BostonBruins.com -- B's Director of Amateur Scouting Wayne Smith and Ottawa-based scouts Mike Chiarelli and Jack Higgins shared a day with the Stanley Cup last Thursday, August 4, and were still stunned by the experience when BostonBruins.com caught up with the trio over this past weekend.
"I think every kid in Canada grows up dreaming of winning the Stanley Cup or being part of it," said Smith, who will begin his sixth season with Boston in September after spending the previous seven seasons with Columbus as a regional scout.
"It's something very special and certainly my dreams came true and beyond."
"It was unbelievable," added Higgins, who just finished his third season with Boston as an amateur prospects scout in Ontario. "Everywhere we went with the Cup - and we went a lot of places, it toured around the whole of Ottawa -- there were crowds everywhere we went.
"And if there wasn't a crowd when we got there, one gathered really quickly."
That much is certain. Chiarelli (B's GM Peter Chiarelli's brother) said he had 175 people in his backyard to start last Thursday's tour.
"It was a phenomenal morning. The weather was great. Saw a lot of faces that I hadn't seen in a long time that we invited over," said Chiarelli, who helped raise money for the "Do it for Daron" charity
. "And everyone was smiling.
"There were perma-grins on everyone's faces and there was a quite excitement in the backyard for the whole two hours we had it. And people were cordial, taking turns having their pictures taken with the Cup.
"My wife and I stood back at one moment in the morning and looked and thought how incredible it was for it to be in our backyard. We just couldn't believe it, you know?"
Most people will never know and, as such, Smith, Higgins and Chiarelli used each moment of the day to it's fullest.
"We didn't mind sharing. We do lots of things together down here, so the sharing part wasn't a problem," said Higgins, who finished the evening with the Cup by stopping in to see friends in and around Ottawa.
"It was great. I sat back and couldn't believe it. Everyone was so excited."
The trio made sure that Lord Stanley's Cup made as many people excited as possible.
"We didn't deny anyone a chance to get a picture with the Cup all day," said Higgins. "Anyone who wanted one got one.
"Wayne even had a table on his front lawn so all the neighbors could come by."
Smith took over about 11:00 a.m.
"It started when the Cup came over from Mike's house," he said. "There was people at our house and we just spent some time here taking some pictures with family and friends and then we went to a bank, and then we went over to my favorite pizza shop...then we went to a sports bar."
But the most memorable stop was around the corner. Mike set the scene.
"Wayne had rented a couple of limos for the evening stuff and...they went through his neighborhood and there were these six little girls at a lemonade stand," recounted Chiarelli. "And one of his buddies who was in the limo said, 'Go around the block again and stop at the lemonade stand.' Which the limo driver did.
"They brought the Stanley Cup out and you can imagine the reaction of the little girls around the ages of 6-7 years old.
"And five of the six girls didn't say a word, they just ran to their houses to get their parents [to see the Cup]," he said.
Smith had an "aww shucks" moment when asked about the little lemonade stand with the special visitor.
"It was probably the best part of the day," he said. "This lemonade stand was just in the middle of the street.
"So I got out in the middle of the street and held the Cup up because they didn't have anybody at their stand [and said] 'If you buy lemonade free Stanley Cup.'
"One of the girls, my wife knows the mother of one of those [girls], she said they can't even sleep because they are so excited about what happened.
"It was pretty neat," added Smith, "All the cars just jammed up the road -- it was pretty good."
But Higgins, Smith or Chiarelli weren't surprised by the reaction.
"At that age they knew what the Stanley Cup was," said Mike. "And that's what it is in this country.
"Everyone knows what it is, and everyone knows what it means."
But what did it mean tothe scouts?
"It's just such a special trophy," explained Smith. "It doesn't matter who you are, you could be having the worst day of your life and you see that Cup and it just makes everyone smile.
"It just brings joy everywhere."
And Smith wants to continue to spread the joy.
"I can't wait to do it again, Bish," he said.