As promised by Sportsnet Insider Jeff Marek in a tweet on Thursday, former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa shot down a recent story about the 2011 Stanley Cup Final told by former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara as ‘One of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard’
In case you missed it, speaking on a recent episode of the Games With Names Podcast, hosted by comedian Sam Morril and former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, Zdeno Chara explained how the 2011 Boston Bruins were able to erase a early two-game series deficit and then 3-2 deficit to win the 2011 Stanley Cup in seven games.
“It was [Alex] Burrows biting [Patrice] Bergeron’s finger, [Aaron] Rome making a dirty hit on [Nathan] Horton, stuff like after losing two games in Vancouver we saw players from Vancouver coming on the ice in the Garden and they were actually practicing how they would be lifting the cup and handing off the cup to each other,” the former Boston Bruins captain recalled. “We found out these things and thought – we are not going to allow this to happen…we heard about some rumors that they called the league and they were asking, I believe it was after game — I don’t know what game it was, but they were calling the league asking how many people or family members they can take on the ice after they win the championship…so for us that was huge, huge motivation.”
Well after immediately telling Marek that ‘100-percent didn’t happen’ on Thursday, Bieksa went off on the future hall of fame defenseman while speaking on the first intermission panel for Hockey Night In Canada Saturday with host Ron McLean, and fellow panelists Kelly Hrudey and Jennifer Botterill.
“One of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard clearly, and we all work with Elliotte [Friedman] so that’s saying a lot,” Kevin Bieksa started off. “I don’t think I have to spend a whole lotta time discrediting that this didn’t happen because logistically it’s impossible. You think about all the media that’s there covering the finals, and all the competitiveness that’s there that their trying to find some story different than the other person. Clearly somebody would’ve reported on that or had a camera, and even Chara walks it back a little bit from his comments that ‘We saw them in the Garden’ to ‘We heard’ to ‘We believe we heard’.
So originally upset about it because it’s a little bit of an attack on our character as a team and as an organization, but also our leadership group and you’re talking about three first ballot hall of famers in the Sedins [Daniel and Henrik] and [Roberto] Luongo. You’re talking about [Manny] Malholtra, and [Dan] Hamhuis, and myself. To think that we would allow something like that to happen, let alone participate in it, is disappointing. Coming from a guy like Chara, you would expect more, and maybe a little bit more of a mutual respect that he wouldn’t repeat a story like that, that’s so insulting to us, without fact-checking it or seeing it or witnessing it firsthand. So, I think like the main emotion I have right now is just disappointment in him.”
Kevin Bieksa is not so much mad as he’s disappointed 🙄 pic.twitter.com/pp0EzP69os
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 11, 2022
Hrudey then backed up Bieksa’s points.
“Well, we were there, and we didn’t see it and we had, I don’t know how many cameras,” Hrudey said. “We were at every morning skate as media so we certainly would’ve picked up on that so. …”
Bieksa then cut in again:
“Can you even imagine?” he asked rhetorically. “Can you even imagine and team in any era even doing something like that?”
“No!” Hrudey replied. “When I heard it I was in total disbelief.”
Fellow Hockey Night In Canada panelist and three-time Canadian Women’s Ice Hockey Gold medalist then chimed in with a similar story about Canada and USA at the 2002 Winter Olympics where the Americans were accused of fabricating a story for bulletin board material.
“Let’s talk about that, the bulletin board material,” Bieksa chimed in again. “To me, that’s for the weak; that’s for the externally motivated. So, you’re telling me that you dream about playing in the Stanley Cup Final your whole life, you train for decades and then you get there, and you’re going to leave a little bit extra in the tank just in case somebody says something that upsets you? And then you’re really going to try; then you’re really going to go get it! So it’s just a ridiculous thing to admit all the way around.”