Sweeney in St. Stephen
Saturday, 08.27.2011 / 11:23 PM
BostonBruins.com -- Boston Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney enjoyed a second day with Lord Stanley on Saturday when he brought the Cup to the town of St. Stephen in New Brunswick, Canada.
"St. Stephen will always be my hometown," said Sweeney to the hundreds of fans gathered at the town's Border Arena. "The turnout today is indicative of why that is true.
"The support for sports, the camaraderie, the family relationships [here] extend beyond...what this Cup represents for me as a player who grew up playing in this very arena.
"So, I'm very, very grateful for everybody's [support] today," he said.
Sweeney enjoyed support throughout St. Stephen throughout the day. From a parade that started near the Canada/USA border to the reception at Border Arena to his visit to the city's center the citizens of his home community made sure that the former B's player and current administrator felt very welcome.
But in many ways, Sweeney's return to his roots was a "thank you" to his parents.
"I have to take a few minutes to thank my mother and father Paul and Joanne for the countless hours, the day trips, the night trips and the overnight trips and the time that they spent shuttling my [rear] around to arenas just to provide an opportunity for me to play hockey," he said.
"I'm very, very blessed to have their support and my entire family's support.
"They should share in this day," added Sweeney of the extended family who joined him in the celebration.
As he did when he told BostonBruins.com about his day in Massachusetts, Sweeney saved special and high praise for his wife Christine (who won pairs gold at the 1988 Canadian Figure Skating Championships and who competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Winter Games) and his twin boys Jarrod and Tyler.
"My wife, who understands probably better than anybody why I've chased that trophy right over there both as a player and now in management," said Sweeney to the gathered crowd. "It does take a lot of sacrifice, not just from the person [in the NHL], but from the person that has to stand in the background and she certainly doesn't need to do that.
"She's a champion in her own right in figure skating and I'm sure everyone here voted for her in Battle of the Blades, as well.
"But she's been a great partner through all this and she shares equally in the rewards of me being able to bring this back to share with each and every one of you."
Earlier in the summer, Sweeney said that having the Cup for a day brought "a real sense of reality to the accomplishment."
And now, the long time Bruins defenseman said he is enjoying the moniker of Stanley Cup champion.
"It has a really nice ring to it," said Sweeney to the crowd gathered in St. Stephen's town center. "It was a long time in coming for myself and the Boston Bruins organization and I want to say thank you to everybody involved in helping put this together and to share in this day.
"This is the roots to me -- where I started my hockey career -- and I felt compelled to...once I got a hold of that Holy Grail to be able to bring it back and share it with each and every one of you."