PORT COLBORNE, Ontario -- Selected by Buffalo (1st round, 11th overall) in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Adam Creighton played 708 games in the NHL with the Sabres, Blackhawks, Islanders, Lightning and Blues, but he earned an afternoon with the Stanley Cup as a pro scout for the Boston Bruins.
Stanley's Boat Ride in Welland Canal
Creighton shared Stanley with the Port Colborne Fire Department and took it for a boat ride through Welland. WATCH VIDEO ›
"Yeah, it’s very special," said Creighton at his home, prior to the arrival of the Cup. "I played for 14 years and never -- I guess the closest I came was two semifinals -- and you realize how hard it is to win it and that’s why I think that, for me, I really appreciate what the players have done and how hard they worked."
Creighton talked about Stanley Cup Final and watching Game 7 in Vancouver.
"It was very special to be there for the last series, very exciting, especially the games in Boston and then the final game, it was great," he said. "I think that, as a former player, I realize what these guys put into playing and going through what they’ve gone through and it’s just so hard, it was such a satisfying moment to see that our team followed through with it and the guys on the ice really, they really came through."
However, it's the support staff of coaches, executives, trainers, medical personnel and, of course, scouts that put the players that became the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions on the ice.
So, obviously, the team-behind-the-team came through, too.
"Now that I’m a scout, you still have that same work ethic you did when you were a player but it’s a little different. I mean, you don’t have to get your nose dirty, you just have to get in your car and drive and make sure you see some of these players and you get the right ones," he said.
"So far we’ve been pretty good."
Some would say they've been very good, in fact, and surely that's why Creighton found himself on the phone with representatives from the Hockey Hall of Fame to arrange his schedule with Stanley.
"Well I only learned a couple of days ago so it was kind of hectic," said Creighton with trademark big smile. "My wife was a little taken back. She was like, 'What are we going to do? We have two days to plan something!'
"That’s why say thank God we had the Canal Days here and it’s really going to work out good and they’ll be probably [a lot of] people down there and then we’ve a got a little party planned after."
"Well actually, you came at the right time. It’s actually our busiest time of the year," said Creighton. "If you drive through Port Colborn you’ll see that the canal that kind of splits the city, or the town.
"They have a little get together every year and it brings in a lot of people and they do a lot of different things. It’s sort of like a carnival atmosphere and we’ll be heading down there and going right through the town and we’ll be in the boat going through the canal and it’ll take us to the park and then we’ll be doing the stuff at the park with the Cup."
There's always a carnival atmosphere around the Cup, and Creighton admitted that being able to add to his neighbor's excitement at their special time of year raised his own joy a notch.
You see, the people around here particularly local boy made good Daniel Paille (who mentioned Creighton several times during his time with the Cup) think the world of Adam. And he thinks the world of his community, too.
"Well I think it’s kind of special. For me to have Danny say nice things about me, it just kind of makes me feel good," said Creighton. "But it’s something within the last two weeks the Cup has been in three little towns around this area...It’s a special thing for these little towns.
"I think that they have a lot of kids playing hockey and they kids get to see it and I think there’s a lot of Boston fans around here, too, so it’s kind of nice."
Creighton threw the nice praise right back at his neighbor from nearby Welland.
"I’ve known [Paille] since he was a young kid and playing Junior in Guelph and he’s always a hard working guy and a very good person. Those are the type of qualities I think we has management or scouting staff, we look for in players -- more along the character lines," explained Creighton. "And that’s what shows me that -- here’s a guy that hit an up and down season and he really came through in the playoffs.
"So, along with all the other guys but it’s all about character and I think that just shows that he has very good character."
Judging by Creighton's answers to BostonBruins.com's questions, that character isn't only reserved for the ice-bound Bruins.
As such, the ever-humble scout made sure to point out that he represents an organization that prides itself on a particular way of doing things and said that he was pleased to represent that methodology.
"I think it’s great and I only have the Bruins to thank for it," said Creighton of the honor. "Right from Mr. Jacobs to the players to the management to everybody who was involved.
"It’s kind of gratifying to be able to have this and kind of show it off.
"Like I said, it doesn’t happen very often and it’s been a whirlwind spring, but it’s been great and I’ve enjoyed it," added Creighton, again with a big smile. "And i think that, now it’s been in three little towns here, so if I didn’t give it to the people here, I think I’d probably be getting a lot of grief for it."