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Chara, Bruins Reveal Throwback Winter Classic Jersey

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON — With confetti flying and hundreds of fans cheering, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask streamed through a high-five line, unveiling the Bruins’ jersey for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.

The old-school logo, a throwback to the Bruins’ first year in the League in 1924, was revealed at the “Tailgate With The Team” event at Seaport World Trade Center on Saturday, Oct. 24.

In preparation for the Winter Classic puck drop on Jan. 1 at Gillette Stadium against the Montreal Canadiens — and hockey heading “Back Outdoors” — the tailgating themed event featured the entire Bruins’ roster meeting with Season Ticket Holders and Premium Club members while taking photos, serving tailgate style food and playing cornhole.

“It’s very beautiful — honestly, it’s very simple, but right to the point,” Chara said of the jersey. “Like Cam [Neely] said [when introducing the jersey], this is based on the very first jersey from 1924 — obviously the colors are the current colors but the crest is basically what it was right from the first time the Bruins started playing, so it’s so much history and so much pride and passion in that jersey, that makes it very special to wear it.”

When creating the jersey, Reebok designers looked to those early days of the Bruins franchise, with inspiration for the design of the full uniform and the crest coming from that first uniform ever worn by the Bruins during their inaugural season in 1924, under legendary coach Art Ross.

With the unique “Boston” word mark arched over an illustrated bear and Bruins, the crest varies only slightly in layout from the 1924 original jersey — or “sweater," with the unique crewneck sweater collar paying homage to that look and feel.

“They want to make it more like a traditional winter kind of sweater, so they added that collar and I thought it looked really good,” said Chara. “Very comfortable.”

“I think this is a great throwback to the Original Six,” said fan Kaitlyn Stokes from Tewksbury, Mass., who never misses a Winter Classic and is glad to see her hometown B’s back in it. “I really love how they incorporated the Bear back into it and how it really has an old-time feel.”

“They always come out with such interesting jerseys and being able to rotate it through, but I think this one is really special.”

The number system for the jerseys was developed to mimic numbers worn in these early days of the franchise, and are executed in a retro off-white coloration, with traditional stitching techniques.

“They’re awesome. My kids all want them,” season ticket holder and North Reading native Dale Delvecchio said of the jerseys. “When they all came out in their uniforms, its was awesome.”

The entire team was introduced at the start of the event and gathered on stage prior to the reveal, with Chara, Krejci and Rask showcasing the jerseys amid spotlights and blasts of confetti. Patrice Bergeron, who became a new father to son Zack early Wednesday morning, would have liked to have been at the event and sent his best to the fans, but was at home with his family.

As expected, the crowd erupted into cheers and clapping upon seeing the new jersey.

Chara could sense the excitement of the fans, and imagined what the atmosphere might be like at Gillette Stadium.

“I’ve been there a few times, I’ve obviously watched a few games — right from the first moment I walked into Gillette, I felt it was a very, very special stadium, a very, very special place to be part of so many sport occasions,” said Chara. “And now be able to play there, very, very excited. It’s going to be awesome.”

“It’s absolutely exciting to have it at Gillette,” said Tewksbury’s Amanda Bradley. “The stadium’s going to be crazy, it’s going to be a really good time.”

Seeing Chara, Krejci and Rask walk out in their Winter Classic jerseys — and having the whole team on hand for the reveal — was above and beyond what the fans expected.

“Everybody seemed really excited and the team seemed excited for it — it was a really great atmosphere,” said Bradley.

“It’s really great that they do that for all of the season ticket holders, a lot of dedicated fans at all of the games, at all of the events, it’s just really great to be able to interact with them.”

All the event did was make fans even more excited for the main event, which is now just over two months away.

“It’s one of those things you wait all year for, no matter who’s playing, because it’s such a big game,” said Stokes. “And the fact that we’re playing the Habs in Foxborough, I think it’s going to be one of the biggest games of the year.”

Fans can pre-order the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® jersey at the ProShop powered by Reebok at TD Garden before Monday, Oct. 26 at 11:59PM to receive 25% off and free shipping. All NHL Winter Classic jerseys pre-ordered through the ProShop will come adorned with the official NHL Winter Classic® shoulder patch and will arrive in a commemorative jersey box.

The Bruins’ 2016 NHL Winter Classic® jerseys are also available for pre-order online at shop.NHL.com.

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