Legends on Fenway ice
|12.18.09 at 4:31 pm ET|
You could have followed the Red Sox or the Bruins your whole life.
You could have played for the Red Sox or Bruins your whole life.
But you wouldn’t have seen anything like this before.
The rink was three days old, the ice still a work in progress, but there it was, a hockey rink at Fenway, with the stars of decades of Bruins hockey back for a brisk skate.
‘It’s great to be out here and see my former teammates,’ said Orr as he, Bourque and Neely hit the ice with Cleon Daskalakis, Gary Doak, Ken Hodge, Ken Linseman, Pie McKenzie, Rick Middleton, Jay Miller, Terry O’Reilly, Brad Park, Derek Sanderson, Bob Sweeney and Don Sweeney for a rare but significant reunion. Milt Schmidt and Ed Sandford joined in with encouragement from the bench.
The Bridgestone Winter Classic frozen New Year’s Day faceoff between the Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers was still two weeks away, but with rink in place hockey chatter filled the chilled air Friday morning.
‘I think it’s going to be an outstanding event, the [Green] Monster seats looking right down onto the ice, two good teams, it’s going to be an outstanding game,’ said Orr.
While Orr doesn’t skate often these days, he was not going to miss Friday’s skate. And he still managed to show some of his leadership skills.
After Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek laced up his skates, the man who is normally right at home behind the plate at Fenway, hesitated before hitting the ice. As he mulled over his decision about showcasing his skating skills, Orr suddenly whisked by and asked Varitek to take a shift around the ice with him.
Varitek didn’t hesitate. He hit the ice with a focus that even Don Cherry would be proud of. You don’t miss that chance to skate alongside a legend.
‘I don’t think I could ever duplicate that in my life,’ said Varitek, who played youth hockey in Michigan while growing up. ‘It was pretty awesome.’
Orr thought so too.
‘He’s a pretty good skater – he’s a Michigan guy,’ laughed Orr.
It didn’t matter where they learned to skate Friday, or whether you were a veteran who made the Hall of Fame or just starting in a youth hockey league. Skating at Fenway was a whole new ballgame.