By: Tim A. Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
When talking about your favorite player in Boston Bruins history, there are many players to choose from. You could go old-school and pick a player like Bobby Orr, who’s one of the best to ever play the game. You could also choose a player from the current roster like Patrice Bergeron, who’s one of the best defensive forwards to ever play the game. The Boston Bruins have 11 retired numbers, including Orr’s number four. You could pick any of those players. The current roster is loaded with talent to choose from as well.
Despite all of the talented players that have come through Boston, my favorite Bruins player of all-time won’t be found hanging amongst the retired numbers. He also won’t be found on the current loaded roster. Instead, he’s a player that played for eight different teams in 17 seasons spanning from 1988-89 to 2005-06. He’s someone who only played 22 games for the Boston Bruins after being a deadline acquisition during the 2000-01 season. In those 22 games, he scored one goal while dishing out five assists for six total points. That player’s name? Eric Weinrich, a defenseman from the University of Maine.
You may be wondering why this seemingly random player is my favorite Bruin of all-time. People who follow me on Twitter may know that I am from Maine, and I love any player from my home state’s major University. Amazingly, this isn’t the reason why Eric Weinrich is my favorite Boston Bruin of all-time. The real reason is much deeper than that. As a kid growing up, I loved sports. My passion for sport came from my Dad. Friends used to call my Dad a walking sports almanac, and I was the pocket version.
Around second grade, I started paying more attention to players, statistics, and standings. Being in Maine, I paid attention to mostly the Boston sports teams. However, one of my favorite teachers was able to open up my eyes to some other players and teams. That wonderful lady was my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Weinrich. That’s right, Eric’s mother taught me second-grade. At the time, he was playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, which was his third team since coming into the league. I still remember the Blackhawks pennant Mrs. Weinrich had hanging behind her desk.
Naturally, knowing someone who had a connection to Eric caused me to gravitate towards him. I am sure I bothered Mrs. Weinrich way too often about how well he was doing. I also began reading boxscores with my Dad in the newspaper to check-up on how he was doing. Not only did this bring my father and me together, but it also helped my passion and love for sports grow. My parents saw this and asked Mrs. Weinrich if Eric would be able to sign something for me. My Mom bought me a Blackhawks hat that Christmas and gave it to my teacher to have signed. I was the happiest kid on Earth Christmas morning getting that autographed hat. I still have it too.
Eric would also be kind enough to sign other items for me. I still have them all. Reading all of this, you can see why I was so excited when he was traded from Montreal to Boston in 2000-01. It was one of the coolest things ever. This is why Eric Weinrich is my favorite Bruin of all-time. Following his career helped strengthen the bond my father and I have, while also aiding my love for sports. I’ll be forever grateful for that. Feel free to send me any questions or comments on Twitter. I hope everyone is staying safe.