Boston, MA -- Right up until the end of the trip, Derek Sanderson thought he might commandeer some skates and take over the ice at Fenway Park during the First Skate on December 18th.
"I might give it a twirl," said Sanderson with a sly grin as he prepared for the trolley ride over to the park/rink. "But I don’t know.
"I haven’t had skates on since I had my hips replaced...so it has been a while."
"How are these kids from Sommerville? They’ll be skating circles around me," he said.
Although Sanderson didn't find any skates, and had to settle for spectator's view of the Winter Classic's opening event, 'The Turk' has always had a rather unique view of Bruins history.
And whether it was on the ice or in the broadcast booth, the Bruins legend remains a major figure in Black & Gold lore. So it wasn't surprising when Sanderson took a look at the schedule of events for the Winter Classic and pronounced it unique in its own right and an important date in B's history.
"It’s another page in the book," he said in his best TV38 voice. "It really went well in Edmonton I guess and I hear the one in Buffalo as well.
"Now, people say this is the hardest ticket in town to get!"
And with a combination of the beloved ballpark and Boston's Bruins, Sanderson thinks hockey fans around the world are in for a thrill.
"Fenway Park is a treat so you mix the Bruins and the Red Sox and hockey and you get it all going together, now all we have to do is win," said Sanderson, who added that he never imagined that Fenway would be turned into an outdoor ice rink.
"Never would have crossed one single solitary mind that you would be on ice in Fenway Park," he said. "When you get in a situation like Fenway Park and get a chance [to play], it’s memorable."
"Whoever thought it up, great marketing. The fans are excited, people are excited, it’s a great opportunity for the National Hockey League to get a national audience, a huge audience, so I hope it’s a good game."
For Sanderson, like his fellow Bruins alumni, there was an extra bonus to the hoopla -- getting reunited, even for a few minutes, with friends and former teammates.
Sanderson, whose affiliation with the Bruins spans several decades, just had to figure out who to sit with on the bus.
"I’m kind of torn between Bobby [Orr] and [those] guys and Gary Doak and Hodgey [Ken Hodge] and Johnny McKenzie.
"And those are the guys I played with, but then I did the broadcast for 10 years with...guys [like] Neely and Donnie Sweeney and those guys.