As I teased last night, the Hub of Hockey had a new addition to its wide and varied fandom yesterday.
Instead of helping to guard the Boston Bruins goal yesterday, new Black & Gold defenseman Dennis Wideman protected Olympic figure skater, and budding actress, Sasha Cohen (right, with me) from falling at the Simoni Memorial Rink in Cambridge.
Cohen, in town to promote Champions on Ice (to be held on April 22nd in TD Banknorth Garden), lost her figure skates en route to Boston.
But thanks to some quick thinking, and driving, by former NHL referee and current Director of Development for the Boston Bruins Foundation, Paul Stewart, and to the delight of her fans, Sasha had a new pair of hockey skates to wear for the session.
Given the physical differences between the two modes of skating transport, Cohen leaned heavily on her favorite Bruin, Mr. Wideman, and seemed pretty comfortable with her new skates.
The same could be said for Wideman, who donned 2005 U.S. Pairs Champion, Garrett Lucash’s black figure skates for a trip or two around the arena and a lesson from the two champion figure skaters.
The Bruin, new to Boston, but quickly adapting to the city, also adapted quickly to the skates and pretty soon had mastered a "two-foot spin" much to the delight of the figure skating crowd and his new instructors, Garrett and Sasha -- although the young ladies and gentlemen who had performed their figure skating moves for Ms. Cohen, critiqued his form.
"I’m just glad I stood up," admitted Wideman.
Hockey is certainly still a bastion of macho ness, but Wideman, in true Bruins form, entertained the crowd and impressed one pretty important young lady in the process.
"I told (Dennis) that he had to pull me, because I couldn’t do anything on hockey skates," said Cohen. "It was very good."
Despite her hiatus from competition, Cohen said she plans to return to return to the World Championships in 2009 and the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
But don’t look for Wideman to be in any figure skating competitions, any time soon.
"Toe picks are a little hard (to get used to)," said Wideman after his skate. "And, I’ll tell you what, they are a lot better with their edges than we are."
Lucash, from Braintree, reported that he had attempted to get Cohen into Bruins hockey.
"I have always been a fan of all the Boston teams," he said. "I am always trying to get Sasha to root for our teams and basically, all the factors are working.
"She likes the colors, she likes bears and she knows someone on the team."
Ms. Cohen concurred.
"That is my rule, you have to know someone on the team before you root for (a team)."
And judging by the way that she and Dennis held hands, to prevent her from falling in her new hockey skates (of course), she will be a lifelong Bruins fan.Check out this morning’s podcast
for more from Sasha, Dennis and Garrett and don’t miss the photo gallery