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Bruins' Hayes plays Santa with Winter Classic tickets

by Dan Rosen

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Boston Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes did some one-stop shopping to fulfill part of his Christmas gift requests from family and friends.

The right wing and Boston native bought a row of tickets at Gillette Stadium for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens on Friday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"I think it's like 22 seats or something like that," Hayes said. "I had to buy them all. A lot of Christmas gifts, I guess. You want to make sure everyone has a good time. It could be their only outdoor game."

This won't be Hayes' only outdoor game in New England. He also played for Boston College at Fenway Park on Jan. 8, 2010.

Hayes' memories of the experience, a 3-2 loss to Boston University, are still fresh and vivid.

"I remember it was snowing during the game and it was one of those cool experiences to have your first outdoor game in all the elements," Hayes said. "That was a lot of fun."

He called it a dream come true to play in another outdoor game, this time as an NHL player and for the home team, his hometown team. It comes in the home stadium of his favorite football team, the New England Patriots, just 25 miles from where he grew up in Dorchester.

"Being a local kid, being able to play at Fenway and now at Gillette Stadium, there's no other bigger venues to play at in Boston," Hayes said. "It's pretty cool to be able to say I played in both.

"It's cool to be out here, see where [the Patriots] have won some big games, and now we're going to have a big game of our own and we need to get a 'W'."

Not to get greedy, but Hayes wants one more thing out of this Winter Classic experience. He wants to meet Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and get his autograph.

"We could trade," Hayes joked. "I'll trade him one for one."


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