Going into Wednesday’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues, the big question in New England was who would be the honorary banner captain at TD Garden before the puck dropped.
The answer was no individual figure could do the honors alone. Three people served as banner captains before Game 7: “Fist Bump Kid” Liam Fitzgerald, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman. Check out this clip:
To add an extra special touch, Raisman and Edelman wore David Ortiz jerseys. Besides the Bruins, only Ortiz has held a bigger place in the heart of Boston this week in light of him being shot Sunday in his home Dominican Republic.
In the days leading up to Game 7, Boston fans and media offered plenty of suggestions for the honorary banner captains. Would it be Tim Thomas, the Bruins’ goaltender when Boston last won the Stanley Cup in 2011? Another legendary former Bruin like Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely or Ray Bourque? What about tapping another famous Boston athlete like Rob Gronkowski?
OK, maybe not everybody in Boston was caught up in banner captain fever.
But many of the city’s sports fans were aiming even higher for a Patriot who could wave the Bruins’ black-and-gold flag.
How amazing would Tom Brady have been in a Game 7 environment? Unfortunately, news circulated Wednesday morning that he would not be the banner captain for Wednesday’s Game 7. But the quarterback has already done plenty of work fulfilling the dreams of Patriots fans. Asking him to do the same for Bruins fans was probably too much.
Additionally, David Ortiz did not record a video message for the Bruins and fans at TD Garden before Game 7. But I think everyone understands why the Boston Red Sox slugger wasn’t up for the occasion.
This isn’t the first time during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs that the Bruins have tapped Edelman for honorary banner captain honors. The Super Bowl LIII MVP waved the flag before Game 7 of the Bruins’ first-round battle versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston won that decisive game, 5-1.
Edelman also showed his local hockey fandom last week during Patriots minicamp, wearing a Bruins sweater to practice. The jersey may have belonged to teammate Philip Dorsett, whose name and No. 13 adorned the back of the sweater. But the gesture was clear. One Boston athlete was rooting on a Boston sports team.
The Bruins and their fans hope three Boston athletes can provide that final push, that last bit of inspiration to a Stanley Cup.
Follow the Heavy New England Patriots page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!