A thousand Vineyarders hail the Stanley Cup and the Bruins Sunday
VIdeo by Yoojin Cho
When Boston Bruins president and Aquinnah summer resident Cam Neely stepped off a private jet at the Martha's Vineyard Airport Saturday and thrust the Stanley Cup triumphantly over his head, a roar rose over the tarmac.
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School boys and girls hockey teams gave Mr. Neely and the famous trophy a rousing Island welcome. Mr. Neely handed the Stanley Cup, symbolic of the National Hockey League champions, to Jerry Jacobs Jr., a summer resident of Katama. Mr. Jacobs is a principal in Delaware North, the entertainment and concession company that owns the Bruins, and his father is the chief executive officer.
Except for the victory parade in Boston, Martha's Vineyard was the first public stop for the Stanley Cup since the Bruins won it in a seventh game victory over the Vancouver Canucks on June 15.
"I think this is a very intense hockey community," Mr. Jacobs said. "There was no question we were bringing it here. The cup needs to be with the people who appreciate it."
Mr. Neely called it a special treat to bring the trophy to Martha's Vineyard.
"I've been coming here for a lot of years," Mr. Neely said. "It's very special. It's a great feeling. It's definitely a hockey Island."
Also arriving with Stanley Cup were Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien.
"It's great to be able to share this," Mr. Julien said. "We want to share with as many people as we can."
Mr. Jacobs was intent on involving local fans in the festivities. Just before event organizers loaded the trophy on an antique Edgartown fire truck for the Saturday evening trip to Edgartown, Mr. Jacobs took the Cup over to the edge of the tarmac so a small crowd of eager fans could touch it through the mesh fence.
Several hundred fans lined Edgartown's Main Street when the Stanley Cup arrived in town. Team officials ventured into the excited crowd giving everyone a look, and a few lucky fans a grasp of the trophy, before taking it inside the Boathouse for a private reception.
On Sunday morning, a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 (by this reporter's estimate) filed patiently into the Edgartown School gymnasium for a chance to see, touch, and in several cases, kiss the Stanley Cup.
"That was so cool," said Barbara Phillips of Edgartown, after posing with her twin granddaughters Mallory and Madeline. "This is pretty amazing, that they could come with the cup. They're very generous."
Among those getting their picture taken was the entire South Beach lifeguard crew.
Mr. Jacobs and his family were on hand once again, smiling broadly, as the crowd made its way patiently to the front of the line.
Edgartown police Chief Tony Bettencourt said all went smoothly with the large crowds at the airport and in Edgartown. He said on the way to Edgartown Saturday evening, the cup motorcade made a brief stop at Sharkey's, where many hockey fans gathered to watch the NHL playoffs and final series. The trophy made the rounds of The Atlantic before going to The Boathouse, a private club. At about 10:30 pm that evening, in the interest of fairness, the chief asked Mr. Jacobs if they might take the cup to the Wharf Pub, also a popular establishment with Bruins fans.
"He said 'Let's go,'" the chief said. He added that the scene was wild when they walked into the sports bar with the trophy.
"I didn't think we'd get out," Chief Bettencourt said.
And, if you got your picture taken
The NHL frowns on anyone who takes has temporary possession of the Stanley Cup from using the trophy in any commercial venture, such as selling photos of fans with the trophy. But the Bruins and the Jacobs family extended their already considerable generosity by hiring David Welch, a local photographer, to shoot professional photographs for each group that posed with the Stanley Cup Sunday morning at the Edgartown School.
Mr. Welch took more than 1,500 group portraits. The digital photos may be ordered at no cost from the galleries on Mr. Welch's website.
Fans may select a photo from the galleries and order it through the online cart checkout feature.