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The Sheriff Feels Lucky

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Defenseman Shane Hnidy said that if he had been told in January that he would rejoin the Boston Bruins and be a Stanley Cup champion in June he would have said, "I Better get to work! Because I wasn't in shape yet."

But Hnidy pointed out that in hockey, you never can tell.

"You cant predict the future," he said. "But when the Bruins showed interest and it started coming closer to being a reality, I made sure I was going to get ready.

"I knew they had the parts in place that was going to make a long run and they did have as good a chance as any to win it and things just could not have worked out better."

As such, Hnidy ended his Boston career by raising the Cup in Vancouver and enjoying a day with Lord Stanley in his hometown of Neepawa, Manitoba on August 18.

"You know the day ended up being great," said Hnidy. "It was rushed, but we got everything we could into the day.

"It arrived in Winnipeg I was able to get some family photos and stuff before we got to my hometown where the circus began. We did some photos with the family and with the Cup with all my family members. Then we took it to my hometown Neepawa to my parent's place where a lot of close friends and family members were able to come and get some pictures with the Stanley Cup.

"From there, I went did photos with the public. We had a social event where people came out and we had a little fun with it and we had a bit of a party."

I sounds like most of Neepawa (pop. 3298 in a recent census) was there for the party.

"At the social I think we had around six hundred people and I think we went through about a thousand people before that for photos," said Hnidy, who sounded relieved that everything went off without a hitch.

"You kind of get a lot of anxiety leading up with whether or not it's going to work out but I had a lot of great people helping organize and it just turned out fantastic."

As did Hnidy's hockey career should it have come to an end after Game 7.
"To go back and win the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins is just a dream come true," said Hnidy. "For my career that really is the moment, and to do it with Boston -- a team I played six games (in 2010-11) -- Boston was the team that was closest to my heart and it just felt like it fit my style.

"To be part of an 'Original Six' in such an amazing group of guys really capped everything off on whats been a great career and whether it continues or not I don't know yet but it sure makes things feel right."

Hnidy said that a few special moments with the Cup stand out.

"The moments we had in the dressing room right after we won the Cup with the champagne and everything," he said. "You know all the guys were in such a true state of joy.

"Those memories will last.

"Obviously, my kids weren't there to share it so when I was able to bring it to the house so my kids were able to see the Stanley Cup. There was a lot of great moments in the day but for them to share that experience first it was great," he said.

And "Hnides" expanded that moment to include Neepawa.

"Bringing the Cup to my hometown where so many people have supported and followed my career for fifteen years of pro hockey, ups and downs, even juniors when I left Neepawa -- those People have been behind me and following me and to bring it where it's never been was just amazing," he said.

Hnidy also said he was happy to have had the entire day on film, because the experience was so unbelievable.

"Thank goodness, I got photos because it does seem surreal but you know the photographer took them and we went and looked at the pictures yesterday and its just amazing to look at the pictures of that and some friends have pictures from the day," he said with a laugh. "It's just 'Wow' you know?

"It's something that's just going to live with you forever and the moment we all aspire to capture and I was lucky enough to do it."

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