Two-team stick salute to Boston fans was Vanek’s idea

The lasting image from the Bruins-Sabres game Wednesday night at TD Garden is not only the shared singing of the national anthem by fans and Rene Rancourt, but also the two-team stick salute when the game ended.

We now know who broached the idea: Sabres captain Thomas Vanek.

The Buffalo News runs it down:

Vanek, along with alternate captains Steve Ott and Drew Stafford, broached the idea at the morning skate with team trainers, who took it to the Boston side. Vanek and Boston captain Zdeno Chara then met on the ice at the start of pregame warmup to finalize the plans.

As the News noted, home teams usually acknowledge their fans with a stick salute after victories. So it was unusual — though welcome — after the Sabres won, 3-2, in a shootout.

“Even though they play in that city, it doesn’t matter where you’re from,” Vanek told the News. “Buffalo, my case Europe or whatever. Everyone gets affected by it.


“We didn’t think about the publicity it’s getting. For us, it was just to appreciate the people who came.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. It’s a few hours away from something you have to not think about. It was good for everyone, a good few hours.”

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