Thu Aug 11 11:34am EDT
Milan Lucic(notes) was born in Vancouver and had the awkward honor of winning the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks in his hometown. When his turn to raise and skate the Cup arrived, the reaction from the crowd was decidedly mixed.
The awkwardness has apparently extended into the offseason, as Lucic prepares to bring the Cup home this weekend. Megan Stewart of the Vancouver Courier shared some rather disturbing details about how disgruntled locals have used Lucic "as an outlet for their angst" this summer:
"Posters of the East Van skater dressed in his Boston Bruins gold and black were reportedly defaced outside a cultural community centre. His eyes were poked out. His face scribbled on.
"At the annual Greek summer festival that shuts down a section of Boundary Road, the presence of the six-foot-four, 220 pound former Vancouver Giant was enough to inspire fisticuffs. Lucic didn't brawl. But words and then blows were exchanged in the crowd around him."
Being that the Greek Festival was over a month ago, we'll go ahead and say this was an underreported incident if it occurred.
Apparently, the jealous masses have succeeded in intimidating Lucic and his revelers, as the paper reports this weekend's Cup party will be a low-key affair -- much to the chagrin of Mama Lucic.
According to the Courier:
"'There is a certain amount of tension right now,'" acknowledged Lucic's mom, Snezana. "It's not all of Vancouver, just certain individuals.'
"When he celebrates with the Stanley Cup this weekend, Lucic will keep the festivities relatively private and low-key. He won't be gloating, at least where the public eye can see. Potential to bring hockey's holy grail to Kitsilano Beach Park for the weekend's popular sports festival, Kits Fest, were scuttled, according to an event organizer."
Lucic's mother told the Courier that the simmering frustration from some in Vancouver is "why Milan does not want to be out there, parading the Cup around his hometown."
Guess it could be worse. It's not like anyone from Vancouver ever robbed Lucic's family home or anything … oh, that's right. Whoops.
So Lucic and Family will instead have "a private event and family from as far away as Toronto, San Diego and Los Angeles are expected to attend," according to his father.
If everything here is accurate ... sheesh, what a downer. As Matt Kalman wrote on The Bruins Blog, "it's a poor reflection on the city — especially considering the joyous reception the Cup and the Bruins players have received in other areas that have deeper reasons to dislike Boston and the Bruins (Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa)."