Bruins Anders Bjork Out For The Season

Photo Credit:  NHL .com

By: Mark Allred | Follow on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced this afternoon that rookie forward Anders Bjork will be out for the remainder of the season. The B’s fifth-round selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft appeared in 30 games for Boston contributing 4-8-12 numbers this season.

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After three seasons at the University of Notre Dame where he posted 109 points in 115 games, Bjork left the collegiate ranks to join the Bruins but his first season has been a tough one for the 21-year-old winger.  Regardless of his point totals (which shouldn’t be a knock on his development as a first-year NHL’er), the riggers of the higher league didn’t at all come easy for the highly touted forward. Bjork missed some time after a center-ice head-on collision with Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Matt Martin back in November of 2017 and seemingly reaggravated that injury in a game against the Anaheim Ducks when defenseman Francios Beauchemin took liberties on the rookie after a whistle with a cross-check to the forearm/shoulder area at TD Garden on January 30, 2018.

Here is a video of the Matt Martin hit on Anders Bjork

The 6′-0″ 185-pound Wisconsin native underwent successful left shoulder arthroscopy and labral repair on February 20, 2018. Team Physician Dr. Peter Asnis performed the procedure at Mass General Hospital and is believed to miss at least six months of any hockey-related activities.

Annual Providence Bruins Fan Club Fundraiser

( Above Photo Credit:  The Pink Puck )

By: Mark Allred              Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

It’s that time of year again to get your tickets to the annual Providence Bruins Fan Club  Fundraiser! This year’s theme is “Peeps For A Purpose” and is an all-you-can-eat dinner at Wright’s Farm Restuarant and Banquet Facility in Hartsville, Rhode Island. Tickets are going fast for the Wednesday, April 11, 2018, event so if you want to dine with some of the Providence Bruins players, please call (401) 426-8277 to get involved in this great event where all proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics of Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

                           

Check out the flyer below for more information about this great event put on by the volunteers of the Providence Bruins Fan Club and the Providence Bruins Foundation

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence,  Rhode Island.  You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.

Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pbruinsfanclub

Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
401.426.8277

Bruins Prospect Frederic Has Big Weekend vs Michigan

( Above Photo Credit:  Wisconsin Athletics )

By: Mark Allred                  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

This weekend the Wisconsin Badgers traveled to Big Ten rival Michigan to play back-to-back games at the Yost Arena in Ann Arbor Michigan home of the Wolverines team and even though both teams earned a victory it was a Boston Bruins prospect that made the most noise. B’s 2016 first round selection and Badgers forward Trent Frederic had a goal and two assists in Friday night’s 5-3 loss to Michigan and repeated that effort on Saturday night contributing another three-point night in a 4-2 win over the 20th ranked Wolverines team according to the USCHO poll distributed last month.

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With a six-point weekend, Frederic now has 14-13-27 numbers in 30 games so far this season and currently has 11 points in his last seven games. Last season as a freshman the 6′-0″ 216-pound forward posted 33 points in 30 games and with four games remaining on the Badgers NCAA Men’s Hockey schedule he has a chance to pass his career high in points. The final four games of the season won’t be an easy task as they’ll square up against two Big Ten Conference foes in 12th ranked Minnesota next weekend for two games and 5th ranked Ohio State the following weekend to end the regular season.

Frederic told Wisconsin State Journal sports reporter Todd D. Milewski “Any time you can get ahead in the game, I think we feel more confident playing ahead,” Frederic said. “It’s good to get that first one.”

Wisconsin Head coach and former National Hockey League player Tony Granato who’s about to jump on a plane for the long trip to coach the United States team in the 2018 Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang, South Korea had this to say about Frederic’s game over the weekend “He’s on a roll now,” Granato said. “It’s not the goals. It’s the faceoff battle, it’s the defensive play, it’s the penalty kill. It’s everything. He’s just playing great.”

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It’s hard to figure what Frederic’s future plans will be pertaining to his education or his willingness to leave school to turn pro and join the Bruins organization presumably a start in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins. I’m kind of getting the feeling the B’s will go the route similar to the path they took with current Bruins Danton Heinen when he left Denver after his sophomore year. Regardless of where he plays next season whether it’s back in the NCAA for continued development with his Badgers team or a first-year pro, he’ll add a significant piece to the future depth of this Bruins franchise as they build the team to be competitive on a yearly basis and properly construct a roster from the hard work of management and scouting staff.

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Providence Bruins Czarnik Continues Outstanding Play

( Above Photo Credit:  Alan Sullivan Photography )

By: Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues All-Star Classic festivities are set to kick off tonight at 8pm with the Skills Competition from the Adirondack Bank Center, and All-Star Challenge set for puck drop in the four-team  3-on-3 round-robin tournament at 7pm tomorrow night. This is the second time in four-years the city of Utica, New York has hosted the event since pro hockey returned to the area in 2013. Providence Bruins forward Austin Czarnik was selected to represent the B’s and will participate in his first Mid-Season event of his young professional career.

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In tonight’s All-Star Skills Competition, the fast and skilled Czarnik will be involved in a few events such as event three and AHL Live sponsored Rapid Fire, event six and Turning Stone Resort Casino sponsored Pass and Score, and finally, event seven and Dunkin” Donuts sponsored Breakaway Relay. All events the crafty forward will be participating in tonight’s fun test of skills and speed will fit well as the 25-year-old is once again putting in a solid effort this season for the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins. The 5′-9″ 161-pound has had a tremendous career in the AHL, and with all of this solid play and league recognition, it remains to be seen where his talents bring him after this summer as he’s currently on his last season of his one-year extension he signed back in July of 2017.

The 5′-9″ 161-pound has had a tremendous career in the AHL, and with all of this solid play and league recognition, it remains to be seen where his talents bring him after this summer as he’s currently on his last season of his one-year extension he signed back in July of 2017.  Czarnik, a Washington Township native has worked hard to become a solid 200-foot player going back to his colligate days with the University of Miami (Ohio) where he posted 169 points in 159 games played.  Signed as an undrafted free agent out of college at the end of March in 2015, the offensive-minded versatile forward transitioned his point-per-game style nicely as an undersized talent to the AHL where he’s very close to being a point-per-game career AHL’er with 126 points in 130 games all with the Providence team.

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This season Czarnik has 11-29-40 numbers in 37 games played and leads the team in overall points, assists, and is fourth in goals, one behind veteran Kenny Agostino who has 12. He also leads the team on the power-play with five goals as he plays that Ryan Spooner style game on the man advantage being the pivot man between the forwards near or behind the net and defensemen along the point. His leadership and willing to learn even though he’s spent a few seasons in the highest developmental league has instilled a lot of trust from first-year Head Coach Jay Leach to be a key voice on and off the ice to younger players who recently started minor-pro hockey.

Last night Providence suffered an unfortunate 5-2 loss to the surprisingly hot Springfield Thunderbirds and after the B’s went 11-2-1-0 in the final month of 2017, the transition to the new year has been somewhat concerning as the games in January 2018 have produced a 4-6-0-1 record which is the worse of the current 2017-18 campaign. Regardless of the “teams” struggles, Czarnik remains to put a solid individual effort together this season, and with a goal in last night’s loss, he has goals in his previous two games and accrued points in his last six appearances which is a career and 2017-18 season high.

I believe Austin has, in fact, earned consideration for at least another one-year deal. His presence continues to be a valued in the minor system when it comes to “depth players” and could be heavily considered as one to recall if a position needs to be filled up the middle or on the right side. Czarnik’s career NHL numbers of 14 points in 55 games shouldn’t be a knock on him nor his NHL potential, as most players like him take the longer road to higher-level careers. For me, I see value in a players role above immediate top-level pro success as an NHL franchise can’t continue without the facilitating franchises in the lower leagues of development and training. Regardless, I look forward to seeing what Czarnik can do in the remaining 32 games and the process over the summer when it comes to his restricted free-agent status.

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As a fan that pays close attention to all levels of the Bruins organization, gauging his first full NHL career season is not an easy thing at all when drafted players from the team may hold higher value. Depending what happens to players like Sean Kuraly, Riley Nash, Fran Vatrano, Tim Schaller, and Ryan Spooner and their individual contract status, Czarnik would most likely be passed over for a player like Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson for his stronger 200-foot two-way game but might find space in other areas of the top 12 offensive structure. Also can’t neglect the fact that he could have a faster climb to NHL success with another NHL franchise who might also want to add a player like Austin on the cheap if the Bruins don’t see a potential future as both sides went into the 2015 entry-level signing on the cheap and worth the gamble.

Support Your Baby B’s!!!

If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence,  Rhode Island.  You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.

Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pbruinsfanclub

Providence Bruins
Fan Club

PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
401.426.8277

Bruins Prospect Keyser Is Owning The Crease In Oshawa

( Above Photo Credit:  Goodall Media Inc. )

By: Mark Allred                Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins scouting staff under the close vision of General Manager Don Sweeney have seemingly made out like geniuses when it comes to finding available talent when it comes to development/rookie camp invites. Last summer while looking for a place to display his talents as an undrafted goaltender, Kyle Keyser found himself at the Buffalo Sabres development camp. After the unsigned free-agent was released, the Boston Bruins came calling with an invite to rookie camp where he impressed the Bruins Brass enough for the organization to place him in the depth chart signing him to a three-year entry-level contract in early October of 2017.

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Besides the game tonight where he got pulled after four goals in 14 minutes of action against the Sarnia Sting, the 18-year-old goaltender has played quite well in his return to the ice since mid-December after suffering an upper-body injury that had him miss a short stretch of games due to protocol. As mentioned below from Matt and DJ’s @IceDogsThisWeek Twitter account, he’s heavily relied on and missed when not in the lineup.

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As mentioned before today’s shelling in the first period, the 6′-2″ 181-pound Coral Springs, Florida native has only one regulation loss in his previous 11 games and in that time strung together a nice six-game winning streak before the loss last week against the Owen Sound Attack. Although Keyser got the no-decision today, he remains on a three-game winning streak and has faced 401 shots in his last 12 games.

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Below are video highlights to give folks who don’t watch his games on a regular basis a small sample size of his skills in a recent game this season.

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Very mature in his interviews and understand the value of teamwork over individual efforts as seen in this video below after a loss in Early December of 2017.

Bruins Prospect Frederic Gets Back On Track Offensively

( Above Photo Credit:  UW Athletics )

By: Mark Allred            Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Today under the national spotlight and the only NCAA Men’s Hockey Division 1 game on the schedule, the Wisconsin Badgers beat the best team in the country as they shutout the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by the score of 5-0 from the United Center, home to the National Hockey Leagues Chicago Blackhawks.

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Boston Bruins 2016 first round pick and Badgers forward Trent Frederic had an outstanding game especially on the penalty-kill scoring his second shorthanded goal of the season and fourth of his career. The 6′-3″ 215-pound St. Louis, Missouri native now has 11-8-19 numbers in 25 games this season in Big Ten action, and with eight games remaining in the 2017-18 regular season, the 19-year-old Wisconsin forward could come close to his career high of 33 points he contributed in his freshman year.

Below is today’s shorthanded as he skates in unmolested for the Badgers second goal of the game and extends his goal streak to three consecutive games.

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Frederic and his Wisconsin team get back to work next weekend with two back-to-back contests at home against Penn State. The Badgers are second to last in the Big Ten and are ranked 18th in the USCHO Division 1 Men’s Poll as of 1-15-18 which could have the team go up a couple of ranks with today’s massive win over the University of Notre Dame.

Bruins Prospect Donato Remains Red-Hot In 2017-18

( Above Photo Credit:  ECAC Hockey )

By: Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect Ryan Donato continues to add to his career-high point totals this season for the Harvard University team and with a three-point game last night against the St. Lawrence Saints on the road, it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down offensively. The 6′-0″ 181-pound forward is in a six-way tie ranked nationally in points with 20-10-30 numbers in 19 games played in 2017-18 and is ranked second in the country with a 1.57 points-per-game average.

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Donato, a Massachusetts native is currently in his junior year playing for the Crimson and his efforts on a Harvard team that’s ranked fourth in the ECAC Conference have not been overseen. The second round selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft of the Bruins has got the attention of the United States Hockey Team that’s about to leave for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea for the games next month. With the exceptional season so far and the honor of representing his country, his fairy tale year doesn’t stop there as he’s heavily considered for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award given to the best player in Collegiate hockey.

Below in this Tweet is a way to vote as often as you’d like to see Ryan take home the ultimate NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Award.

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Last season Donato and the Crimson won the popular Beanpot Hockey Tournament defeating the Boston University Terriers and finished the year with a 28-6-2 campaign but with Ryan’s participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics, he might have to pass on potentially raising the  Beanpot again this year. In the annual tournament that consists of teams from the Boston area, the Harvard team will matchup with Boston University on Monday, February 5th but the opening day of the Olympic games start on February 9th. Even if Ryan was to participate in the first game of the Beanpot, he most likely won’t be in the country if Harvard wins it’s first game and earns the right to represent his school when the Championship game is played a week later on February 12th. The 66th annual tournament features players from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, and Northeastern University with all games being played at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  For tickets and more information about the event, please click HERE to be directed to the official TD Garden website.

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So far in his NCAA career, the highly skilled and forward has appeared in 87 games for the Crimson and contributed 54-37-91 numbers in the last three seasons. With his senior year remaining after the 2017-18 season and all the great things that he’s done, it’s hard to say what he and his family are going to decide as he’ll have to make a decision over the offseason whether he’s going  turning pro or return for his final year and put his education first.

Below are highlights of last night’s 4-3 overtime victory against the St, Lawrence Saints, and Donato’s two-goal effort.

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Bruins Prospect Swayman Playing Well In Freshman Season

(  Above Photo Credit:  Matt Dewkett / Photographer )

By: Mark Allred                    Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Last night the University of Maine Black Bears came away with a 3-3 tie against Hockey East rival the University of New Hampshire Wildcats from Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine as the team celebrated 40 years of collegiate hockey in the state of Maine.  Boston Bruins prospect goaltender Jeremy Swayman got the start in goal last and has been one of the teams bright spots even though the Black Bears are sitting in the middle of the Hockey East Conference standings. The Bears have a 6-6-3 Conference record, 12-9-4 overall record, in 26 games in the 2017-18 NCAA season.

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The 19-year-old Anchorage, Alaska native is in his first-year of collegiate hockey and is taking positive strides in his development as a 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft fourth round selection. One key benefit for the 6′-2″ 187-pound netminder is the oversight of former NHL goaltender and Maine alumni, Mike Dunham who was hired last summer to help with all Bruins goaltenders in the system. Dunham’s role with the organization has taken him to Atlanta (Vladar), Maine (Swayman), Oshawa, Ontario (Keyser), and Providence (McIntyre).

This season, Swayman has compiled a season record of 9-5-3 with a 2.53 goals-against-average, and .926 save percentage in 18 games played. In his last 10 games for the Black Bears, he has a record of 6-2-2 and an impressive 335 saves in that timeframe. The amount of shots the young goaltender has taken this season was one of the major factors of him being selected as a third goaltender for the 2018 World Junior Championship that was held in Buffalo, New York. Although Swayman only got a few minutes of action in the last game of the popular annual tournament, he and his United States team walked away with the Bronze medal and his experience in those games will have a positive influence moving forward in his development.

 

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Although Swayman only got a few minutes of action in the last game of the popular annual tournament, he and his United States team walked away with the Bronze medal and his experience in those games will have a positive influence moving forward in his development. One thing that’s impressed me the most is the confidence that Head Coach Dennis Gendron has in the young prodigy and the will to take a goaltender like Robert McGovern who’s currently in his junior year out of the crease to give more time to the B’s prospect as he’s clearly earned it.

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The Maine Black Bears get back to work next weekend with two road games against the University of Massachusetts starting on Friday night (1/26/18) and again on Saturday night (1/27/18) both to be played at the William D. Mullins Memorial Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. With nine games remaining in the Bears regular season, it should be interesting to see how they play down the stretch in hopes of a Hockey East playoff spot with teams like Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University, Providence College, and UMass-Lowell ahead of them in the conference.

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Bruins Prospect Gabrielle Adjusting Nicely In WHL Return

( Above Photo Credit:  Photographer Keith Hershmiller )

By: Mark Allred                 Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect Jesse Gabrielle entered his first year of professional hockey in October of 2017 with the B’s top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins, but after a four-point effort in 21 games in Rhode Island, the B’s organization felt his development would benefit him greatly with a return to the Western Hockey League. His career in one of the top major-junior leagues in Canada has been impressive so far for the 20-year-old forward as he’s contributed 214 points in 254 games.

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Gabrielle, a Moosomin, Saskatchewan native was drafted in the fourth round of the National Hockey Leagues Entry Draft in 2015 and Bruins scouts saw something in him for a mid-round selection as a player with grit, speed, and uncanny offensive attributes. That is still true today as he continues to develop and his demotion should not be a question of character or draft bust. Moves like these from NHL clubs happen quite often for those who follow players in the prospect rankings on a regular basis, and most turn out successful as an act of continued learning. His offensive talents can’t be denied as he posted 130 goals as a bantam in 117 games as a 13-year-old to move up to be a fifth-round selection of the Brandon Wheat Kings to start a four-year career in the WHL to score 113 goals.

The Hockey Writers Bruins contributor Brandon Share-Cohen wrote a solid piece about Jesse back in September of 2017, mentioning that the rugged winger could be in the mix of cracking the NHL B’s roster as his “dark horse” pick. Although Brandon’s thoughts didn’t come to fruition, that doesn’t mean he won’t be in the mix next season during the 2018 Development Camp, Rookie Camp, or NHL training camp from the Warrior Ice Arena during the Bruins events in the summer offseason. Even if he doesn’t make the NHL roster next season, he’ll still be a valuable asset to the Bruins depth with two remaining years left on his Entry-Level contract that he signed in December of 2016.

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This year, the City of Regina, Saskatchewan was selected to host the 100th Anniversary of the Memorial Cup which today is sponsored by Mastercard. This is a great opportunity for Gabrielle to not only be an agitator and offensive threat but his experience and WHL veteran leadership will be heavily relied on regardless of what line he plays on. With the City of Regina hosting the popular four-team round-robin tournament from May 17th – 27th 2018, a return to the Providence Bruins isn’t out of the realm if the B’s make a deep Calder Cup Playoff run.

So far this season the Regina Pats are sitting in the first position in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings with a 24-19-4-0 record (52 Points) in 47 games played and are on a four-game winning streak since the Gabrielle was returned to the area he grew up around. From the video provided above from the Pats official Twitter account, he looks happy to be bad and has a positive attitude regardless of the current situation. One of his key attributes is his eagerness to help any team no matter what level as in the short time with the Pats so far in his return with 3-2-5 numbers in those four games.

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Bruins Photographer Alan Sullivan Needs Your Help

By: Mark Allred              Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

I’ve known for some time that my friend and Bruins photographer Alan Sullivan has been struggling with diabetes and recently found out some terrible news over the holiday season and could use some help from the many folks that he’s meet in the past and touched through his work covering the Boston Bruins, Providence Bruins, and other sports-related events. I meet Alan three years ago at the annual Bruins Development Camp at Ristuccia Memorial Arena where the Bruins used to hold team camps and practices before upgrading to the new Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Alan has always been a class act when I need permission to use an image for any articles and always up to meet at Bruins related events to have a friendly discussion about life and whats going on throughout the organization. He’s still going strong with the no quit attitude after his recent diagnosis and I had the pleasure to talk for awhile as he was in attendance at last night’s Boston Bruins – Montreal Canadiens contest at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts doing the thing he loves as the B’s beat the Habs 4-1 in front of a sold-out crowd.

I’m asking all the readers of the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog to please take a moment and read up on the struggles my friend Alan is going through and even consider donating to his cause to not only save his foot/leg but ultimately help save his life.

Below is Alan Sullivan’s message from his GoFundMe Page. Details to donate are provided below.

For over 6 years I have been in a severe battle with Diabetes.  In this battle, there have been many fights and it has come to pass that I have lost most of those fights.

All the toes on my right foot have been amputated, through several surgeries. This is the result of Osteomyelitis (bone infections) and other diabetic related issues.

Today, I am in a new fight:  to save my foot and leg from being amputated just below the knee due to another bone infection currently in my heel.

This news came to me as I was recently hospitalized again.   I had a feeling things were not going well because of a blister from a few months ago. It began to hurt and that is not a good sign for me as I am now aware of what it feels like to get Osteomyelitis.  On December 26, a visit to the emergency room confirmed my suspicion. I was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital and treated for 5 days. Doctors confirmed that I do have Osteo again and that I am in danger of losing the foot & leg up the knee if treatment does not work yet again.

As most of you know, I have been in some form of walking boot for the last 6 years.  I am probably more recognizable with the boot on (and sometimes my scooter!)  but I still smile every day and I never let it or these battles beat me down.

However, there is another battle on this front which has finally caught up to me: medical bills.  Costs ranging from medications, treatments, doctor visits (I have been paying $60 co-pays almost weekly for over a year) and hospital stays – many of which are not fully covered my insurance – have been a major concern for me.

These new bills for this new treatment to save my foot & leg will be devastating, as I am only one man and make one salary and I am going to be out of work for up to 6 weeks along with already being out for almost 8 weeks this past summer. I simply cannot catch up with all the bills that are coming in and today I am asking for your help.

I’ll be honest, I hate to be the person that needs a Go Fund Me page. However, after much consideration, I feel as if this is my only option and I am truly humbled to be doing such a thing.

I want to be back up again and taking photos at the Bruins games   –  please help me save my foot and donate to my cause.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please consider making a donation  –  of any amount, as anything would be a tremendous help!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely yours,
Alan Sullivan

Below is a link to donate and help my friend and a classy gentleman.

https://www.gofundme.com/9×824-save-the-foot