Bruins Players Make Holidays Happy For Area Children

Image result for bruins holiday toy shopping(Photo Credit: Boston Globe)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

The Boston Bruins always make the holidays happy when area kids in need are hoping for a happy holiday.

Each year, the team heads to a local Walmart (this time in Saugus, MA) and stocks up –Santa-style– on tons and tons of toys for good girls and boys being treated at children’s hospitals across the community. This year, players hope to reach 600 kids when they deliver the gifts just before Christmas.

Quoted from WHDH:

“This is probably the thing we look forward to the most throughout the year.” — Brad Marchand.

“Finding that time a few weeks before Christmas to get some toys for the kids, you know, I think obviously if a child or anybody has to spend the holidays in the hospital, it’s tough.” — Tuukka Rask

“It will make us feel good but even better when we hand out those toys and gifts to the children and families who probably won’t be able to be home for Christmas.” — Zdeno Chara

This annual tradition holds a very special place in most of the B’s hearts but also serves as a steadfast reminder as to how they celebrate the spirit of the giving season.

Image result for bruins holiday toy shopping(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

The 2019 Holiday Toy Drive marks the 10th time B’s “Co-Captain” Patrice Bergeron has spearheaded the popularly positive event. He took the reigns from former Black N’ Gold Hall-of-Famer Ray Bourque.

It’s hard for other players not to take part when such history and personality are “B”-hind it, especially the younger stars.

Quoted from NESN:

“The toy it says 4+ but I’d love it now and I’m 23 so I’m getting it [for a kid like me]. Now moving on for a couple more gifts.” — David Pastrnak

“I think this is probably one of my favorite things that we do. Obviously the Bruins Foundation and the organization does a great job of involving us in the community and this one is just awesome.” — Charlie McAvoy

“For us just to pick out, you know, some fun things that children will eventually get to open on Christmas and to have some fun with that… it’s a thrill.” — Torey Krug

 

Of course, the toy drive doesn’t come without toying around with your fellow generous teammates, as Torey Krug proved in the video clip above. He said he’d like to get B’s forward Brad Marchand a “step stool” for Christmas to help him reach things in the cupboards.

Marchy defensively fired back at the defenseman that he’s not even worth the coal in his stocking this year. Krug’s getting a “whole lotta nothing” this holiday season, he quipped.

While those two have always been on each other’s naughty lists, thankfully hundreds of kids who can’t make it home for the holidays made the B’s nice one. And that’s a surefire way to make this festive time of the year even brighter for those who shine the brightest –the children.

“We just try to do whatever we can to help and kind of cheer them up,” as Tuukka Rask told 7 News in Boston. “It’s a great tradition.”

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Boston Bruins Vs. New York Rangers In Alumni Game

Image result for ray bourque boston bruins(Photo Credits: Bennington Banter/Berkshire Eagle/Matthew Sprague)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

It was announced that this coming Saturday, October 26th former Boston Bruins players will participate in the inaugural “Face-Off For Heroes” Alumni Classic match-up, where they will face the New York Rangers alumni. The event will take place at the Bentley Arena in Waltham, MA at 1:00 PM

The Bruins team will feature Hall of Famers Ray Bourque, Joe Mullen, Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, Brian Leetch and Rod Gilbert as either players or coaches. Along with the group, other players being featured are: Rick Middleton, Reggie Lemelin, Ken Linsmen, Andy Brickley, Bob Beers, Andrew Raycroft, Ken Hodge Jr. and Bob Sweeney.

Other notable players include: Andrew Alberts, Dave Shaw, Bruce Crowder, Frank Simonetti, Mike Mottau , Mark Mowers, Dan LaCouture, Adam Graves, Ron Duguay, Brad Richards, Brian Mullen, Jeff Beukeboom, Stephane Matteau, Jay Wells, Steve Eminger, Colton Orr, Tom Laidlaw, and Steve Valiquette.

Picture(Photo Credits: Bruins Alumni)

Benefits will go the Boston Bruins Foundation, the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Warrior for Life Fund. The Life Fund helps military families of every branch that have to deal with hardships of the effects of war along with helping those coping with challenges with disabilities, combat and extended deployment overseas through hockey.

They’re a sponsor of the Navy SEAL Foundation and support all active duty, retired veterans along with their families. Programs offered aim to provide both venues and infrastructure towards service members and families long-term.

The Fund was originally founded as the Virginia Beach Hockey Club (VBHC) Challenge team in 2012. Its main focus was providing the Hampton Roads military community a place to develop a positive team atmosphere to those that wanted to learn how to play hockey.  One of the other aspects of the VBHC is “promoting camaraderie, competition, and athleticism to those with and without disabilities. The only requirement was a strong work ethic, dedication, and a positive attitude.”

The game itself will have three running time periods and have three-minute intermission in between. The 1st period will be 20 minutes, while both the  2nd and 3rd will be 15 minutes.  Boston Bruins own official anthem singer Todd Angilly will sing prior to the game.

Anyone looking to purchase tickets may do so through the Warrior Fund Website by clicking here. If you’re in the military or first responder, tickets are free. There will also be a raffle that the  NHL Alumni & Boston Bruins Foundation will run. A winner will be picked and they’ll have the opportunity to win some great prizes: a chance to outfit a youth, high school or prep school team of their choice with new CCM hockey equipment and win 4 Suite tickets to a Boston Bruins Game. The game will take place on November 5th in Montreal at the Bell Center and the winner will have a chance to tour the Center.

Raffle Tickets can be purchased directly by clicking here.

The Boston Bruins Alumni is “a non-profit organization made up of past players of the Boston Bruins.  The Alumni actively coordinates Benefit Hockey Games to raise money for various charities and youth groups.  You can check out their schedule for upcoming games.

 

Bruins Fan Fest Begins August 16 in Maine

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(Photo Credit: NHL.com/Brian Fluharty)

By Carrie Salls | Find Me on Twitter @nittgrl73

Summer, and the National Hockey League offseason, is winding down as we enter mid-August. That means it won’t be long until Bruins players and coaches begin returning to Boston to get ready for camp and gear up for the 2019-2020 season. It also means it is time for the Bruins’ Third Annual Fan Fest Tour to hit the road to several locations throughout New England.

This year, Fan Fest will travel to seven locations, kicking off on Aug. 16 in Portland, Maine, and making stops through Aug. 25 in Manchester, N.H., Burlington, Vt., Leominster, Mass., Springfield, Mass., Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I. The full 2019 Fan Fest Tour schedule can be found at the end of this article.

According to the Bruins, one extra location was added to this year’s tour after Leominster, Mass.’s George Marchetti was selected as the winner of a children’s Spoked-B logo drawing contest. In addition to the honor of bringing the tour to his hometown, Marchetti won tickets to watch the Bruins play at TD Garden at one game in the upcoming season.

Each stop is scheduled to feature current Bruins, coaches, executives and NESN personalities. They will “play games and mingle with fans, sign autographs, take photos, participate in Q&A sessions and much more,” the team announced on July 23. Details on which specific players, coaches and television personalities will be scheduled to appear on the tour had not been released by the team as of Aug. 15.

In addition to the ever-popular player autograph and photo sessions, Fan Fest offers a variety of other Bruins-themed activities for attendees. The tour, which was first held in 2017, includes events and activities for children and adults.

“Fans will be able to participate in skills and drills on synthetic ice rinks, pose for photos in a mock Bruins locker room and have the opportunity to partake in NESN virtual reality experiences,” the team said.

For younger Bruins fans in attendance, Boston Bruins BFit will lead kid-friendly fitness activities at each city. Also, the Bruins Academy Zone will offer face painting, poster making and Bruins trivia for kids.

To help keep fans cool in the August heat while raising money for the Boston Bruins Foundation, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream will be selling its Power Play Fudge ice cream at Fan Fest. Attendees can cool down with the sweet treat in exchange for a $1 donation to the foundation.

There is no cost for admission to any of the tour stops, although the team is encouraging attendees to pre-register to avoid delays in getting into the event. More information on attending Fan Fest and registration forms can be found at BostonBruins.com/FanFest.

The full schedule for the Third Annual Bruins Fan Fest, which is subject to change, is as follows:

Friday, August 16

Edward Payson Park, Catafalque Drive, Portland, Maine, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, August 17

Arms Park, 10 Arms St., Manchester, N.H., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, August 18

Jeffords Hall Lot, 63 Carrigan Dr., Burlington, Vt., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, August 22

Doyle Field, 100 Priest St., Leominster, Mass., noon to 4 p.m.

Friday, August 23

Forest Park, 200 Trafton Rd., Springfield, Mass., noon to 4 p.m.

Saturday, August 24

Connecticut State Capitol, 210 Capitol Ave., Hartford, Conn., noon to 4 p.m.

Sunday, August 25

Alex and Ani Center, 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, R.I., noon to 4 p.m.

Bruins Charitable Events: Patrice Bergeron Edition

See the source image(Photo Credits: Lapresse.Ca)

By Liz Rizzo| Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

To describe the perfect athlete that not only has the utmost respect from his entire team but an entire league, you won’t have to think too hard to search for words.  While you could write for days describing the many ways this player continues to be an example of what a leader should be,  it’s what he does off the ice that really shows you what kind of person Patrice Bergeron is.

See the source image

(Photo Credits: Boston.com)

CHARITY STARTS AT HOME

Throughout his career here in Boston, the 34-year-old Center has been involved with many local charities that have brought awareness to causes that especially involve children. Since its development in 2005, “Patrice’s Pals” has hosted countless families and pediatric patients to a Bruins game at a luxury suite at the TD Garden, where they get to enjoy VIP treatment. Immediately following a game, Bergeron personally meets with every one of his guests, signing autographs and taking pictures. To date, children that have became “Patrice’s Pals” were from the Cam Neely Foundation, Children’s Hospital in Boston,  Franciscan Hospital for Children, Joslin Diabetes Center, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brother and Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay, Oak Square YMCA, Shriners Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

 

See the source image

(Photo Credits: NBC Boston.com)

For the past two seasons, Patrice Bergeron teamed up with radio sports personalities from the 98.5 Sports Hub for the “Pucks and Paddles” ping-pong tournament, in which fans bid to have a chance to play alongside their favorite Bruin. The event raises money for patients at the Floating Hospital for Children at the Tufts Medical Center and benefits the Boston Bruins Foundation  (which  partnered with the hospital).

This past Thursday and in it’s 11th year, Patrice Bergeron, along with Simon Gagné (who played for Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins) co-chair the annual Pro-Am Hockey Tournament held in Quebec City. The event features a match-up of professional and amateur hockey players from the area. To date, the charity tournament has raised over $1 million dollars which goes to organizations that help sick or disabled children. The fundraiser was held at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. Here listed are players that were slated to participate in the event:

GOALTENDERS

Louis Domingue, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings

DEFENDERS

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks

Samuel Girard, Colorado Avalanche

Mark Barberio, Colorado Avalanche

David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

FORWARDS

Paul Stastny, Las Vegas Golden Knights

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

Vincent Lecavalier, Former player Tampa Bay Lightning 

Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay Lightning

Cedric Paquette, Tampa Bay Lightning

Simon Gagné, Former player Philadelphia Flyers

Philippe Danault, Montreal Canadiens

Alex Chiasson, Edmonton Oilers

Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings

Samuel Blais, Blues of St. Louis

Mathieu Perreault, Winnipeg Jets

Maxime “Max” Talbot, former Boston Bruins member, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins

 

COACHES BRUINS

Joel Bouchard, Rocket of Laval

Philippe Boucher, general manager of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and former Remparts coach

Michel Picard (recruiter for the St. Louis Blues)

 

LIGHTNING COACHES

Benoît Groulx, Syracuse Crunch

Dave Morrissette, TVA Sports

Pierre Sevigny, former Montreal Canadiens player

FINAL THOUGHTS

2019 marked his 16th year playing for the Boston Bruins organization and Bergeron has distinguish himself amongst his peers as a role-model for professional-athletes in any sport, especially in the hockey community.  Hockey players are a different breed and giving back to the community has and will continue to be a vital part of the sport. And for any player, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your career, aspiring to be like Patrice Bergeron is well, pretty damn good.