Big Bad Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
B’s anthem singer Rene Rancourt on D&C: ‘I’m just so proud for having been a part of it’ 04.18.13 at 8:28 am ET
By   |  8 Comments

Longtime Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, following Wednesday night’s emotional performance that preceded the Bruins’ game against the Sabres.

Rancourt started singing before putting down his microphone and allowing the 17,000-plus fans to take the lead.

“It was a very different sensation for me,” Rancourt said. “This was a first for me. I’ll tell you, I’m speechless for the first time in my life.”

Rancourt, 73, has sung the anthem at Bruins games for more than 35 years, and he said this was the most memorable.

“That is No. 1,” he said. “It’s a tough call choosing between this night, last night, and Game 6 of the Vancouver series [in 2011]. But I’d have to say, this is really a time where you feel you’re a part of history. It’s bigger than your ego. Because I’m always saying that anthem singers should really focus in on the words. That way the feeling comes across. It shouldn’t be an ego situation. This was totally unique.”

Rancourt said the fans’ participation was a big help, as he wasn’t sure he would have been able to make it through the song without getting overly emotional.

“As I was getting ready, warming up my voice during the day — because it’s not that easy a song to do — I found myself breaking up and tearing up while I was practicing,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Gee, I don’t know if I can get through this thing.’ ”

Added Rancourt: “I’m sure that the people didn’t even realize how much help I actually did need. It was wonderful. The sound was carrying me, lifting me up in the room. It was just something indescribable. … I’m afraid I would have probably broken up a few times during the anthem. I’m not ashamed to admit that.”

Rancourt said the team came to him with the plan to allow the fans to sing.

“It’s the Bruins office that had the idea,” he explained. “We all talked about it and how we were going to do it: the moment of silence and showing a video and coming on with the firefighters, color guard. We worked it out. It was their idea.

“I was very nervous. I didn’t know how — what if you stop singing and nothing happens? It went more than well. I’m just so proud for having been part of it.”

Read More: Rene Rancourt,
Canadiens’ Alexei Emelin out for season after collision with B’s Milan Lucic 04.08.13 at 1:35 pm ET
By   |  No Comments

Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee following a collision with Bruins forward Milan Lucic on Saturday in Montreal, the team announced Monday.

Emelin lined up Lucic as the winger was reaching for a pick near mid-ice, but Lucic was able to brace himself, and Emelin got the worst of it. While Lucic skated away, Emelin tumbled to the ice in pain and required immediate assistance from the medical staff.

Emelin, a 26-year-old Russian who is in his second NHL season, recorded three goals and nine assist while playing almost 20 minutes per game this year.

Read More: Alexei Emelin, Milan Lucic,
Jarome Iginla on choosing Penguins over Bruins: ‘It wasn’t fully my choice’ 03.28.13 at 2:28 pm ET
By   |  20 Comments

New Penguins forward Jarome Iginla met with the Calgary media at a press conference Thursday, and he talked in generalities about choosing the Pens over the Bruins.

Jarome Iginla

“I was fortunate that the three teams that were kind of making a pitch — or however you say it — proposals were interested. I was humbled. They’re pretty all great teams, and I feel fortunate to have had the choice,” said the former Flames star. “But also at the same time, it wasn’t fully my choice. I wanted it to be a mutual thing. But when the Flames said that they liked things, they were happy with that, I was thrilled and thankful for the opportunity.”

Iginla indicated the appeal of joining Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin was too good to pass up.

“The opportunity to play on a team with the two best players in the world … as a player, I wanted that opportunity,” Iginla said.

Read More: Jarome Iginla,
You Can Play president Patrick Burke on D&C: Rumor of Canadiens player coming out ‘total nonsense’ 03.06.13 at 11:58 am ET
By   |  9 Comments

Flyers scout Patrick Burke (left) appears alongside his father, former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, in an ad for the social activist organization You Can Play. (AP)

Flyers scout Patrick Burke, president of the social activist group You Can Play, joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the rumor that a Canadiens player was preparing to announce publicly that he’s gay.

“It’s total nonsense,” Burke said. “It’s completely fabricated. There’s no truth to this rumor. It was created by an anonymous Twitter account. It was then picked up by a couple of the less-reliable, let’s say, gay blogs. And it’s now being repeated in mainstream media.

Josh Gorges is the rumored player, according to this Twitter account. Josh is recently engaged to a lovely woman. I’ve spoken with the Canadiens about this. It’s very confusing to them. Obviously they’re supportive if they did have a gay player, and Josh is supportive of any potentially gay teammates. But it’s not him.”

Burke started You Can Play two years after the death of his brother, Brendan Burke, in a car accident in 2010. Brendan was an openly gay student manager for the Miami (Ohio) University hockey team and spoke out against homophobia in sports. The brothers are the sons of former Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.

Burke predicted a player will come out sometime in the near future.

“I think the next 12-18 months,” he said. “I think there’s a chance it could happen sometime this offseason or next offseason. I think we’re very, very close here, and within the next year-and-a-half or so it will happen.”

Added Burke: “I just think we’re ready. The players who have done videos for us — for the Bruins it’s Zdeno Chara, it’s Shawn Thornton, it’s Andrew Ference — the leaders in the league are stepping up and saying that we’re ready for this. The Bruins were recently awarded an award from MassEquality. At the acceptance speech they said, ‘The Boston Bruins are ready for a gay player, we will accept a gay player, we will welcome a gay player as long as he’s good enough to help us win.’ That’s something that’s echoed around the league by players, by management, by coaches. As long as a guy’s good enough to help a team win, who cares?”

Burke also said there are players whose homosexuality is known to some teammates.

“There are players who are out to members of their team,” Burke said. “Members of the team know that he’s a gay player; doesn’t have an effect on the way they treat him. So, when the first player does do this publicly, his teammates will be ready for it.”

Read More: Josh Gorges, Patrick Burke,
Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘Nobody likes to see embellishment’ 03.04.13 at 2:35 pm ET
By   |  13 Comments

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Monday, a day after the Bruins dropped a 4-3 decision to the Canadiens.

Following the game, B’s coach Claude Julien was critical of the Canadiens for what he deemed to be “embellishment” to draw penalties. McGuire empathized with Julien.

“I think it’s always been a problem in the league,” McGuire said. “Nobody likes to see embellishment. We’re not soccer. No disrespect to soccer players, either; I think that’s more in the culture in their game than it is in ours. And I don’t think there’s any coaches or general managers or even officials that want to see embellishment. It’s a hard enough game for the officials to referee now. With the embellishment that does take place from time to time, it’s really a tough game to officiate, even tougher.

“I can tell you, I’ve talked to a ton of coaches and a ton of players around the league and a ton of managers. Every one, to a man, they don’t want embellishment.”

McGuire said Zdeno Chara deserves credit for going after Alexei Emelin after the Canadiens defenseman sent Tyler Seguin to the ice with a cross check to Seguin’s side that broke Emelin’s stick.

“At the end of the day, Chara did what he was supposed to do. Chara showed leadership on Emelin,” McGuire said. “I thought that was a great job by him. You’ve got to think the referees missed the cross check that Emelin dished out to Seguin. You don’t like that. I didn’t like that.”

McGuire said Chara’s message got through, and not just to the Canadiens.

“I think what Z was doing more than anything else is he’s sending a message not only to the Montreal Canadiens but to the rest of the league. And believe me, that message has resonated. I just got done watching Tampa and Pittsburgh skate, and all the players know what happened last night. And they’re like, they don’t want to mess with Chara.

“So, it gives some more room to Seguin, it gives some more room to [Brad] Marchand, it gives some more room to [David] Krejci. People are aware in the league. While it’s a small sample size of, are you mad because Boston lost if you’re a Bruins fan, you look at it long term, it will probably pay itself off in the long term.”

Looking at the NHL this season, McGuire puts the Bruins in lofty company — alongside the record-setting Blackhawks.

“The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins right now are the two best teams in the league, in my humble opinion,” he said. “And I’ve watched every single team in this league so far since the season started. The fact that they lost a tight game to Montreal, I don’t think it was all about embellishment. I just think there were some things Boston needed to do better in that game, and they didn’t get it done.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Pierre McGuire, Zdeno Chara,
Bruins enjoy ‘special’ visit to Newtown, Conn. 02.19.13 at 8:14 am ET
By   |  No Comments

Bob Sweeney

Seven Bruins players and coach Claude Julien were among the team’s representatives during a Monday visit to Newtown, Conn., where they spent some time with locals who still are mourning the loss of 20 children and six school staff killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.

“That was pretty special,” Bruins Foundation director Bob Sweeney said during a Tuesday morning conversation with Dennis & Callahan.

Added Sweeney: “It was a full day, and something that I know every one of us enjoyed. And more importantly, the thing that really amazed me is how many people thanked us for being there, which was pretty amazing.”

About 600 locals showed up to a fieldhouse in town to meet Bruins Chris Bourque, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton, Daniel Paille, Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverly and Tyler Seguin. Earlier in the day, Sweeney and fellow former Bruin Tom Songin brought the Stanley Cup and skated with the town’s high school hockey team.

“The community is not just sitting around grieving,” Sweeney said. “I’m sure there are some individual families [for] which it’s something that you might never get over, losing a young child at such a young age. It’s just unthinkable. It’s something that none of us ever want to go through. But I think everybody there, from the volunteers, they couldn’t have been more appreciative of us coming down and realizing the situation, what had taken place a few months ago.”

Read More: Bob Sweeney, Newtown,
Brad Marchand to miss Canadiens game 02.06.13 at 1:06 pm ET
By   |  6 Comments

Brad Marchand

Bruins coach Claude Julien announced that forward Brad Marchand will miss Wednesday night’s game against the Canadiens. The team has not disclosed Marchand’s injury, but he appeared to hurt his shoulder after crashing into the end boards during Saturday’s win over the Maple Leafs.

In Marchand’s absence, forward Ryan Spooner will make his NHL debut. Spooner, a 2010 second-round draft pick, was recalled from AHL Providence on Monday on an emergency basis. The 21-year-old has nine goals and 21 assists with a plus-12 rating in 35 games for Providence this season.

Shawn Thornton (concussion) and Daniel Paille (upper-body injury) did not make the trip to Montreal.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Ryan Spooner,
Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines