On October 9, the Bruins visited the USS Doyle, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, visiting Boston over Columbus Day weekend.
Charlestown, Mass. -- The Bruins are coming! The Bruins are coming!
And there were two lanterns in the North End's venerable Old North Church belfry, as the Boston NHL contingent crossed the river to visit Charlestown and the United States Navy Ship, the USS Doyle, on October 9.
The USS Doyle is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, commanded by Michael Elliott, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and built at the Bath Iron Works, of Bath, Maine.
The ship recently sailed into Boston over Columbus Day weekend, and was berthed at Pier Four just outside the Charlestown Navy Yard.
"That was pretty cool," said Bruins forward Shean Donovan. "I've never been on a warship before. The guys were really nice, so it was a pretty neat experience. They explained what their jobs were. The one guy I was with, I think he was on a sub [on an earlier assignment, underwater] for 128 days…that's pretty impressive."
The 4,100-ton guided missile warship, built in 1981, has made three deployments since September 11, 2001 – two for counter narcotics operations with the U.S. Coast Guard, and one to the Mediterranean Sea in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It remains on the front lines of America's defense.
"It was an eye opener," said Assitant Coach Doug Houda. "To see what those fellas go through, they're day to day experiences…it's amazing…I have a lot of respect for them.
"It opens your eyes more about how fortunate we are."
The trip, arranged by Bruins Assistant to the Senior Advisor, Joe Curnane, was a welcome respite for the B's who are in the middle of a five game road swing.
"That was awesome," said Wayne Primeau. "You don’t realize how hard those sailors have to work. They were saying that they get maybe six hours of sleep, max. We saw the quarters where they sleep…someone like myself, or Chara; there's no way that a guy over six feet could sleep in those beds.
"If they can, I give them a lot of praise."
Besides being a large boat, Head Coach Dave Lewis wasn't quite sure what a "frigate" actually was before the team headed out on its naval adventure
But he thought that the trip would serve as a reminder to his charges of how lucky the Bruins, and all of us, are to have the Doyle on duty.
"A frigate is a support ship," explained the Coach. "They're all over the globe and do all sorts of things."
"And the guys are tremendously committed to helping the country," explained Lewis. "They work all together, as 225 guys, to succeed. And that's the message that I took from [the experience]. They're very dedicated to what they are doing."
Certainly, Lewis and the rest of the Boston Bruins will take those lessons and apply them to their upcoming road trip.
One team, dedicated to a cause, and willing to do what it takes to succeed.