The entire roster accompanied the Stanley Cup to Boston's Seaport World Trade Center where B's captain Zdeno Chara
was honored for his work on behalf of Children's Hospital Boston as the 2011 Champion Award Recipient.
"It’s a huge honor," said Chara. "I love kids, I love doing things for kids. Not just myself, but also the team and the organization -- we always love to be involved with the community and do different things and programs and different charitable events -- so any time we have the time and room for visits at the hospitals and see how they’re doing and cheer them on and put some smiles on their faces, we’re happy to do it."
Many patients at Children's Hospital have benefited from Chara's attention, but all the attention at the Champions for Children's event humbled Chara.
"When you see and realize how all the people and staff, nurses, doctors -- they treat the patients and kids and how much passion they put into it -- it’s such a great feeling to be part of that," said Chara. "Everybody is trying so hard to...help.
"Obviously, we are not the doctors, but players and anybody who’s coming to visit — all we can do is probably try to...and cheer them on and put a smile on their faces.
"In a way it’s a different kind of medicine, but at least that’s what we can do," said the defenseman.
Chara's teammates were pleased to help honor their captain.
"He’s been around a long time --I think it’s his 7th season here in Boston -- and he does whatever he can to give back," said left wing Milan Lucic
. "He also understands that it’s our duty and it’s something that we look forward to doing and giving back.
"Also, it’s not just a responsibility, it’s something that we can also have fun doing — that’s one thing that we do do, is have fun.
"You saw him dressed up for Halloween at the hospital and it looked like he was having a good time doing that," he said.
Noting how the young patients from Children's look up the the captain, Lucic said, "When you get to meet someone that you look up to, it’s one of the greatest feelings of all time.
"There’s nothing better than seeing a smile on a kid’s face and that’s what we’re here to do — that’s what we’re here to support," added Lucic. "Like I said, it’s going to make for a good night."
It was a good night and center Patrice Bergeron
, who was named the 2007 Champion Award recipient, was thrilled to return to the event.
"This means a lot to me," he said. "I’m very happy, very proud to see.
"It doesn’t surprise me that he’s getting honored," continued Bergeron. "It’s a fun event to be here. Lots of money is being raised tonight for a great cause."
Bergeron was also proud to see all of his teammates on hand to see their captain honored.
"I don’t think you see that that often," said Bergeron. "I think we’re supporting everyone -- each other -- and we’re always there for one another...and obviously tonight’s a big night for Zee, for the kids, obviously to raise money but also just to honor him.
"We’re all here tonight to support him."