STANLEY CUP PARADE UPDATE AS OF AUG. 22: If you’re a hockey fan you’ll want to be downtown on Monday, Aug. 29 when Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand parades Canada’s most well-known symbol of sport - the Stanley Cup around HRM.
Celebration details now available will see the parade start at noon on University Avenue and end at Grand Parade with a proclamation and small celebration. At 2 p.m. dedicated fans will have an opportunity to see Marchand and the cup up close and personal at the St. Margarets Centre in Upper Tantallon. Sixty-three of these lucky fans will have their names drawn for an opportunity to have their picture taken with the Hammonds Plains hockey star and the cup.
By Bobbie-Lynn Hall - The Weekly News
Sidney Crosby did it in 2009, and now Brad Marchand from Hammonds Plains is bringing it back again. With two visits in two years; maybe it’s time the Stanley Cup took up residence in HRM?
“It’s been an amazing year,” said Marchand who helped the Boston Bruins win their first cup since 1972. “But I’m enjoying this break at home.”
For most people reading this story, this writer included, 23-year-old Brad Marchand is just a kid. He just happens to be a kid who’s made his dream – the same dream as many hockey-playing boys in Canada - come true, by winning, along with his Boston Bruins teammates of course, hockey’s most coveted trophy, the Stanley Cup.
“My whole life I’ve just loved hockey,” said Marchand. “My Dad loved taking my brother (Jeff Marchand, 22) and me to the rink. It was usually a race between us, and the people who opened up the rink. If I wasn’t at the rink, I was playing ball hockey or pond hockey. Everything I did was around hockey. It’s where I met all of my friends, the ones I still have today.”
And what of his new found friends in the black and yellow jerseys?
“I know people say it all the time,” he said. “But we really do all get along so well. I think that’s what helped us win.”
The second biggest dream for a hockey player from Canada, next to winning the Stanley Cup, might just be having your son win it. Marchand’s Dad Kevin says, "It’s been a wonderful ride."
“It's a little nerve wracking right now,” said the older Marchand. “But we are so, so proud of him. You have to work very hard to achieve what he has. We’re also proud of what he’s doing with those achievements."
Marchand has been very generous with his time and was recently involved in a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club where, in addition to other things, he donated the stick he used to score a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during game four of the Stanley Cup finals.
For the ‘grinder’ who seemed to have come out of nowhere – check out history and stats on the Bruins website – his new found fame can be overwhelming.
"It's kind of different getting recognized," he said. "People are usually nice. But sometimes it's hard, because if I say or do something – even if it's something someone else might say or do - it gets blown out of proportion."
There’s no doubt Marchand is good at hockey, but he has tried other things. He took piano lessons with his Mom when he was a kid but said he lost anything he learned. He also tried taking up the guitar.
“I was awful,” he said.
When not in Boston, Marchand lives at home in Hammonds Plains with his family. His brother Jeff said he was a good big brother … mostly.
“He picked on me all the time. He did. I mean every day,” laughed Jeff. “But if someone at school did it, Brad would beat them up.”
On Aug. 29 a parade is planned in HRM for Marchand and the Stanley Cup. Many residents in Hammonds Plains, including his family, were disappointed that it couldn’t be held closer to his home, but with the condition of the road and the construction nearby it just wasn’t possible.
“I’m so proud to be from Hammonds Plains,” said Marchand. “I wish I could have done it here, but I am taking the Cup to the arena (St. Margaret’s Bay Centre) which I think will be even better, because then people in the community will be able to see it up close instead of just watching it drive by.”
Finally, the question everyone wants to ask. How does it feel to win the Stanley Cup?
“I’ve been asked so many times and I really have thought about it,” he said. “I’ve tried to find the words, but I still don’t have an answer to that question.”
On Aug. 29, HRM’s latest hockey hero, Boston Bruin Brad Marchand, will parade the Stanley Cup around Metro. For many of his fellow Hammonds Plains residents the day will be bittersweet.
Back in 2009 Sidney Crosby famously held his Stanley Cup parade in his hometown of Cole Harbour. Unfortunately, according to HRM, the Hammonds Plains Road isn’t safe enough for Marchand to do the same.
“The road is just too narrow,” said Coun. Peter Lund. “There are no shoulders and very little standing room and with cars parked on both sides of the road, can you envision the traffic congestion?”
Christina Parker, founder of the Greater Hammonds Plains Communities Association, thinks there was not enough thought put into making the decision.
“There are sections that might have worked,” she said. “They just weren’t creative enough.”
On a positive note, this decision will shed even more light on the on-going concerns for hazardous road.
“I put a petition to regional council last week on behalf of the association, requesting HRM to prepare a plan to upgrade Hammonds Plains Road and get on with it. Over 2,300 signatures were obtained in one month,” said Lund. “Finally the voice of the people is being heard.”