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Now Hitting for Boston, Bobby Allen

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Mowers, Savard & Allen at Fenway

Most of the sporting world has their sights set on the Bronx tonight, but for several members of the Boston Bruins, the game of baseball, particularly Red Sox baseball, is required viewing. As such, when Boston Bruin defenseman Bobby Allen was recently (Aug. 13th) given a chance to take batting practice at Fenway, actually stepping on the field, before a game, he nearly jumped out of his Black & Gold hockey socks.

"It was fun," said Allen. "Anyone who knows me from when I was growing up probably knows that baseball was my favorite sport. I am one of the world's biggest Red Sox fans and I love baseball and the strategy of the game.

"Growing up watching the Red Sox it was like a dream to take a tour of the park and step on the field, let alone taking some cuts at the monster.

"I would have been happy to put a couple off the wall, but then to put a couple out it was awesome," he said.

Joined by forwards Mark Mowers and Marc Savard and with NESN cameras following the action, Bobby, did indeed, put a couple over Fenway's famous left field wall.

Hamill with the delivery
"It was nice of the Red Sox to have us," said Bobby. "They really had to fit us in because (at the time) they had some bad weather.

"I was nice of them to let us take a few swings, and I am sure that I speak for Savvy and Mow when I say that we had a really good time."

A s you remember, Allen was not the first Boston Bruin to bring his skills to America's most beloved ballpark this year.

Earlier this summer, B's 2007 first round draft pick, Zach Hamill, threw out the first pitch when he and the rest of Bruins Development Camp took to the Fens for some fun.

“Throwing out the first pitch at Fenway is something I will never forget for the rest of my life," Hamill told "It is probably a once in a lifetime thing, and I will always remember it.”

Hamill was especially impressed by the intensity of the Boston sports fan.

“They shut down the streets just for a baseball game here. People take it pretty seriously."

Sports…seriously? In Boston? Naaaaaaaaaaah?

Professor Allen?
Bobby with friends
Since re-signing with the B's, the Massachusetts-born Allen has continued to be a familiar face during community events.

On August 23rd, the local product spent the morning reading to fifty 3-5 year olds as part of the ReadBoston Storymobile program. Through ReadBoston, Bobby read books to the group and also helped kids select their own new book to take home.

Allen was just happy to contribute to the cause.

"I love being able to visit little kids, especially when I am talking about the importance of reading in their lives," said the Cushing Academy and Boston College grad.  "I had a great time reading a few stories and answering some questions."
Each week this summer the ReadBoston Storymobile made stops all over the city and encouraged children to read and develop their own personal libraries and gave a free, unused book to all children who attend a reading.

Allen's appearance marked the last day of the ReadBoston Storymobile program for 2007.

"ReadBoston is a fantastic program doing great things for kids in this city," added Allen. "I was happy to be a small part of it."

Hockey on MV
How it's done...
The Boston Bruins hosted a street hockey clinic Sunday at Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls club as part of the “NHL Street” campaign.

Boston Bruins Alumni President and Boston Bruins Foundation Director of Development Bob Sweeney, along with former Bruins Craig Janney and Tom Songin were on hand to give 40 children from the Boys and Girls club some pointers on how to play the game and sharpen their skills.

“NHL Street” is a league wide initiative that helps to bring the game of hockey out to the communities to keep hockey going year round.  The equipment, including sticks, balls, and pads, is gifted to the recipient organization following the clinic.

Merilyn Verchota, wife of former NHL’er Mick Verchota, and current Boys and Girls club board member, helped to set up the event.

“Having the Boston Bruins donate this equipment is great! I can promise you the kids will use it every chance they get!” said Verchota.

Following the clinic the Boston Bruins alumni held a game inside which pitted Bruins alumni, including Andy Brickley and Bob Miller, against the Martha’s Vineyard Islanders.  The Boston Bruins alumni defeated the Islander’s in a shootout victory.

The proceeds raised from the game went to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hockey.

Bringing hockey back
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
The aforementioned Allen, along with eight other B's, hit the ice on Monday in Wilmington mirroring warm-ups happening throughout the world as the 2007-08 NHL season gets closer and closer.

Joining Bobby were Andrew Alberts, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Matt Hunwick, Matt Lashoff, Mark Mowers, Mark Stuart, Nate Thompson, with Tim Thomas in goal.

With veterans Savard, Chara and Mowers taking the lead, the shorthanded squad kept moving for most of a two hour stretch, using 3-on-3 scrimmages and sprints to test their wind and cardio vascular readiness.

Mixed into the tedium of a very early season practice with less than a full complement, were lots of smiles and not a few happy moments.

Thomas, as-always employing the "Timmy Tornado," threw his entire body at the puck and looked pretty sharp.

Chara, too, had some exciting moments including one where he put a puck into the twine and celebrated in a way that recalled his shootout-clinching goal from last season.

Savard looked to be playing with a bit of an edge and he fired a couple lasers toward Timmy's goal.

However the goal of the day came when Nate Thompson grabbed a puck in front of the net, skated to his right and put the disk "where mother doesn't dust" (top shelf) and knocked the water bottle flying.

The most impressive moment of the day came when, 40-minutes after the session ended, rookie defenseman Hunwick was still on the ice practicing his puck handling.

Seen and heard
  • Tim Thomas on getting hit in the face with a Zdeno Chara shot: "It feels good…kind of like a fighter getting back in the ring and taking his first punch.
  • Is this new? Andrew Alberts was skating around with a Jordanesque tongue waggle going. Seems dangerous, Albe.
  • It was nice to see assistant coach Doug Houda, massage therapist Derek Repucci, assistant equipment manager Keith "Keet-o" Robinson and The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa.
  • Got an e-mail from two fans saying that was a possible location for access to the Super Series feed. I e-mailed the web site and asked them if they will be streaming. They said they saw no problems, but would post whether or not the games would be available to users below the border. No promises, folks, but give it a shot tomorrow. Obviously, I will post news about the game here as soon as it's available.
And one more thing…
Congratulations to my friend Kurtis John of Enfield, Connecticut. He and his band, The Last Goodnight -- Bruins fans, by the way -- recently played the Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Avenue and their debut album hits stores today. Good luck Kurt!
Thanks to Eryn Gallagher, Jay Southwood for contributing to this piece, and thanks to Bobby for the pictures from Fenway.
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