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Another Big Day for Chief

Saturday, 08.20.2011 / 11:34 PM
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com / Stanley's Travels
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Stanley\'s Travels
Another Big Day for Chief

BostonBruins.com -- Believe it or not, B's legend Johnny Bucyk had never had a day with Stanley prior to August 20th, when he recieved the Cup at his summer home in British Columbia.

Johnny "Chief" Bucyk
You see, players didn't get the Stanley Cup to themselves when they won back in 1970 and 72, but that didn't make winning any less special.

"Winning the Cup in the two years that we did win it, that made it complete," said Bucyk of his career. "And them having my number retired of course finalized it and being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"But getting the Stanley Cup now and still being part of the team, it was just great.

"It was thirty nine years since we won and I was just happy to be a part of it."

It had been almost four decades since Bucyk skated off the ice with the Cup in Boston's possession and when B's captain Zdeno Chara grabbed "The Jug" in June it capped off what "Chief" simply described as "a good year."

But for Bucyk, who began his career in Boston in 1957, being part of a third Stanley Cup for the B's was very special and the former Bruins captain relished being able to contribute in his capacity of road services director -- a role that puts him on the road with the team coordinating travel, hotel rooms and tickets amongst many other duties.

"The parts that I enjoyed was working with the management," said Bucyk. "You know, working with the coaches, the GMs and Cam [Neely].

"They let me do my thing for what I had to do.

"And everybody in the office, all the kids, they were so polite and go good to me. You know everybody always has a 'Good morning,' had a 'How you doing?' and 'Good to see you!' and stuff like that," he said.

Asked about his longevity with the B's and Bucyk again credited the Black & Gold.

"I think just the organization itself. That’s what keep me going," said Chief. "The people there are so great and that’s what makes the team so great -- everybody’s working together."

Bucyk seemed to be able to fit plenty into his time with the Cup in Creston, BC. He met the Hockey Hall of Fame's Cup keeper Howie Barrow in Cranbrook and brought the Cup two hours to Creston's convention center.

"We did three hours of signing," he said. "“They just could believe that [the Cup] was there.

"People came form other towns to see it, we had people comes from Vancouver to see it.

"It was so much excitement. My own family, my grandson Christopher, he had a heck of a time,” he said.

But that wasn't the only stop.

"Then we went to a nursing home," continued Bucyk. "We took it to a lot of patients.

"A lot of them knew what it was all about and a lot of them didn’t, but they were all shocked to see this Stanley Cup, weighs 34 and a half pounds to see it in there in the building.

  
"And of course it was good to see of the staff, the people that spend their devoted time working with these people, give them a chance to see -- because they couldn’t obviously get down to the rink because they had to be at work -- so we kind of surprised everybody there."

And then it was time for some private time.

"We came to my place and I had much of my relatives and friends locally and they came over with some of the neighbors and we sat around and they all had pictures with the Cup," said Bucyk, who was joined by son-in-law Joe Laroche. "It turned you to be just one special day."

A special day made more special by the keeper of the Cup.

"He was so good with the people, with the public, especially the kids; answering questions, talking to them, having a great time," said Bucyk. "He does a great job.”

Asked what stuck out most for him on his Cup day, and Chief was quick to talk about the politenss and friendliness of the fans he encountered along the way.

"They were so appreciative to see the Cup and you know we gave them autographs, we gave them all kinds of little souvenir stuff and they were just appreciative and it just made it a fun day," said Bucyk. "A long day, but a fun day."

It was a day that will get added to the many special moments in a 54-year career in Black & Gold.

“Any time you win the Cup its great and you’re a part of it and it's beautiful,” he said.

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