Any of you who happen to chance upon my Facebook page probably knew this was coming…but I’d be remiss to not throw out a post about our fantastic opportunities with the Boston Bruins lately.
We had a great time with a couple of other families at a preseason game a few weeks ago. After the game we waited for a bit outside of the players’ parking lot. While the boys were all hopeful for some autographs, we prepped them for the fact that the players were busy and may not be up for it. Imagine our surprise when car after car…and player after player…stopped to sign the boys’ hats. I mean…they weren’t just walking by…they actually had to put their cars in park, unfasten their seat belts, get out of the car, and walk to the sidewalk where the boys were standing…sharpies in hand.
First up was a great conversation with Ryan Daisy who had just finished refereeing his very first NHL game. He was incredibly gracious and spent about 10 minutes talking to us about the path his life took to lead him to his new gig. Pretty cool stuff. He was soon followed by David Pastrnak, Dominic Moore, Riley Nash, Rob O’Gara, Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo, and Kevan Miller. Some were riding solo, three of the new skaters were riding together (which I found super cute as they all climbed out of various car doors to greet us), some were with wives/girlfriends…but they all stopped. Really, truly unbelievable.
Flash forward a few weeks and my boys had the opportunity to skate in the 3 Minutes of Fame in between periods of another Bruins game. Finn’s team was skating and, because they needed a goalie, they invited Thatcher to help out (no brainer for him or us). To be fair, last year Thatcher’s team had the same opportunity and Finn was called up to join them. Good times. So, here we were, walking from the Charlestown parking lot, across the locks, under the Zakim Bridge, and through the same parking lot. This time the boys were proudly packing their hockey bags and reporting to duty. As the nerves of skating in front of so many fans started to creep in, two cars passed us. One was a funny little red car with Rhode Island plates and three men inside… soon emerged Malcolm Subban (due to be in goal just before Thatcher) and a couple of his Providence Bruins buddies. All three came right up, signed the boys (now crowded) hats, and wished them good luck on the ice. As they were chatting with us, a small black Mercedes backed in right next to us…..and 6′ 9″ Zdeno Chara unfolded himself from inside. He too, Whole Foods bag in hand, stopped shook the boys’ hands, signed their hats, and gave them pointers.
Chara’s advice you may ask? “Look up…..Enjoy the view.” Come on! With Thatcher in goal and sporting the GoPro on his helmet, I could tell he took the words to heart. A couple of times he panned the crowd and enjoyed the moment. Watching the video back, it was so fun for me to hear the boys’ names announced in the Garden, watch one Schrafft shooting on another Schrafft, and see Thatch makes some nice saves (in an very unfamiliar position). The best part though was for sure listening to the crowd cheer and respond to each play….cheering for these young boys as they were living the dream.
I’ve included a video of their experiences…it is probably far too long…but maybe take a peek at a bit of it.
A huge thanks to The Boston Bruins and Cape Ann Youth Hockey!