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Bruins raise banner for 2011 Stanley Cup title

NHL.com @NHL

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Bruins turned to their past to celebrate their most recent Stanley Cup victory, inviting Bobby Orr and other members of the 1972 champions to help raise the franchise's sixth banner to the TD Garden rafters.

After giving the local fans a chance to see the Cup passed from player to player - the Bruins won Game 7 in Vancouver, so that celebration was on the road - the banner was lowered from a temporary spot beneath the scoreboard. Waiting for it were Orr and a half-dozen teammates, including Johnny Bucyk, Pie McKenzie, Ken Hodge and Derek Sanderson.

Milt Schmidt, who won the Cup as a player in 1939 and '41 and was the general manager of the teams that won in '70 and '72, was also there. Ace Bailey, a two-time Cup winner who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, was represented by his son Todd.

With help from the current players, they clipped the banner onto the wires that would raise it to its permanent home. Captain Zdeno Chara and the rest of the 2010-11 team took turns raising it into the rafters.

"We as a team feel you guys won it with us," Chara told the crowd. "So you deserve it. You earned it. Enjoy it."

Orr always gets a big cheer in Boston, and the Cup is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, but even Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs got a warm welcome from fans who waited 39 years for another title. The most sentimental note of the night was when Andrew Ference took the microphone and presented Mark Recchi with the ratty track jacket the team bestowed last season on the star of each night's game.

Recchi, who retired last spring after winning the Cup for the third time, was back on skates for the ceremony.

"He taught us what it meant to be champions and how to become champions," Ference said.

The half-hour ceremony was before the regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Bruins wore patches on their jerseys that were replicas of the championship banner. On Tuesday, they received championship rings featuring the spoked "B" logo on top and more than 300 diamonds in all.

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