This last week has been a trying time for the Bruins organization. Seven players hurt. Shawn Thornton facing a lengthy suspension. The flu showed up to bite the Bruins at the worst possible moment. With all the uncomfortable situations the Bruins have been in these last few days, they needed a boost. While the boost was intended for one particular member of the Bruins, the whole team seemed to get their spirits lifted by it.
The city of Calgary and the Flames organization put on one of the best tributes I’ve ever seen for a hockey player. They did it to welcome back their longest serving captain ever (2003-13), Jarome Iginla. The celebration wasn’t so much about his achievements on the ice. While the stats did get a brief mention, they focused on the character and decency of a man who played for the organization for sixteen years. The near twenty thousand people in the stand than gave their former captain a two minute plus standing ovation. It got to the point where Milan Lucic looked over at Iginla and said “Oh, come on man.” It took Iginla no less than four acknowledgments of the fans before they quieted down.
On a side note, I’d like to say it was a classy gesture for Zdeno Chara to let Iginla head out for the ceremonial puck drop.
This was a city that had the Saddledome inundated with water just some six months ago. Volunteers from all over Alberta repaired and refitted the stadium in an amazingly short stretch of time to have it ready for the preseason, and they did an amazing job of it too. The initial estimates were six months to complete repairs and they did it in two. When Iginla got the puck during the first period, the crowd cheered for an opposing player. Not every day you see a fan base more happy to see an opposing player with the puck then to watch one of your own score.
On another side note, perhaps some of the fans in Bruins Nation (especially the ones that booed Tyler Seguin and Tim Thomas) could take a page out of the Flames fan bases’ book. The whole evening was a classy gesture by a city that had just gotten itself back up on its feet again. This Bruins fan throws out a big *stick tap* to the city of Calgary, Alberta and the fans of the Calgary Flames. You did yourselves proud tonight.