Zdeno Chara stirred up some controversy this past week when he claimed that the Vancouver Canucks practiced how they would lift the Stanley Cup on Boston Bruins ice in 2011.
It's a claim that doesn't stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. As Canucks fans are well aware, the national media were not the biggest supporters of the Canucks during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The idea that this might have happened without someone in the media reporting on it as an example of the Canucks' cockiness or entitlement — it's unfathomable.
Both Jannik Hansen and Kevin Bieksa, staple members of that 2011 Canucks team, have called the story hogwash, with Bieksa taking to the air on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night to call it, "One of the dumbest things we've ever heard."
"Logistically, it's impossible," said Bieksa. "You think about all the media that's there covering the Finals and all the competitiveness of trying to find some story different than the other person — clearly, somebody would have reported about that or had a camera."
It's important to note that Chara initially said, "We saw players from Vancouver coming on the ice in the Garden, and they were actually practising how they would be lifting the Cup and handing off the Cup to each other," but then changed his story shortly after to say that the Bruins only "heard about" this supposedly happening.
It sounds an awful lot like the Bruins — or someone connected with the Bruins — made up some bulletin board to help fuel the team, like Michael Jordan finding some point of offence before a big game.
"Originally, I was upset about it," said Bieksa. "Because it's a little bit of an attack on our character as a team and an organization but also our leadership group. You're talking about three first-ballot Hall-of-Famers in the Sedins and [Roberto] Luongo. You're talking about [Manny] Malhotra and [Dan] Hamhuis and myself. To think that we would allow something like that to happen, let alone participating 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 witnessing it firsthand."
Ultimately, the only person this reflects poorly on is Chara himself.