BRIGHTON, MA – The Tuukka Tour came to an end on Thursday afternoon and with four recent community trips under his belt, yesterday marked Tuukka Rask’s fifth and final stop - a visit to the Franciscan Hospital For Children in Brighton.
However, it certainly wasn’t Rask's first time to visit the hospital. Deanna Dwyer, Director of Marketing at Franciscan Hospital for Children, recalled past trips from Rask and the B’s – those memories exciting her for new ones to come.
“He’s been here before when we’ve had our holidays visit,” said Dwyer. “The Bruins always come and visit with some of the patients and students at the hospital.”
Sporting the Black & Gold, Rask made his rounds – meeting around 40 or more pediatric patients of all ages.
“I think there’s always a couple kids who are extra happy to see you and they’re real Bruins fans,” said Rask on the children he met. “They’re all nice kids and that’s just that – happy to see me and I’m happy to see them.”
For certain, one specific Bruins fan captured the attention of the NHLer - a young boy who took the time to draw Rask, and his fellow teammates, during the Stanley Cup Banner Raising Ceremony celebrated at the TD Garden on October 6.
Throughout the day the goalie continually passed out gift bags with Bruins memorabilia and goodies – making sure every last patient received his offering. The Bruin even decorated t-shirts with some new buddies, personalizing his with a portrait of himself – complete with lots of curly hair of course.
“It always brightens their day whenever they get an opportunity to meet a player, get to shake their hand, maybe share a few words with them,” said Dwyer. “It’s exciting and it’s something that is out of the ordinary of a regular day at the hospital.”
Signing posters, Stanley Cup pillowcases, t-shirts, and pucks, and chatting it up with his welcoming fans – Rask took every minute of the afternoon to his full advantage in his last stop on the current Tuukka Tour.
“Yeah it’s a really nice way,” said Rask on concluding his visits at Franciscan. “I think this is the fifth visit we’ve done in 10 days. It’s been a great time, seen a lot of different kids and a lot of kids going through different issues. It’s been really fun.”