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Versus to air Bruins championship special Wednesday

NHL.com @NHL
The celebration may be over for the Boston Bruins, who now have to worry about defending their Stanley Cup championship, but the party continues on for hockey fans.

Versus will air a special inside look at the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET, during the second half of the network's new studio show, NBC SportsTalk, which airs weeknights from 6-7 p.m. ET. NHL Live will air immediately after the Bruins special at 7 p.m., followed by Versus' first exclusive Wednesday night Game of the Week when the Bruins face the Carolina Hurricanes live from Raleigh, N.C., at 7:30 p.m.

The half-hour special will feature behind-the-scenes access for the Bruins' triumphant return to TD Garden on Thursday, Oct. 6, for the banner raising and championship ring ceremonies as well as the team's three-day journey leading into opening night.

The show will focus on Boston's history as one of America's most fervent hockey towns and will highlight how the Bruins used hard work and determination to overcome many obstacles on their way to winning the city's first Stanley Cup in 39 years. It will also draw parallels with Bobby Orr's two championships in the 1970s and the city's passion for the sport that was rejuvenated by the 2011 championship team. The special also features exclusive interviews with the player that emerged as the heart and soul of the team last season, goaltender Tim Thomas, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Thomas' career will be followed from the University of Vermont, to playing in the minors and around Europe, to finally becoming an elite goalie in the NHL.

Forward Shawn Thornton and coach Claude Julien were wired for sound during the Bruins' practices leading up to opening night and will be featured in the show along with one of the team's youngest talents, Brad Marchand. Additional vignettes will include the team's summer with the Cup as well as interviews from other Bruins players and local fans.

NBC SportsTalk, hosted by Russ Thaler, will begin at 6 p.m. and break down all the topics that are dominating the sports world. It will enlist talent from all NBC Sports Group platforms to join Thaler, including commentators and reporters from NBC Sports, NBCSports.com, Versus, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Group's 11 regional sports networks. On select Wednesday nights throughout the NHL season, the second half of the show will be dedicated solely to hockey.
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