:37 PM ET

Well here it goes folks ... the second big event on Chara's itinerary, the Trencin Castle.

"Big Z" should be here momentarily, but awaiting his arrival are fellow countrymen and last year's Cup winners -- Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky.

Along with those two are Marian Gaborik, Hossa's brother Marcel and Pavol Demitra. They're just a few names who round out this star-studded group of players from Slovakia.

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Fan catches Chara's shirt

07.23.2011 / 11:36 AM ET

Zdeno Chara arrived to this party wearing a shirt, but he might be leaving without one.

"Big Z" just took the shirt off his own back -- he is absolutely ripped -- and threw it into the crowd, where one luck fan just caught it. Hard to imagine this fan won't be giving the shirt back for free, that's for sure.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

The waiting is over

07.23.2011 / 11:16 AM ET

As the crowd works its way into a frenzy by band and host, the anticipation has finally come to an end.

The unofficial Boston Bruins song -- Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" -- starts playing and in comes the star of the party, team captain Zdeno Chara. The crowd is going nuts here as he raises the Cup above his head.

Chara then took over the drums and did not look out of place whatsoever. From there, he playfully arm wrestled a fan here -- and lost.

It's a real nice sight here.
 
-- Paul Vinciguerra

It's party time for Chara

07.23.2011 / 10:26 AM ET

Chara spent much of the morning with his family and friends taking pictures and relaxing. Now, "Big Z" gets ready to attend the two biggest events scheduled for him.

First up is the parade here in Trencin Square. The expected crowd is about 3,500, but from the looks of it, that is not accurate. It appears to be in upwards of 5,000.

Festivities have kicked off with partying and a live band while the crowd waits for Chara, who should arrive in less than an hour.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Chara meets the mayor, hits the field

07.23.2011 / 5:23 AM ET

After spending around an hour with the mayor, Chara heads off to where it all began -- his former little league team, Dukla Trencin. 

Upon arrival, Chara was greeted by several hundred kids and adults. After spending some time signing autographs and posing for pictures, "Big Z" heads off to see his old coach.

After meeting with his former coach and attending a private reception with some sponsors, Chara heads off to the house where he grew up. 

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Oh, what a night

07.22.2011 / 12:48 PM ET

After nearly three hours of signing and posing for autographs, Big Z leaves the restaurant to go home change and come back to host a private party for his close friends and family. That concludes the night for Zdeno Chara. Oh yeah, by the way, it seems to have finally stopped raining.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Cup arrives in Trencin

07.22.2011 / 9:41 AM ET

After about an hour car ride from Bratislava to Trencin, Chara settles into a private party at a local establishment, where members of the community gather for some food, drinks and, of course, autographs and pictures with Chara and the Cup.

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Taking the Cup home

07.22.2011 / 8:16 AM ET

After fulfilling some of his sponsorship obligations, Chara now is heading to his hometown of Trencin, which is approximate an hour away. And if I didn't mention this earlier -- it's still raining. 

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Working celebration

07.22.2011 / 6:47 AM ET

After the reception Chara heads off to do some interviews with some companies who are sponsoring his day with Cup.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Meet the press

07.22.2011 / 5:36 AM ET

Chara starts his day much like last year's Slovakian cup winner, Marian Hossa, did. He is holding a press conference with about 50 or so media members followed by some autograph signings and a small reception.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Chara gets the Cup

07.22.2011 / 4:21 AM ET

After two-plus hours, the Stanley Cup has arrived at the Double Tree at the Hilton hotel. Apparently news travels fast around Slovakia, because there are about 100 people awaiting the Cup's arrival. Standing tallest among the group -- literally -- is Zdeno Chara, who is awaiting the official transfer from Cup keeper Walt so the party officially can start.

Rolling up in a beautiful new car is none other the Stanley Cup and the handoff has occurred. After a brief photo session, Chara is off to start his day

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Day 3 Begins

07.22.2011 / 1:40 AM ET

The Stanley Cup begins its two-hour drive to Slovakia to meet up with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Party time

07.21.2011 / 2:02 PM ET

Having wrapped up the the public portion of the festivities for today, both Tomas Kaberle and David Krejci are heading to a private party to share the rest of their night with close friends and family.

The upcoming party will wrap up the time Krejci and Kaberle have been allotted with the Cup. Friday, we head off to Slovakia for Chara's day with the Cup.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Best fans ever
07.21.2011 / 12:04 PM ET

As the festivities here in the center start wrapping up there really can't be enough said or written to describe these fans here in Czech.

Many braved the cold and freezing rain to see and take pictures with both Tomas Kaberle and David Krejci. Really good job by both the fans and the city for hosting such a wonderful event and not letting this weather slow them down one bit.

-- Paul Vinciguerra


The party is rolling again

07.21.2011 / 11:08 AM ET

What appeared to be a very low-key day now will ratchet up into what should be some real fun and excitement. At the town square there are roughly 3,500 people waiting to get a glimpse of the Stanley Cup and native Czechs Tomas Kaberle and David Krejci.

Also expected to be in attendance is the mayor and a host of bands and entertainers, which all was set up by the city here.

And did I mention that it's bucketing now? But that won't deter the people from cheering and partying. And for some of the lucky ones brave enough to fight the cold and rain, they'll get an autograph and picture with Kaberle, Krejci and the Cup.

-- Paul Vinciguerra


Time for a break

07.21.2011 / 8:32 AM ET

After shaking hands and posing for countless pictures, Krejci settles in for some relaxing before the party kicks back up at 5 p.m. local time.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

The party begins
07.21.2011 / 6:55 AM ET

After a missed wake-up call, a detour through Prague, traffic and a four-hour drive in the pouring, rain we finally made it to Krejci's house. Upon his arrival, Krejci was greeted by old friends and family. He now is taking pictures and shaking hands.

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Day 2 begins

07.21.2011 / 1:07 AM ET

As Tomas Kaberle's party with the Stanley Cup comes to an end, Day 2 of the Cup's time in the Czech Republic looks like it will bring much more of the same -- tons of rain and non-stop partying, only this time David Krejci get his opportunity to play town hero.

Krejci will begin his day with the Cup by driving approximately four hours to his home in Sternberk, where I am sure there is plenty planned. Accompanying Krejci on this long trip is Kaberle -- looks like some people just can't get enough of the Cup.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

An end to Day 1
07.20.2011 / 9:39 AM ET

After spending several hours signing and posing for pictures Kaberle and Krejci are off to enjoy the rest of the night at a private function. Sounds like a great end to the night.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Krejci arrives
07.20.2011 / 8:45 AM ET

After spending several hours signing autographs for hundreds of people, David Krejci has shown up to get some face time with the Cup and some love from many autograph-seekers.

-- Paul Vinciguerra

Fans flock to Stanley
07.20.2011 / 5:38 AM ET

After a brief stop to take some pictures with the Cup, Kaberle just entered Kladno for a stop at Velky Tanecni Sal, which appears to be a Knights of Columbus-type establishment, where hundreds of people are waiting for an opportunity to see their Stanley Cup Champion and local hero.

Upon entering the hall, Kaberle was greeted by a band called The Hello Piggy Band. Kaberle was brought on stage and received a sword and shield. He also presented the Stanley Cup to the crowd and received a real hero's welcome when he hoisted the trophy over his head.

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Traveling with Stanley
07.20.2011 / 5:35 AM ET

Lord Stanley officially has landed in the Czech Republic and now is going through customs. Among the hundreds of hockey fans is an eager Tomas Kaberle.

When the Cup finally clears customs, Kaberle coolly walks over and hoists it out of the case to a nice ovation from the crowd.

Now Kaberle officially can kick off the party, and judging by the 20-motorcycle motorcade, this party might just last all night.

-- Paul Vinciguerra



Quote of the Day

I kept refreshing the page on the NHL website after the second round and I was shocked he lasted that long. I'm sure the Coyotes were pretty happy to get him. He's such a good player and he plays big in big games.

— Arizona forward Henrik Samuelsson on prospect Edgars Kulda being drafted by the Coyotes