“You go to the golf tournament, you know camp is right around the corner,” the veteran defenseman said. “You know it’s the kickoff of the season.”
The rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the Bruins players, alumni, front office personnel and coaches who gathered with fans and sponsors for a round of golf at The International on Tuesday morning. Following the shotgun-style tournament, all attendees enjoyed dinner, a raffle and silent and live auctions.
Every year, it is an unforgettable experience, said Bruins Foundation Executive Director Bob Sweeney.
“This is the 11th year we’ve had the Bruins Golf Tournament where we’ve combined the alumni and the current players,” Sweeney said. “It’s great to see some of the older guys and younger guys mingle and get to know one another, and for the younger guys especially to learn that so many great guys have played prior to them. So it’s a good collaboration of current and former guys, and all of the participants enjoy it.”
There aren’t many scenarios in which B's alumni have the chance to gather with the current players wearing Black & Gold, which makes this annual event all the more special for all those involved. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for out-of-town alumni to plan a trip back to their old stomping grounds.
“Every once in a while, we’ll have a few guys come from out of town, which always makes it enjoyable for people that don’t get to see them very often,” Sweeney said.
The current roster players are all enthusiastic about the work done by the Bruins Foundation, and they are all happy to give back — and what better way than enjoying a round of golf on a beautiful course?
“It would be nice if the weather was a little better,” Seidenberg joked, “but it’s nice to hang out for the day, get away from the rink, relax.
“It’s fun. It’s important for the community to raise money for a good cause, and there’s no better way than showing up and hanging out with people, with fans, and trying to raise some money for a good cause.”
Some Bruins, like Tuukka Rask, have attended a handful of these tournaments; others, like Dougie Hamilton, are still relatively new to the festivities, but he doesn’t enjoy it any less — even if his golf skills leave something to be desired.
“Not good,” Hamilton said, when asked about the status of his game. Still, he was happy to work on it on Tuesday morning.
“It’s a lot of fun for us,” he said. “I think obviously the Foundation is really good and helps out a lot, and we’re happy to help them out. It’s fun to be able to do stuff like this and be able to get out and meet new people and help, so we just try to have fun with it and enjoy it.”
Rask, one of the more avid golfers on the Bruins, is always happy to do whatever he can to support the Bruins Foundation, given the support that the Foundation offers to the players.
“This relationship works both ways,” he said. “If any of us has any kind of event, [the Foundation] really wants to support you, and this is our way of showing that we really want to help, too. It’s been a great event. I think this is going to be my seventh time here or something, and they do a good job. The event is always pretty much the same and it runs smoothly, so it’s good to be a part of, and happy that we can help.”
As David Krejci pointed out, it’s easy to give back to the community when you’re having fun doing it.
“It’s all for a good cause, this tournament,” he said. “It’s not just charity; it’s also fun. So it’s good to be here. All the players are here, and the coaches, so it’s good to see.”
The bulk of the Bruins’ current roster players attended the event, as did a number of Bruins alumni — everyone from Gilles Gilbert to Derek Sanderson — as well as B’s Head Coach Claude Julien and Team President Cam Neely.
According to Sweeney, Neely may have a leg up on the competition on the golf course, just like he did on the ice: When asked to name the best golfer in attendance on Tuesday, he responded, "Probably the boss."
He added, "I think Cam is the best golfer. He was always pretty good when we played, and he’s got a good swing and a good mentality for the game.”
Whether they were playing on win on Tuesday or simply playing for fun, though, all of the players in attendance were united on one front: There was nothing they’d rather be doing.
“Every year, we’re pretty happy to be here and spend some time with some fans and also play a round of golf to raise some money for the Bruins Foundation,” said Patrice Bergeron. “Anytime you have a chance or a time to do that, it’s definitely important to do, and I think most of the guys are here and it’s nice to see.”