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Support Staff Parties With Stanley

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Click here for a gallery of photos from the support staff's days with the Cup.
BOSTON -- There's no doubt that every person who gets the Cup has a different idea of what, exactly, to do with it. But there's also no doubt that each and every day with the Stanley Cup is memorable to everyone who comes in contact with the trophy.

Over the past week, Lord Stanley's bowl has made its way to several members of the Bruins training, equipment and support staff. From Ludlow, Mass. to Lake Placid, the Stanley Cup -- which symbolizes the Black & Gold's historic accomplishment -- has made many, many people happy.

Ludlow, Massachusetts, July 7th
Jeremy Rogalski, the B's Video Analyst, took the Cup back to Western Mass.

"Basically, I just kind of opened it up," said Rogalski. "I took pictures with my immediate family first because they were there when it arrived. There was a lot of family who had the day off who kind of came throughout the day.

"For me, a lot of people are based out of Western Mass or Maine or other parts of Boston that I haven’t been able to see. So it was really just about allowing them to come and to update them on what I’ve been doing the past nine months.

"People came throughout the day. My college teammates from Bates came down, which is really cool, because you sit in the locker room and you talk about winning your conference championship or something like that, but never in your wildest dreams do you think you’ll be able to do something like this, obviously not as a player, but as a staff member. So people were just kind of trickling in throughout the day. I think I ended up with 100, 125, family members, friends, just people who have impacted my life because that’s really what it’s all about. People  who have been good friends to me, people who have pushed me towards this because it’s tough to get into the sport," he said.

Rogalski was especially excited to share the moment with his mom (Jennifer Rogalski) and dad (Brian Page).

"It would have been very easy, especially for my parents, to say, 'We don’t want to send you to college if that’s what you want to do because it’s not going to happen,'" said Rogalski of his decision to choose hockey as a career. "They obviously supported me and said,'You’re obviously passionate about it, but do what you want to do.'

"So basically I think about 7:00 p.m. there was a good crowd of people and then they started to taper off until maybe there were about fifteen to twenty people.

"It was a quiet day but a relaxing day. It was exactly what I needed for it," he said.

Mendon, Massachusetts, July 8
Assistant Equipment Manager Matt Falconer's day with the Cup started similarly -- but had a rock & roll flourish.

"I just had the Cup on my counter while my mom was in the kitchen, she got us some coffee going," said Falconer of his morning. "But at about 10:30 a.m. I took it up to a golf club - the Blissful Meadows in Uxbridge - and it was good. They kept to just to their staff. I only had a short amount of time, 20 minutes and then I had to move on to the next place. About a hundred and fifty people got pictures there, and they were obviously very happy.

"After that, we actually went to Hanover, Mass. to Aerosmith’s studio. A mutual friend through Keith Robinson, our head equipment manager, knows their producer and they kind of got us in there and Steven Tyler had interest in seeing the Cup so I said I’d bring it down for little bit.

"They were really cool and they took pictures with everybody and they really appreciated it and it was pretty good to see them because obviously, they’re rock and roll heroes which was pretty neat.

"After that I just brought it back to my house at about four in the afternoon and it was just my close friends and family and we just shared the moment and enjoyed it and they all got their pictures taken and they got to spend some time with it," added Falconer. "It was really everything I wanted in my day with the Stanley Cup and I was lucky enough that people were able to be a part of that.

"It’s something that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life."

Tewksbury, Massachusetts, July 9th
Robinson, the Bruins Equipment Manager, had his unforgettable day next.

"I had Tewksbury Country Club set up a whole charity event to raise money for the Mass Soldiers Legacy Fund," said Robinson. "I arrived at approximately at 9:30 and we opened the doors at 10 to 1.

"People could make a donation and come in to take pictures with the Cup and we had an overwhelming response to that. Numbers are all over the place, but if I had to guess, it would probably be about 2,500 to 3,000 people that actually showed up.

"We raised a good chunk of money [close to $16,000] for the fund and the Greg Hill Foundation as well," he said.

Then "Keeto" and his family had some quality time with Lord Stanley.

"There was a couple hours where we shut down to the public," he said. "People got to take pictures at their own pace and their own poses so to speak, and even kiss the Cup.

"Some decided to take advantage of that opportunity and then we moved on up to my house.

"There, a little bit smaller group got to hang out and enjoy it as well."

Rochester, New Hampshire, July 10
Assistant Athletic Trainer and Massage Therapist Derek Repucci took the Cup to New Hampshire.

"First I took it to the St. Charles Children Center [an intermediate group home for children from families in crisis], which is in my home town of Rochester," he said. "The children at the home had such a great time.

"They had fun taking pics with it, but I think that the best part for them was when we served ice cream out of the Cup to them. Also, the sisters who run the home were so happy,  too. One grew up in Canada, so she was so excited just to touch it and when we let her hold it she couldn't believe it.

"Then I took it to the arena where I played when I was a kid, Rochester Ice Arena.

"I went to my house after that and a small group of us had a little barbeque. We were there for a couple hours. And then I took it to the Atkinson Country Club.

"To me, I wanted to try and get as many people as possible to actually see and touch the Cup and take a picture if they wanted.

"It was a fun day," he said.

Boston, Massachusetts, July 11
The B's physical therapist, Scott Waugh, started his day at the hospital.

"I picked up the Cup at about 9:15 in the morning, and spent a little over three hours initially at Mass General. We started first at MG Sport Medicine and then we went down into the hospital and really went to almost every critical care, ICU, inpatient, oncology patient in the entire hospital, it seemed like every kid in the hospital, as well as the staff for each one of these major departments," said Waugh, who was also part of the Red Sox support staff during their 2004 and 2007 runs to the World Series Championship.

"After that we went into the foyer, or the crafty area in front of Ether Dome at MGH underneath the tent ,and they had about 2,000, mostly staff members and families were able to get their picture with the Stanley Cup.

"Then I went down to South Shore Hospital down in Weymouth. Being from the South Shore, living down in the South Shore, [it] was important to me to bring it down there and we did the same, almost mirror image, visit at South Shore Hospital. We brought it in to all the inpatient kids, the oncology floor for the adults, the staff, everybody got pictures with it. The firemen, the ambulance drivers got pictures with it in front of their respective trucks in the different towns and that was great. We probably had a couple thousand people there.

"Then after that, I took it to my office in Norwell," added Waugh. "We had an open house for three hours for all of the area kids. I reached out to all the youth hockey, baseball programs and stuff in the area. We had all the kids and the families come in and able to get a picture with the Cup. We did that for three hours and then at 7:00 I had a private party just for friends and family."

Lake Placid, New York, July 12
Long time Boston Bruins Athletic Trainer Don DelNegro brought the Cup to Upstate, New York.

"We brought it into town, Lake Placid, stopped by a few established places that were very supportive to me through my years...and then we had family at the house for two hours, kind of direct, immediate family, so we could just take our 'official' pictures with it.

"Then we had it at Lake Placid Convention Center for the public from three to five o’clock, so two hours. I guess, basically they said probably about twelve, fifteen hundred people came through, so quite a bit, I thought, for the Lake Placid area. Then we skated at Can/Am hockey camp, and there were about 3-400 kids there and I walked right through the 1980 'Miracle On Ice' rink. They were all lined up, the coach said thank you, and I walked the Cup by them all, they got to touch the Cup as I walked by up the ice. So that was kind of neat.

"And then we had a big party at the Lake Placid Resort Golf House, about 200 people, family and friends."

DelNegro, who has been part of the B's organization for 18 seasons, said he never wanted to picture what a day with the Cup would look like.

"You know, I’ve learned through the years not to get ahead of myself," he said. "I mean, I’ve seen teams do it in the past, where they start getting ahead to the next round or whatever and they don’t finish the task at hand.

"And this year, I really, myself, focused on just worrying about the next game and what I needed to do for the next game and not worry too far down the road. It felt good, I know I consciously thought about that, you know, not planning ahead or getting ahead of myself, even during Game 7, you know, when we were up 3-0. All my friends were saying, you showed no emotion over the 3-0, I’m like, I was trying not to, you know, because a lot of hockey left to play, 20-minutes of hockey.

"So it wasn’t until about six minutes left that I started really relaxing on the bench and saying this is going to happen, I think we’re going to do it," he said.

Indescribable Days...
And now that he's had the Stanley Cup at his house, DelNegro spoke for the rest of the group when he said it was actually difficult to describe the feeling.

The Boston Bruins pose for a team photo as they celebrate their win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
"Well, you know, like I keep telling everyone, it’s a feeling that’s really hard to describe because it doesn’t happen to a lot of people," he said. "It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe, you don’t have any previous experience to go from.

"It’s indescribable, there’s really no words in the dictionary to describe the feeling."

But having the day enabled him to give back to the people who have supported him throughout his career.

"I have to thank my family. First and foremost, for the support and love...and putting up with me being on the road and the traveling," said DelNegro of his wife Claire and daughter Renee and his extended family -- again echoing the rest of the behind the scenes Bruins.

Repucci said that the B's allowing the support staff to have days with the Cup showed how much of a family the Boston organization really is.

"Oh, yeah. For as much time as we spend with the players and the coaches and everything, we have a pretty tight group and I think the fact that they included us just kind of proves that," he said.

"It’s pretty special to me because I know how hard everybody works for it and it’s the ultimate goal that everybody in hockey wants to do," added Falconer. "So, getting the Cup for a day obviously added on to that and it meant a lot to me and my family as well."

"I was very, very excited because there was a lot of people that I wanted to share it with that sort of had an impact on my life," said Rogalski. "Ultimately I’m very glad I got to do it, but it was a very nice surprise that I was able to do that."

"The emails that I’ve gotten, the 'thank you's' that I’ve gotten, my email box is like completely full," explained Waugh. "So we, all of us as staff members have reached more people than we’ll ever even imagine."

"When I  first picked  up the cup in Vancouver I knew what an awesome thing that it was," added Repucci. "But when you get to see how happy that people were just to get a picture with it, you really can see how special that it is."

Robinson, who has been with the B's for 23 seasons, said the entire experience has been beyond explanation.

"I can’t even describe how it felt that night, being on the ice and just lifting it up with the team around and the other guys that I work with on the staff, we all got a chance," he said. "It was exciting to watch Donny DelNegro and everybody else that have also been around for many years. It was so much fun. It lived up to everything I dreamt it would and then some.

"The same goes for the day I had it on Saturday. It was more than I dreamed it would be. Just to be around it and to see people's faces and to see their reaction and see older folks crying because they were there the last time we did it, and see new, young Bruins fans get the opportunity to get close to it.

"It’s more than what I ever hoped it would be," he said.
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