SALISBURY — Stunned expressions greeted the Stanley Cup when it made a surprise appearance Wednesday before a roomful of young athletes at the Boys & Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley.
St. Louis Blues scouting consultant Larry Pleau brought the championship trophy to the club to give youngsters a treat.
Jim Keenan, the club’s executive director, said he met Pleau while working out at the gym one day about four years ago.
“I was talking to somebody about the club back then and Larry was just sitting there,” Keenan said. “I had no idea who he was at the time but he asked me if we were looking for volunteers. I told him we are always looking for volunteers. So he ended up volunteering with our athletic director for almost the whole summer.”
Pleau played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1969 to 1972, served as general manager of the Blues from 1997 and 2010, and has remained a friend of the club, according to Keenan.
“He is just an overall great guy,” Keenan said. “You would never know he is a Stanley Cup winner and all of that.”
The club was celebrating its annual Olympics Week when Pleau brought the cup Wednesday.
“I think the kids were a little starstruck, to be honest,” Keenan said. “They were wondering what the heck it was. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.”
Pleau said he was happy to bring the Stanley Cup to the club.
“The Boys & Girls Club does so much for the kids,” he said. “You can see it on their faces. The crew here does so much for them. It just means so much.”
Earlier this summer, Pleau also brought the cup to Amesbury Elementary School, where his daughter Shannon Nolan is the new principal.
The Blues won the cup by beating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the finals in June.
“I have seen the cup on TV before, but I have never touched it until today,” Keenan said. “That is pretty darn cool and, if the Bruins didn’t win the cup, our friend Larry won. He had a lot to do with putting that organization together for many years. So that is pretty cool, too.”
Declan Sherman, 8, also thought the visit by the Stanley Cup was a fun experience.
“I like it but it’s a little small,” he said. “On TV, it looks bigger.”
Annamae Meckanas, 9, thought the cup was large enough.
“I like it,” she said. “It’s big.”
Amesbury Youth Hockey center Sadie Crowell, 12, was also impressed with the cup.
“It’s awesome,” Sadie said.
It was the second championship trophy to make its way to the Boys & Girls Club in the past week. The Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series trophy made a stop there Saturday.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.