Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 23
The Stanley Cup Journal

(July 30, 2003) — In winning the Stanley Cup, Jay Pandolfo made his own dream come true. Last Friday, he also made Aerosmith's dream a reality.

Jay Pandolfo waited for the Stanley Cup at the designated meeting place, Boston's Renaissance Bedford Hotel. With him stood his brother Mike. Both Pandolfos starred with Boston University before embarking on professional careers. Mike is a promising winger in the Columbus Blue Jackets' system and played last season for the Syracuse Crunch. Jay collected 17 points, including 6 goals, during the 2002-03 season and added another 6 goals and 12 points in the Devils' playoff run.

The Stanley Cup arrived with its Keeper right on schedule. "Walt, we're just going to have a mellow night tonight," Jay said. "I got a couple of the boys and we're just going to hang out." But as the friends sat and talked, someone suggested doing a run through downtown Boston. "Great idea," Jay responded. "Walt, you cool with that?"

The staff at the Waterfront Cafe meet Jay Pandolfo and the Stanley Cup.
The Stanley Cup arrived unannounced at The Waterfront, a small bar in Boston's North End. Jay was pleased to share the historic trophy with the fans in the bar. "Man, it's great to be reminded how much excitement the Stanley Cup brings," Pandolfo said, shaking his head in amazement.

There's a 32-passenger, customized limousine party bus called the Bustonian, and the vehicle met the party outside The Waterfront to take them to their next destination. With disco lights flashing and the music pumping, the group got on the bus and took it to Cambridge, where they exited at the Boston Sail Loft, right on the water's edge. The Boston Sail Loft actually juts out into the bay, with boats anchored right by the window. The Stanley Cup looked great sitting there amidst the nautical décor, and several hundred enjoying Boston's nightlife agreed wholeheartedly. "That was crazy in there," Jay marveled. "Yeah, we haven't had that kind of excitement since Paul Revere rode through here," said one of Jay's pals. "Or since you kicked that puck in," replied another. Jay glared, but then the entire party howled with laughter. In Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, Pandolfo crashed the Anaheim net and had a rebound off a shot by Brian Gionta hit his right skate and trickle past Giguere. "I was just trying to stop in front and it just went off my foot and trickled in," Jay said at the time. Andy Van Hellemond, the NHL's Director of Officiating, ruled on the goal, stating, "The video review clearly showed that Pandolfo was in the process of stopping when the puck deflected off his skate." Jay's goal proved to be the game winner, and gave New Jersey a three-two lead in games at the time.

Jay Pandolfo and his considerably older date get a special ride back to the hotel.
When the Pandolfo posse was ready to leave, the limo bus was nowhere to be found. There they were, three in the morning, miles from their cars, standing on Memorial Drive in Cambridge with the Stanley Cup. One of the group approached a Boston policeman. "Excuse me officer. Our ride's not here. Any chance you can give Jay Pandolfo and the Stanley Cup a ride to the Renaissance Bedford?" The policeman looked over, unsmiling, then realized it was not a prank. "You boys can have a ride if my lieutenant and I can get a picture," he answered. "Not a problem," said Jay and after a few snapshots, Jay Pandolfo and the Stanley Cup were sitting in the backseat of a Boston Police cruiser, heading back to the hotel.

Friday morning at 7, Joe Pandolfo, Jay's father, hosted a breakfast for a group of family and friends at the hotel, with each guest going home with photographs and memories. Then, it was off to the town square where Jay signed hundreds of autographs. It was amusing to see large numbers of fans in Boston Bruins' sweaters lined up to meet their favourite New Jersey Devil, but after all, Pandolfo's roots in the Boston area run very deep. Born just thirteen miles from Boston in Burlington, Massachusetts, Jay played at Boston University before joining the Devils. And to this day, he is a fanatical supporter of baseball's Boston Red Sox.

While Pandolfo was signing, a man approached Walt Neubrand, the Hockey Hall of Fame's Cup keeper, and mentioning a connection to Jay's father, asked if there was any way Aerosmith could see the Stanley Cup. "The band would love to see the Cup, but didn't want to come down to the Square and distract from Jay Pandolfo," the guy mentioned. Walt approached Jay, who nodded and said, "After I'm finished here, we're going to my parents' place on the Cape. We can take the Cup to the band on the way. That'd be amazing!" Jay carried the Stanley Cup onto the Bustonian limo bus once again. They made stops at both the Boston Police and Fire Departments to show the crews the Cup. When Jay mentioned that they were on their way to Cape Cod, a police officer said, "Jay, traffic is brutal on the way to the Cape. Have the bus follow us." With a police escort asking motorists to, "Move to the right. Please, stay to the right," the Bustonian went through traffic like a knife through butter. Or like Jay Pandolfo cutting through opposition defensive zones!

Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton -- the boys in Aerosmith -- 'dream on' with the Stanley Cup.
Thirty miles outside of Boston, the Bustonian pulled into an industrial plaza off the main road in Andover, Massachusetts. "Jeez, I never would have thought Aerosmith would be here," Jay's girlfriend Julie Ann remarked. As the limo bus pulled in, Jay grabbed the Stanley Cup and took it into the nondescript building. Waiting there amused were Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford and Tom Hamilton - Aerosmith. The band was dressed casually, with lead singer Steven Tyler sucking on a lollipop. "This is the only thing that's seen more parties than us," Tyler laughed. After half an hour, Pandolfo said goodbye to Aerosmith and jumped back on the bus for the remainder of the drive to Cape Cod.

Jay hoists the Cup at South Yarmouth with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.
Jay Pandolfo's parents live in a beautiful home near the beach in South Yarmouth. The town is just off the Bass River, and not far from gorgeous Nantucket Sound. The Stanley Cup arrived in the driveway late Friday afternoon, and the house and yard were prepared for a neighbourhood party with Jay's family and friends. At six o'clock, while Jay was down on the beach having pictures taken with the Stanley Cup, a plane flew overhead pulling a banner that read, 'CONGRATS JAY PANDOLFO - TWO-TIME STANLEY CUP CHAMPION.' Jay's parents had arranged for the surprise welcome, and the Devils' star was delighted by the greeting.

A huge tent had been set up in the Pandolfo's South Yarmouth yard, and inside, caterers served amazing food while a local band performed. Jay's affection for the Red Sox is so strong that even though the party in his honour was carrying on, he insisted on periodically checking the score of the New York Yankees/ Boston Red Sox game taking place that evening. To Pandolfo's dismay, his Red Sox lost to the Yankees 4-3, but even that disappointing result couldn't spoil the incredible party taking place all around him. Due to a community noise ordinance, the live music ended at 11PM, but that didn't stop the party, which carried on past 2:30 Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning at 8AM, Jay Pandolfo woke Walt Neubrand, the Stanley Cup's keeper on this trip. "Walt. Man, time to get up. Bobby Carpenter and David Conte are waiting for their days with the Cup!" Carpenter, a former Devils' star, is now an assistant coach with the team while David Conte is regarded as one of the finest Directors of Scouting in the NHL, and you'll read about their respective days with the Stanley Cup Friday on the Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is a journalist and hockey historian in Toronto.

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