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Saturday, June 18, 2011
Neely: 'Incredible experience'

By Chris Forsberg



BOSTON -- What does a Stanley Cup do for a team? It turns the most mundane activities into something special.

"I was driving in yesterday thinking, 'I can't believe we're Stanley Cup champs," said Bruins president Cam Neely. "You're driving in and it seems like a normal day. But you're Stanley Cup champs and that keeps running through your head a little bit."

While Andrew Ference joked that the Cup victory sank in for him when he saw Neely running up and down the team plane with the Cup in his grasp after the Game 7 victory Wednesday in Vancouver, Neely admitted the accomplishment is still settling in a bit for him.

But he called the entire process an "incredible experience" and, after being unable to deliver a cup to Boston during his playing days, took great pride in ending the 39-year drought.

"It's really sweet for everybody that's put time and effort into this," said Neely. "The people in the back office who worked extremely hard and don't always get recognition, then obviously the players, the training staff, the coaches, and the owners. For everybody that supports this team, this is a sweet day."

Asked if executives get to spend time with the Cup much like the players are allowed in the offseason, Neely said he wasn't sure, but joked he better get his turn. Neely said he has some ideas in mind on how to celebrate with the Cup, but wouldn't divulge quite yet.

Later, at a pre-parade rally outside the Garden, Neely continued to thank the Boston fans.

“Also, we can’t thank you, the fans, enough," said Neely. "It’s such a privilege for our players to play in front of you guys. The support you guys give us all year long has been incredible. You guys have waited too long for this. But enjoy it. Enjoy the heck out of this.”

Neely sure is.