Up Close and Personal: Boston Bruins Fan Appreciation Event
Boston, Ma – The Boston Bruins held a holiday fan appreciation event at the Park Plaza Hotel this Sunday (December 2nd) where fans lined up for pics with most of the team’s players, including past and present stars.
As a Wayland Middle School student and roving reporter, I feel very lucky that I got to go and report back to all of you.
The event provided an unusual ability for fans to casually interact with players while team staff snapped pictures. In addition to the extensive photo ops, fans were able to chat with players, ask questions, and extend best wishes.
Almost one-third of the way through the season, the Bruins are in fourth place in what’s shaping up as a very competitive division in the NHL Eastern Conference with 14 wins, 8 losses, and 4 ties – good for 32 points.
The players were relaxed and friendly with smiles all around despite their loss the previous night to the Detroit Red Wings in an intense game featuring a brawl at center ice which even brought in the teams’ goalies, Tuukka Rask of the Bruins and Jimmy Howard of the Red Wings. Having watched that fight in real time and on replay, it’s clear the goalies would have been hammering each other, had it not been for the intervention of the referees. When asked about his previous hockey fighting experience, Tuukka replied that this would have been his first hockey fight (usually, goalies stay around their nets during fights).
The event format provided an open forum for curious fans to question players while they were posing for pictures. I learned that one of the Bruins’ stars, Assistant Captain David Krejčí, is feeling fine despite losing a tooth after being blindsided on Friday night and then getting clocked in the head last night. In fact, it was the hit on Krejčí which seemingly triggered the big fight with the Red Wings, led by team “trouble-maker” and scoring sniper, Brad Marchand (who I saw playfully ‘forging’ his way through a crowd and out of the event at the end).
I also learned from first-hand experience that Zdeno Chára – the NHL’s tallest player at 6 feet 9 inches (7 feet on skates) — is indeed really, really, really tall! Standing next to him, I felt very small. Reportedly, Chára is so big that the NHL has granted him a 2” exemption to their stick length rule – from 63” to 65”.
Chára is a defenseman with what seems in person to be a puppy- dog personality, but I wouldn’t want to be going against him, and he’s notorious for dominating the defensive zone.
But perhaps the highlights of the day were provided by the “wedding crashers”. No, the fans didn’t crash a wedding. Ironically, it was the other way around: a bride and groom in tux and wedding dress to be married in this very room later this day, crashed the Bruins’ fan event and posed for “wedding pictures” with Chára and Marchand.
Voilà! What a perfect ending to very playful event where fans got the unusual and special opportunity to “mingle” and interact with elite professional athletes who are almost always formally separated by barriers. Impressive.