Stanley Cup comes to Rec Plex

By Elisabeth Condon

After winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, forward Brandon Bollig, Francis Howell North graduate, used his day with the Stanley Cup to share it with his hometown fans.20130801-224144.jpg

Following his visit to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Bollig brought the Stanley Cup to the St. Peters Rec Plex, which is where he started playing hockey as a child. Matt Burke, President of the St. Peters Spirit Hockey Club introduced Bollig.

“Last year, we asked him to come back to the club and spend some time with the kids,” Burke said. “He skated with them and talked to them about being a hockey player, so we retired his St. Peters Spirit jersey last year.”

St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano, Aldermen Terri Violet and Jerry Hollingsworth presented Bollig with a proclamation declaring July 31, 2013 “Brandon Bollig and the Stanley Cup Day” in the City of St. Peters.

Bollig talked about growing up as a Blues fan, then being signed by the Blackhawks.
“I get a lot of crap for signing with the Blackhawks from all the Blues fans, but it’s all in good fun,” Bollig said. “Obviously, I’m pretty happy with the way things are going right now. [Playing for the Blues] would definitely be a special thing to do before my career is over. I guess if there’s any other team I would rather play for than the Blues, it would be Chicago.”

Bollig then went down to center ice to take pictures with the players of the St. Peters Spirit, as well as fans who purchased tickets to touch the Stanley Cup and get their pictures taken with Bollig. Meanwhile, hundreds of fans lined up to be able to walk into the rink and look at the Stanley Cup. Retiree Gary Tesson was first in line and saw the Cup as Bollig carried it into the Rec Plex. Both of Tesson’s sons attended FHN and played hockey with Bollig. His oldest son now coaches hockey at FHN.

After Bollig showed off the Stanley Cup to the general public, he got to spend time with his family a little more privately. FHN senior Kyle Kateman is Bollig’s cousin. Kateman says he is proud of Bollig and was “almost speechless” when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Kateman also plays hockey and hopes to be the second FHN graduate, and second in his family to win the Stanley Cup, and have the honor to bring it home.

“We have a lot of successful athletes at the Rec Plex, and that’s why I call it, ‘The Home of the Champions,'” Mayor Pagano said. “We are proud to call Brandon Bollig one of those champions.”