Boston, MA --
Earlier this month, Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque said that during his playing days that he would have been really surprised if anyone had told him that there would be an NHL hockey game at Fenway Park -- but he loves the whole idea.
"Since this whole Winter Classic has started, and I think it’s maybe five years in now, you’ve always thought of Fenway as the place if it ever would come to Boston that would be the perfect place and it’s really great that it’s happened and it’s going to happen and to have an opportunity to skate out there will be a lot of fun," said The Captain, who joined several generations of Bruins, from Milt Schmidt to Milan Lucic
at last Friday's "First Skate at Fenway."
"I think we all, especially the alumni, I think we all grew up skating outdoors," said Bourque. "Especially for me, growing up in Montreal, we had skating rinks every couple of miles so we always have our fondest memories as kids growing up playing outside with our buddies and just meeting up there everyday.
"So whenever I have an opportunity to skate outdoors with my kids or in something like this it’s going to be very special. It brings back a lot of memories."
So does he wish that a Black & Gold #77 would make an appearance on January 1st?
"No. No. The mind might say yes and you know what you want to do, but the body just doesn’t follow as well any more," he said. "But I still skate, I go out there a couple times a week during winter once golf season ends, put back the skates on and go out and do okay.
"But to play at that level, I’m going to be turning 49 in a couple of weeks and there’s no turning the page going back that way."
For now, Bourque's greatest enjoyment comes from watching his Sons Chris and Ryan play.
I asked the Hockey Hall of Famer if he gets nervous watching his kids play.
"I’m in the game, but I don’t get nervous," said Bourque.
"I love watching the boys play," continued Bourque. "It’s a lot of fun. My youngest, Ryan, was drafted by the Rangers this past summer and he’s up in Quebec City playing for Patrick Roy (and the Junior Hockey Remparts)
"And Chris really had a nice stint in the NHL this year with Pittsburgh and he’s back in Washington now, so watching them play and doing it for the right reasons because they have a passion for hockey is a blast for me," he said.
And as far as Fenway goes, one of Boston's best will be pleased to have the opportunity to see hockey from a different perspective.
"Well I walked around...before the boards and everything was up and it will be fun to see it today with the boards and the ice in," he said. "Looking around and walking around there the other day, was just, you could just picture a full stadium and people in the Monster Seats and people all over.
"It’s going to be a lot of fun."