BostonBruins.com — Thin Lizzy once famously sang the lyrics “the boys are back in town.” On Monday, when the Bruins held their ninth annual charity golf tournament in Bolton, Mass., the B’s were back in town.
|Ray Bourque, Milt Schmidt & Al Secord (photo: Babineau). |
Maybe this collection of 'boys' wasn’t quite what the song was describing: a group of older gentlemen, all animated with stories of Boston Bruins lore.
At its crux, the tournament was a reunion for many former Bruins players, who were all thrilled to have the opportunity to see some of their former teammates as well as current Bruins.
"No question, and that’s a perfect word for it: reunion," said former B’s forward Willie O’Ree. "It’s an opportunity for the current players to—if they don’t know already the former players—it’s a perfect venue for everyone to get together, raise some money, get to see one another.
"This is probably one of the best venues, one of the best events we have as a group. Today’s players and former players so, it’s a great day all around."
Even for a group of alumni that stays in frequent contact, there’s always the odd face that can bring a smile to the face of a former B.
"We see some alumni come back who we don’t see very often, and it’s nice to say hello to them and see them," said former Bruins forward and captain Ed Sandford.
For players who haven’t donned the Black & Gold jersey in some 20, 30, or in some cases over half a century ago, there was no shortage of memories.
Like, for example, who the funniest player on their respective team was.
"Well, I’d probably say Johnny Carter to be honest with you," said former Bruins forward Andy Brickley, who rooted for the Bruins as a native of Melrose and is now a color commentator on NESN's B's telecasts. "That’s a long list of guys.
"I mean we had tremendous character, and a lot of characters in the locker room when I was playing, but Johnny and I had roomed together for a long time.
"A Woburn kid, a Melrose kid, and the big joke was that they roomed us together to contain the virus."
And while many of the alumni professed their love for watching the current Bruins squad, who hung a championship banner in TD Garden last year, many of them recalled memories of the old Garden and the intense atmosphere of the building.
"It’s different now in the new arena because it has a different feel," said former defenseman Bruce Shoebottom. "But I do remember there were times in the old Boston Garden they played the National Anthem, we’d be standing on the bench, and you’d just - the energy, and the sound, and the vibration was just something that you couldn’t describe.
"Like, if you weren’t ready to start the game by the time the National Anthem was over, you had to be ready because the fans were so into it."