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photo courtesy Alex Smyth

Boston Bruins GM pays tribute to alma mater with Stanley Cup visit

Stanley Cup champion. Let those words sink in for just a minute, because the six-year general manager has just been too busy to do so. Ever since June 15, 2011, the night his Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, Peter Chiarelli has been on the go.

As it turns out, winning the Holy Grail of hockey has only added to his demanding schedule.

On Aug. 5, it was Chiarelli’s turn to have the Stanley Cup for a day. In a telling display of gratitude, he brought the coveted chalice to the U of O for a public appearance. For about an hour in the morning, the trophy glistened on the lawn of Tabaret Hall in front of hundreds of hockey fans, many in black and gold.

Chiarelli had time for just a few words.

“I think it was the longest season ever,” he said, only half-kidding. “We started the year playing in Belfast and Prague, so it seemed even longer. We finished playing on June 15, and then we had our draft, and then there was free agency, and then we had our development camp. So it’s seemed really long, but it’s something I’m obviously happy to deal with. And I’m ready to get back,” he said, before pausing.

“Actually, I’m not quite ready to get back to next year.”

Nevertheless, Chiarelli was asked by reporters about the following season.

“I work in a market where every [sports] team seems to win a championship, and it’s expected of us again,” he said. “We’re going to try and keep winning. It’s impossible to win every year, but that is the overriding objective.”

The Ottawa native was asked several more questions on the upcoming season, before he was finally allowed to reflect on the present. He explained why he chose to spend some of his brief time with the Stanley Cup at his alma mater.

“I feel really strongly about the value of the legal education I received here, and I feel fortunate that it happened here,” he said at the U of O. “I thought it would be a good idea to bring [the Stanley Cup] here and share it with the university community.”

Chiarelli entered the U of O’s Faculty of Law in 1988 and graduated with an LLB in 1991. Although Chiarelli was only a student at the school for three years, he felt that his time on campus had a positive and meaningful impact on him.

“I felt it was very collegial. I felt that people were close-knit here,” he said.  “There was a lot of discussion amongst the students and that made it a very formative experience. This is why I wanted to share the [Stanley Cup] here with the U of O community.”

While Chiarelli was answering questions, hundreds of people lined up to have their picture taken with the greatest trophy in sport. One of the fans in line was a small child attending the celebration with his parents. Unfortunately, the fan suffered an accident and became significantly hurt, forcing paramedics to arrive. As reporters continued speaking with Chiarelli, the U of O grad received word of the accident and quickly exited the scrum. The media looked on as the GM had the Stanley Cup brought straight to the child so that he could have his picture taken with it before it had to leave.

Once again, Peter Chiarelli was on the go.

—Andrew Hawley