BostonBruins.com - Brad Marchand and Jordan Caron brought big smiles to a group of Peabody youth hockey players and their families as part of TD Bank’s PASS Clinic series.
The pair of Bruins showed up to Porrazzo Skating Arena in East Boston to help take the kids through some basic drills, instill some of their knowledge and passion for the game, and of course to have some fun on the ice.
“It’s always fun to see the smiles on kid’s faces and stuff like that. Especially today, they really seemed to enjoy it. So it was a lot of fun,” said Jordan Caron.
“It’s always a good time,” said Brad Marchand. “To see how excited the kids get when you’re out there and how much fun they have, it kind of brings you back to being a kid and just playing the game because you love it and it’s what you love to do. So I think it was a great time out there.”
While Caron was helping a group of kids on one side of the rink perform some shooting drills, Marchand was in the other corner doing “battle” drills and testing their defensive skills.
At one point, a smirking youngster grabbed Marchand’s stick from his hands while he was defending, rushing over to the bench to show his dad his prize.
“He took it out of his hands on the ice and brought it to me,” laughed the boy’s father, John Russo. “I was like, ‘give it back to the guy!’”
Marchand grinned as he skated over to retrieve the stick, which he would later sign for the very kid who stole it from him during the autograph session.
Marchand and Caron are two of the younger Bruins players, so is it a little extra special for them to see the effect they can have on a group of kids simply by showing up to help a practice?
“Yeah it really is,” said Marchand. “When you’re out there and you see how excited the kids get to talk to you and how much they enjoy watching us play, it’s really touching and I think we all appreciate what we do so much more when you see the excitement that you bring; especially with the kids.”
“I’m sure it gives them hope I guess to see that we went through that, being that young, playing minor hockey and stuff like that so I’m sure they really look up to us and I’m sure they really enjoy it,” said Caron.
Marchand recalled being a young kid and looking up to a Junior hockey player that visited his classroom.
“I remember just how exciting it was. So I would have loved to have the opportunity to be on the ice with them and watch what he could do. So I know that the kids enjoy this stuff and we enjoy being part of it.”
PASS, Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters, aims to improve youth hockey programs through donations and volunteering from Bruins players. Mark Leonard, president of Peabody youth hockey, was ecstatic at the opportunity for his players.
“Pretty awesome day for us…How many kids can say they were stickhandling with Marchand and Jordan Caron?”
---Written by Ethan Hartley for BostonBruins.com