BOSTON (AP) — The Stanley Cup took a bow for Massachusetts political leaders on Thursday, just hours before the Boston Bruins were set to begin the 2011-2012 regular season and their championship defense.

Accompanied by Bruins president Cam Neely and team principal Charlie Jacobs, the Stanley Cup made its way to Beacon Hill for stops in the governor’s office, House chamber and Senate lobby.

Enthusiastic legislators and government workers paused from the affairs of state to have their pictures snapped with the trophy.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.

“We’ve hosted presidents and national leaders, but as a longtime Bruins fan, the presence of the Stanley Cup stands with any of those historic events,” said Speaker Robert DeLeo during a ceremony in the House.

Senate President Therese Murray read a proclamation congratulating the team on its first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years. She cited the accomplishments of many of the players, though she did require a bit of help when it came to pronouncing the name of playoff scoring leader David Krejci.

Neely told lawmakers the visit to the Statehouse was a great way to wrap up nearly four months of festivities that followed the Bruins 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. But with a new season set to begin, Neely said it was about time to look ahead.

“Once the puck is dropped and the games begin, we can focus on bringing (the Cup) back again,” he said.

The Bruins open the regular season Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden. The 2010-2011 championship banner will be raised prior to the game.

Prior to the House ceremony, Gov. Deval Patrick greeted team officials in his office and got a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head, later remarking that it was even heavier than he expected.

And the Bruins weren’t the only champions being honored at the Statehouse Thursday — members of Andover’s state champion Little League baseball team were also congratulated by Patrick and the youngsters were allowed to stick around in the waiting area outside the governor’s office to get a close-up look at the Stanley Cup when it arrived.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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