BOSTON – Bob Sweeney could have called it a career with an impressive hockey resume to stand behind.
The Massachusetts native and Boston College product suited up for six seasons with his hometown Boston Bruins, twice helping the Black & Gold to the Stanley Cup Final, and overall spent 16 years in professional hockey. Sweeney three times eclipsed the 20-goal mark and four times racked up 45-plus points.
But, perhaps, his most impressive accomplishments have come during his second act.
For the past 22 years – 16 as head of the Boston Bruins Foundation – Sweeney has helped make an indelible impact on the New England community, as the Bruins’ tradition of giving back continues to reach new heights under his leadership.
“Perfect. He’s been made to do this,” said former Bruins captain and Sweeney’s longtime friend Ray Bourque. “His ability to communicate with people, make everybody feel special, and keeping relationships and building relationships – that’s what the Bruins Foundation is all about in terms of raising money year in, year out, keeping those relationships and finding new ones. He’s got a gift for doing that kind of stuff.”
For his efforts guiding the Foundation, as well as his six years with the Black & Gold, Sweeney received the hockey legacy award at Wednesday night’s 22nd annual Tradition gala at TD Garden. Sweeney was feted alongside Patriots Hall of Famer Kevin Faulk, baseball Hall of Famer and Red Sox great Dennis Eckersley, former Celtics head coach and 2008 NBA champion Doc Rivers, UFC founder Dana White, and former Team USA women’s soccer goalkeeper Briana Scurry.
“It’s awesome. Very well deserved,” said Bourque. “He was a really important guy for us as a teammate, one that would score the big goal, would kill off a big penalty, would have your back, and would be there physically. Really a guy that did it all. He was a glue guy in terms of chemistry for our team and we really had great chemistry in the mid ‘80s to the early ‘90s. He was a really big part of that. That’s just talking about what he’s done on the ice.
“What he’s accomplished with the Bruins Foundation…Bob’s been a big part of it for 16-17 years. He just has a special way about dealing with people and connecting people and he’s just a special man. It’s really nice to see him honored in this way tonight.”