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Still Smiling...

Friday, 08.19.2011 / 7:32 AM
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com / Stanley's Travels
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Stanley\'s Travels
Still Smiling...

BostonBruins.com --
Generally, Johnny Boychuk is the happiest person that you could encounter on any given day.

Stanley and Boychuk take a drive. Click here for a full gallery.
Add the Stanley Cup and, well, let's just say that even the distance from Edmonton to Boston (and a so-so phone connection) couldn't hide "the happy" in the defenseman's voice as he talked about his time with the Cup.

Every moment of the day resonated with the Edmonton native, who brought "The Jug" back to Alberta on August 19.

"Well, we picked it up when the plane landed at 11 o’clock," said Boychuk of the Cup's arrival. "And we went to eat at a place called Chop with just immediate family."

But the day didn't stay private for very long.

"From there, because they had everything set up, we went to Stollery Children's Hospital and we spent about two hours there or so," said Boychuk.

Like so many of his teammates, Boychuk's time in the hospital showed him the power that the Stanley Cup has to spread the smiles to everyone it encounters.

"I think bringing it to the Hospital was probably the best moment," said Boychuk. "Just seeing the kids smile.

"They’re not doing very well themselves in that hospital.

"You know to see them smiling, you know getting there spirits up just makes it all worth bringing it there,” he said.

Family, friends and hockey fans shared in those lifted spirits as Boychuk toured greater Edmonton.

"On the way to the Stollery we stopped and took one picture," said Johnny to set the scene. "There’s like a big Stanley Cup in Edmonton outside of a sports store and along the way, I’m like ‘Oh lets stop right here.’

"It took two seconds then there were people seeing it and they were like ‘What is that?’

"Then we went right to the Stanley Cup and took a picture of it, with the actual Stanley Cup," said Boychuk.

The day gave Johnny a chance to take the Cup down memory lane -- or make that Wayne Gretzky Drive.

"From the Hospital, on the way to my parents house, we stopped at the Rexall Place where the Oilers play," continued Boychuk. "There’s a statue of Wayne Gretzky in front of the Stadium or the Arena, kind of like how we have Bobby Orr.

"And I took a picture in front of Wayne Gretzky holding the Cup."

Everyone in Edmonton seemed to get some time with Stanley.

"We went to my mom and dad’s house, took some pictures with immediate family, the same people that were at Chop," he said. "From there we went to a place called Fort Edmonton Park.

"And we got there and I got brought in by a group of bagpipers and from there, there were about 700 people that were there -- fans, family, friends just to take pictures with the Cup.

"That was for about three hours, which took us to about 9:30 p.m.”

Bringing the Cup back to Edmonton was important to Boychuk, who grew up with the city's powerful Oilers teams of the late 1980's.

"It made everybody’s day, or week, or month, or year," he said. "For them to be able to take a picture with it and you know get to touch the Stanley Cup just means a lot to everybody, especially coming from a place that is a hockey city too."

Asked what stood out most about the Edmonton teams of his childhood, Boychuk said, "Just that they were able to win it almost every year.

"They had such a good team and you know, its hard to win one Stanley Cup let alone five in a matter of ten years, right?”

But having the Cup himself had Boychuk wanting to make similar plans next summer.

"After having a day with the Cup, the next day I was like ‘Wow I cant wait to win another one now and have another day with it.'”

Check out the video from CTV Edmonton.

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