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Bruins Help Raise Record $130,000 at 8th Annual Cuts For a Cause

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - Through the years, Cuts For a Cause has grown - in venue, fan support, team participation and funds raised.

Not only did the entire Bruins roster participate this year for the first time ever, but Tuesday's 8th Annual 98.5 The Sports Hub and Patrice Bergeron's Cuts for a Cause raised a record $130,027 for pediatric cancer.

Bergeron, who took over hosting duties this year, and his teammates had their heads shaved by auction winners on stage in front of hundreds of fans packed into the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

Proceeds benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Through eight years, the event has raise more than $500,000 for charity.

"It's fun, it's easy to do, I think it's great to have all the guys," said Bergeron. "It's just getting bigger and bigger and it's amazing that we've been able over the years to raise $500,000 and it's definitely an easy thing to do for all of us."

"I do really appreciate all the guys for showing up and doing it and obviously all the donations from all the fans and everyone, it's definitely something great."

Fred "Toucher" Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb of the Toucher & Rich show on 98.5 The Sports Hub joined Bergeron in the hosting duties.

"It's a little different," laughed Bergeron, who was joined by linemate Brad Marchand as co-host midway through the event. "A lot more talking than the past few years, but it's fun."

Amidst a tough homestretch of the season, with the team pushing to get into the playoffs, it only took a few hours of their time.

"It's few hours, and it benefits a lot of people who deserve to get treated and get the right treatment, and it's for a great cause," said Bergeron. "It's also a great time to have a chance to meet the fans."

The gesture always go far with the Bruins who have long locks of hair, both for them, and for the children battling cancer.

Max Talbot has only been a Bruin for a month, but he gladly took part, getting his "flow" shaved off by a young fan, Jordan, who survived his own illness when he was younger.

"It's fun to be around all the guys, and some guys nervous to get their cuts," Talbot smiled. "And it's for a great cause, obviously. It's so special that all the guys on the team actually did it - I don't think you'll see that everywhere. I think it shows how tight of a group we are and how much we care for the city and for the fans and for the cause. So it was a pretty cool experience."

It didn't take long for Talbot to see how special the event was - he offered to match the bidding donation to shave his own head, and swapped spots with Jordan, matching the donation and shaving the young man's head as well. Jordan wanted to show his support along with the team.

"It was a great honor for me to do this for him and be part of this," said Talbot.

There were other Bruins who happily let their long locks go, like Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, David Pastrnak and Loui Eriksson, who Bergeron joked was the hardest to convince to cut his hair (though Eriksson vowed that it wasn't that hard to get him on board).

"Loui, I mean, I've got to say, it was hard to get him, but really, he's a good sport and it's good to have him," smiled Bergeron. "He looks good, I think, with short hair - doesn't really matter if it's long or short, so he always looks great. It's for a great cause and we got him on board, and we're all happy."

The 18-year-old Pastrnak may not have had a choice in the matter, but he was also glad to help show his support by cutting his distinct "flow."

"You know what? It doesn't matter," smiled Pastrnak, prior to the shave. "Everybody did it, all of our guys, so we're going to all look the same - some might look worse, some might look better you know? and it's for a good thing."

"We showed we're a good team, you know?" he said afterwards, proudly sporting his newly shaved head. "Because all of the guys did it. There was no excuse for us and we did it for the fans, we're happy we could be here and we enjoyed it."

Some Bruins even went for the contrast look, with a full beard and shaved head, like Dennis Seidenberg, Zdeno Chara and Talbot.

"I wasn't sure, I was thinking about maybe cutting it, but Zee convinced me, no you've got to keep it. So, we're pretty close, so I guess I'll keep it," Talbot laughed. "Quite a contrast, I guess."

Bartkowski had been growing his head of hair since last March's Cuts For a Cause.

"Right around November, I wanted to get a haircut and I was like, well, I might as well wait for Cuts For a Cause, and I made it this far," he said.

"That's actually what kept me going. I saw the date, I think it was January, and I was like oh, I can wait. It will be good to wait, it's for the kids. I think it's a great experience. They do a great job here, so it's awesome."

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