MANCHESTER, N.H. - Tim Schaller is just one of 12 players in National Hockey League history to hail from New Hampshire.
As a result, his fellow Granite Staters hold a special place in their hearts for the Merrimack native - especially now that he suits up for the hometown Bruins. The affection New Hampshire's hockey fans have for Schaller was on full display on Sunday afternoon, during the second stop of the Bruins' inaugural Fan Fest Tour at Arms Park in Manchester.
"It's a lot of fun," said Schaller, who joined teammate Brandon Carlo, B's general manager Don Sweeney, and goalie coach Bob Essensa at the event. "I grew up playing in Manchester. It's fun to see the little kids who played for the same teams I did…I saw a lot of familiar faces that I see around town. My brother, [Dave], obviously made the trip. It's good to see everyone here from New Hampshire."
Schaller heard from plenty of fans that have followed his career from his youth days, to Providence College, and on to the NHL. The forward, who collected seven goals and seven assists in his first season with the Bruins in 2016-17, was happy the organization could visit fans outside of Boston, especially those who may not always have the opportunity to make it into the city during the season.
"[The Fan Fest] entices the fans outside of Boston to come to the games," said Schaller. "Just the support that we have out here, for New Hampshire and the Bruins is great. It's a great turnout."