The date was June 15, 2011 — and both Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner were already settled back in at their respective hometowns of Weymouth and Walpole.
A few months removed from their freshman campaigns at Boston University and Colgate, both Coyle and Wagner were already well on their way to a future in the NHL — picked by both the San Jose Sharks (Coyle, 28th overall) and Anaheim Ducks (Wagner, 122nd overall) in the 2010 Draft.
But make no mistake, all new allegiances were moot that warm summer evening — especially when Zdeno Chara hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup over his head at Rogers Arena.
Potentially playing in Boston was a pipe dream still close to a decade away from coming to fruition for both skaters, but looking back on that night — both Wagner and Coyle couldn’t have cared less.
“I remember watching it with my buddies,” Coyle said of Game 7 against Vancouver. “I just remember driving through town. I think I went to my other buddies after that. Just a big buzz around town. Honking horns, it was pretty cool.”
The 2010-11 Bruins were not the first local team to take home a championship since the turn of the millennium. But for a title-starved hockey contingent spread across Boston and all of New England, the B’s remarkable run – highlighted by three pulse-pounding Game 7 victories over the Canadiens, Lightning and Canucks — made the tribulations of a 39-year Cup drought dissipate in short order.
“I remember Game 7 of the first round, I don’t remember much of the second, but I watched a lot of the Tampa series,” Wagner told BostonSportsJournal. “That went to a Game 7 too and then the whole Vancouver series, I would get together with 10 of my buddies. I went to the parade and all that too.”
Wagner obviously wasn’t around for “Too Many Men” in 1979, nor did he see Boston’s shortcomings against the Oilers in 1988 or 1990. Like many others that constituted the next generation of Bruins’ fans, any postseason woes for Wagner brought upon by Scott Walker and Simon Gagne were negated by the hefty highlight reel compiled in the spring and summer of 2011.