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Bourque, Oates and Coffey to be Honored

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Bruins alumni Ray Bourque, Adam Oates and Paul Coffey will be honored this evening at the American Airlines "Salute to a Generation of Stars," presented by Idearc Media, from 6 - 8 pm at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

The event will combine open practices of the 2007 Eastern and Western All-Star teams with a tribute to 11 hockey legends of the NHL and will serve as a showcase of two generations of hockey players.

Academy Award winning actor, and long-time hockey fan Cuba Gooding Jr., will host the festivities.

According to the league website: NHL legends scheduled to appear include: 19-time All-Star, and former Boston Bruin, Ray Bourque; Hockey Hall of Famer and three-time Norris Trophy winner Paul Coffey (who wore the Black & Gold for 18 games in 2000-2001); top-scoring US-born skater Phil Housley; 1999 Stanley Cup winner with the Dallas Stars Brett Hull; Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux; Olympic Gold Medalist and 13-time All-Star Al MacInnis; six-time Stanley Cup winner and 15-time All-Star Mark Messier; Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Murphy; four-time All-Star Joe Nieuwendyk; five-time All-Star and former Boston Bruin Adam Oates and eight-time All-Star Luc Robitaille.

Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to cheer for these great players one more time and applaud their marvelous careers. Each individual "salute" will include highlight clips of the player’s career, as well as some testimonials from other NHL players, teammates and coaches who competed with and against them. These legends will then come out one-by-one to the main stage and do a quick interview with Gooding, Jr.

Local DFW youth hockey players will participate in the ceremony as well, carrying individual banners of the legends.

Boston Iced Tea Parties
Speaking of All-Star participants, the Boston Bruins have hosted the All-Star Game twice.

On January 19th, 1971 the West Division defeated the East Division, 2-1. And on January 20th, 1996, the Eastern Conference, led by game MVP Raymond Bourque, defeated the Western Conference 5-4.

Bourque scored the game winner with less than a minute left in the game.

Big Z, Supershot?

Chara’s reputation precedes him. In the 2002-03 competition Big Z played in the All-Star game and was second in the hardest shot competition (97.8 mph).

If he is entered into this year’s competition, there are some who feel as if he is a shoe in for the title.

The Canadian Press reports:

Many fans actually prefer the skills competition on the eve. They can look forward to seeing Montreal Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray defend the hardest shot title he earned with Adrian Aucoin at the 2004 all-star game in Minnesota.

"First I have to get selected," Souray said. "Then you look at who’s there. (Zdeno) Chara wasn’t there last time. A guy like (Dion) Phaneuf can really fire the puck. It’s always competitive."

Souray says there’s no real strategy.

"I’d just do what I did last time -- just go out and shoot as hard as I can," he said. "It’s pretty much an idiot’s event. You go out and wire the puck. That’s why it’s tailor-made for me."

You might be surprised to hear who Souray views as the favorite if he’s entered.

"If there’s anyone you should put money on in that competition it would be Chara," he said. "I think he has far and away the hardest shot in the league. It’ll be interesting to see him fire the puck."

Stay tuned on that front.

Bergie a talented YoungStar
Phil Kessel is not alone on this Bruins roster in terms of participation in the NHL YoungStars competition. Patrice Bergeron was selected in 2004 and recorded an assist. Providence Bruins goalie Philippe Sauve, then representing Colorado, was the YoungStars MVP in that same game, having saved 18 of 21 of the East’s shots.

New Uniform Design
The NHL has begun to unveil the new uniform design set to hit all NHL squads next season. The look is a new sleeker version of the jerseys and pants we have all grown to love.

For the players, however, this new age sweater and on-ice gear will be lighter and drier.

John McGourty of writes:
The National Hockey League today unveiled the new Rbk Edge Uniform System, anatomically correct sweaters, pants and socks made of lighter, sleeker, drier and warmer synthetic performance fabrics.
Nearly three years in development, the Rbk Edge Uniform System was developed with the input of NHL players and the NHL Players’ Association. The uniforms will first be seen in tonight’s NHL All-Star Practice at American Airlines Center.

Fans outside the Dallas’ area will be able to see the Rbk Edge Uniform Systems for the first time in the 55th NHL All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET, Versus, NHL Radio) Wednesday.

The Rbk Edge Uniform System will be worn by all NHL players, beginning with the start of the 2007-08 NHL season in October.

The new uniforms utilize four unique fabrics, which keep players lighter, drier and better protected while maintaining durability. Stretch mesh provides ventilation and greater range of motion. 4Way Stretch Pique employs Rbk’s Bead Away water-repellent technology. X-trafil provides durability. A stretch fabric in the collar features Reebok’s PlayDry moisture-wicking technology to maximize comfort and breathability.

PlayDry’s wicking capability and Bead Away’s water repellency combine to reduce NHL sweater weight by 14 percent while wicking 76 percent more moisture away from the body. Players stay warmer, drier and fresher while avoiding the energy-draining effect of wearing a wet sweater at freezing temperatures.
X-trafil makes the sweaters twice as durable as the current sweater being worn by NHL players.

Rbk and the NHL have been working for nearly three years on the advanced uniform system and employed the services of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for wind-tunnel analysis and at Central Michigan University for thermal-regulation analysis.
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