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Weekend Update: B's Final Free Friday

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
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. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
Today, the B's held the week's final informal skate. They are taking the weekend off and plans ranged from a last round of golf, to football watching, to doing nothing.

Today's attendees:
Andrew Alberts
Bobby Allen
P.J. Axelsson
Patrice Bergeron
Brandon Bochenski
Zdeno Chara
Chris Collins
Sean Curry
Andrew Ference
Matt Hendricks
Jeff Hoggan
Matt Hunwick
Martins Karsums
Phil Kessel
Chuck Kobasew
David Krejci
Matt Lashoff
Mark Mowers
Glen Murray
Pascal Pelletier
Wacey Rabbit
Jeremy Reich
Peter Schaefer
Jonathan Sigalet
Jordan Sigalet
Mark Stuart
Tim Thomas
Nate Thompson
Shawn Thornton
Aaron Ward

Defenseman Sean Curry was the only new face I saw, and with goalie Manny Fernandez the only veteran NHLer we haven't seen (and he is expected very soon), the B's have had some outstanding attendance and presence over the last couple of weeks of the pre-preseason.

Also today, in addition to the near-full complement of players, a near-full complement of coaches and front office staff were also on hand. Don Sweeney, Jim Benning, Peter Chiarelli, Claude Julien, Geoff Ward, Doug Houda and Brant Berglund were busily talking hockey even as they watched their players go through their paces.

Team photographer Steve Babineau and NESN's own Rob Simpson were also in the building.

Defenseman Andrew Ference got the punctuality award today by being the first one on the ice, and he and several other D-men hit the ice to practice shooting.
While I waited for practice to start, new forward Shawn Thornton stopped me and asked, "So I guess I didn't look any good yesterday? Shafe gets the 'Schaefer looked good' and I get the 'Shawn Thornton smiled.'"

Needless to say, the mustachioed Mr. Thornton has made a very good impression in his first two skates with the squad, is already a character in the room, and fans should know that he has indeed, "looked very good out there."

Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron had another great session and both he and Schaefer looked to have an extra gear in their skates again today. And at either end of the ice Tim Thomas and Jordan Sigalet continued to look sharp.

The main on-ice session followed the standard format, with drills (outlined today by Glen Murray and Andrew Ference) and then a 5-on-5 game.

To those of you who had been asking me if there would be any skates this weekend, please note that the pre-preseason skates will take a breather until Monday.

Upcoming Off-ice activities
This afternoon: The Boston Bruins will join the Boston Public School system for their Countdown to Kindergarten satellite programs which take place in communities throughout the city. Each event will include activities, giveaways and valuable information for students and their families who are entering kindergarten in the fall. The Bruins will be at the West Roxbury Public Library from 12:30-2 p.m. to pass out prizes and information on the upcoming season to all in attendance.

This evening: Boston Bruin Phil Kessel and Boston Bruins Foundation Director of Development Bob Sweeney will be in Somerville, MA for an NHL Street Hockey Clinic for participants ages 8-13. Sweeney will host a 1-hour clinic from 4-5 p.m. while Kessel will host a second clinic from 5-6 p.m. The clinic will kick off the Music and Food Festival, where proceeds will benefit Somerville Athletics and Recreation programming. 
Upcoming Events
09.08.07-09.09.07: The Boston Bruins are partnering with The Boston Globe's College Welcome Wagon presented by AT&T, making stops from 12-5 p.m. at the campuses of Harvard, Boston College and Boston University. The Welcome Wagon is a citywide initiative, which welcomes incoming students to the city of Boston with tons of free stuff in an effort to give them a feel for what the city of Boston has to offer. The Boston Bruins are providing stress pucks, party cups, folders, discount ticket info and the opportunity to win Bruins tickets!

Boston Bruins players Andrew Alberts, Bobby Allen, Jeff Hoggan, Jeremy Reich and Dennis Wideman will be at Ace's Place children's unit at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts-NEMC from 2-3 p.m. Ace's Place is named in memory of Garnet "Ace" Bailey who played for the Bruins and died in the September 11th attacks.

The Bruins will visit the unit to meet patients and their families, play games and tour the facilities.
09.12.07: Phil Kessel will be accompanying Kyle Lombardo, a first grader in Tewksbury to school. Phil will pick Kyle up at home in the Bruins Hummer, drive him to school and then bring him to class. Phil will then provide the class with goodie bags filled with Bruins treats, along with participating in a Q&A and autograph session.

Kyle was one of the lucky winners from the Bruins Charity Auction who won the opportunity to "Bring a Bruin to School".
09.12.07: Marc Savard will be participating in a photo shoot for the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Association. Marc will be featured in the Boston-area Champion campaign that features local celebrities voicing their support for those with Alzheimer's.

The photos will be featured at the MA Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk and on their website.
09.13.07: Boston Bruins players will be included in the round up of celebrity bowlers for the Beckett Bowl bowling tournament to benefit the Josh Beckett Foundation. The tournament will take place at Town Line Ten Pin in Malden, MA and will include a live auction and awards ceremony.
09.15.07: The Boston Bruins are partnering with The Boston Globe for their 5th annual Boston Globe Children's Book Festival at Copley Place. The Festival brings children’s authors and their books directly to the public, providing New Englanders with the rare opportunity to meet, listen and talk to the authors behind many of today's books. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to win Bruins autographed merchandise, apparel and the opportunity to win Bruins tickets for the upcoming season!
09.15.07-09.16.07: The Bruins will be hosting Fan Fest on Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00-4:00 p.m. in the front player's parking lot located on Causeway Street. The event is free of cost, open to the public and will feature a live DJ and inflatable activities for kids.
09.20.07: Kim Jacobs and Boston Bruins Foundation Director of Development, Bob Sweeney, will appear at the Haynes Early Education Center in Roxbury to participate in Jumpstart for Kids "Read for the Record" Campaign. Sweeney and Jacobs will read "The Story of Ferdinand" to groups of children at the center.

The Boston Bruins Foundation sponsored the purchase of 1,000 copies; which will be distributed to the children and feature a Boston Bruins Foundation logo.
09.26.07: The Foundation and the Alumni Association present the 4th annual Boston Bruins Golf Tournament. This year's tournament will once again take place at the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, MA with a bramble format and a noon shotgun start. For the first time ever, the tournament will feature Boston Bruins alumni in addition to the entire 2007-08 current roster! Foursomes are $2,500 and include four spots in the tournament with at least one celebrity in your group, driving range use, greens fees, cart, box lunch, and post-barbeque dinner.

Remember! Season ticket holders receive a $200 discount and net proceeds to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation.

For more information click here.

Speaking of Golf…
On Monday, September 10, Don Sweeney will host the Ferncroft Jr. Golf Celebrity Classic to benefit the Ferncroft Jr. Golf Scholarship Program.

Current Bruins Marc Savard, Brandon Bochenski, Phil Kessel, Mark Mowers, and Tim Thomas, as well as fellow B's alum Bob Sweeney will join Don in raising money for a worthwhile cause. Former Boston Celtic JoJo White will also play in the tournament, which will be held at the Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton at noon.

The Ferncroft Country Club Junior Golf Scholarship Program seeks to nurture young people with an interest in golf by providing access, instruction and equipment to introduce them to golf and develop their game. The Program identifies disadvantaged youths through an application process with grants made on an annual basis. 

For more information on Ferncroft Country Club, the Ferncroft Junior Golf Celebrity Golf Classic or the Ferncroft Country Club Junior Scholarship Program visit
Hey folks…just a quick training camp update. I don't yet have an official schedule for training camp. I can say that the release regarding the preseason is coming very soon, and I ask your patience while the B's finalize everything and make it public. JB
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