Longtime Boston Bruins fan Nate Nickerson was seeing blue everywhere during the Stanley Cup Final, even when he sorted through a recent lobster shipment to his Cape Cod restaurant and pulled out a majestic sky-colored crustacean.
While he could have used the one in two million animal to exact a little culinary revenge after the St. Louis Blues beat the Bruins in seven games to win the Stanley Cup, he decided to send the rare 1.5-pound creature to the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station as a gesture of goodwill.
"I'm sad (the Bruins) didn't win, but I thought this made sense," said Nickerson, the owner of Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar is Eastman, Massachusetts. "It's timely. I feel like it's a gift from Bruins fans, like a no hard feelings sort of thing."
Nickerson had only ever heard about blue lobsters. Even though he's from the area and has been in the restaurant business for decades, he had never actually seen one until he found this one in the crate right after the Blues won the Cup.
"I order the seafood and it comes in big crates," he said. "I separate the lobsters by weight and we just came across this blue one and oh my god it was just kind of shocking."
Video: Lord Stanley is heading to the St. Louis Aquarium
Nickerson got some press for his wish to donate the blue lobster, and that's how the staff at the aquarium, set to open later this year, found out about the contribution.
The aquarium's curator, Aaron Sprowl, excitedly and frantically reworked his animal collection plan, and started making arrangements for the lobster, now known as Lord Stanley the Lobster after a naming contest, to be sent to St. Louis.
"You don't really plan to have that in your collection plan because it's not readily available so it's an unexpected surprise," Sprowl said. "And with the Blues winning the Stanley Cup, it's an amazing opportunity to have this animal and we're really looking forward to it."
They flew the animal projects director to Boston and worked with the New England Aquarium, which temporarily housed the lobster and has an esteemed lobster breeding and research program, to get it to St. Louis.
"These animals are relatively long lived. I speculate this one is probably 10 years old," Sprowl said. "In all actuality we could house this animal for the next 40 or 50 years. It's definitely one of those things we want to plan for and be able to meet all its requirements as it does grow and get larger."
But when the aquarium is open, they're hoping everyone, including Blues players, comes out to see brilliant blue Lord Stanley that will be among their 13,000 animals.
"It's an amazing opportunity, one that we didn't expect that we're extremely grateful for," Sprowl said.