|Rask (photo: Babineau) |
"It’s good to see everyone here again," said Bruins defenseman Andrew Ferrence. "For most of us it’s a reunion, so, it’s the first time I’ve seen a few of the guys.
"It’s just nice, it’s pretty cool that we play for a team where you have alumni around, but the alumni are all pretty famous faces and names that you grew up knowing, so, it’s kind of neat to see them around."
An annual event, which sees its proceeds donated to the Bruins Foundation, the day of golf marks the end of the summer.
"I mean, I think it’s something that we all look forward to going into a season," said B's forward Daniel Paille. "Not only do we catch up, but we get to see some of the players that we used to watch growing up.
"We’re here to raise money for the charity, and we’re here for the supporters supporting us throughout the whole year, and to be a part of it," added Paille.
Players such as Ference, Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron and Shawn Thornton were just a few of the current players in attendance, while alumni included Ray Bourque, Milt Schmidt, Lyndon Byers, and Steve Leach.
The weather in Bolton, Mass. was sunny and brisk as the players teed off at The International Golf Club & Resort around 11:00 Monday morning, but while the dialogue (if not the jersey) may have differed from Adam Sandler’s character in Happy Gilmore, watching hockey players try their hands at golf does provide some entertainment value (and memorable moments) on and off the course.
"I’ll put it in perspective," said Byers. "When you can walk out onto a golf course, and, the first person you see and get to shake hands with is Normand Leveille, it says a lot about what the Bruins are, what the Bruins foundation is about, what the Bruins alumni is about, and the Bruins organization as a whole.
"It’s a great bunch of people that run a top shelf organization, which I believe is the greatest pro franchise in the history of all-time, in the world."
And while it was all golf on Monday, the players will find themselves back in their on-ice comfort zone soon.
"I feel all right, I’ve skated for like three weeks now," said goaltender Tuukka Rask. "Just ramping up week after week, and you see guys coming to town now, so we’re going to get together with the boys on the ice and get it going."
The mood was cheerful as players arrived and prepared for a day of golf. Tyler Seguin admittedly came in a little rusty, having not been on the golf course much this summer.
"I guess we were supposed to go to the driving range, I guess. I haven’t golfed too much this summer,” Seguin said. "So, [my swing] is not amazing, but it will be fun."
Head coach Claude Julien, who underwent hip surgery this offseason, joked with reporters before he hit the course about the specifics of his recovery and offered a very brief update on his status.
"Lower body," said a chuckling Julien.