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I grew up in the Boston area at the tail end of the “Big Bad Bruins” Era. My parents are both hockey fans in fact one of their first dates was taking in a Bruins game at the old Boston Garden. The date couldn’t have been too romantic as a good portion of my dad’s family had season tickets and were at the game as well. My mother didn’t realize this and was asking who those crazy people that they were sitting near. My grandmother has loved the Bruins going as far back as my dad could remember.

Hockey is in my mother’s blood as well. Several of her brothers were involved in ice hockey in various capacities over the years. Two of her brothers were very active in refereeing hockey games in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area. In fact one of them was referee-in-chief for his whole area. The other, passed away late in 1981, but one of his sons continued to serve as a referee, first as a teen in the pee wee house leagues and moving on to bigger kids as his abilities improved. The referee bit was probably the best way for him to stay in the game as his brother reminded him with his toast of him at his wedding, referring to the red light tan Steve would get from letting in so many goals when he would play goaltender. But in defending Steve I must add that he was presented with an award as having the best goals against average in the league that he was playing in. (However, there are some theories out there that some fuzzy math was involved in the calculating of his actual goals against average.)

Another one of her brothers was a very good hockey player and was on several competitive teams , most proudly of which was the Waterloo Siskins team which won the Sutherland Cup, which was symbolic of winning their level of junior hockey for the whole province of Ontario. Unfortunately, my uncle had several injuries which curtailed his career at a young age. He retired a couple of years before the National Hockey League started it expansion from 6 teams to 12, then to 14, then to 16 then to 18. It would have opened three times as many spots on NHL rosters, and many, many more spots on the minor league feeder teams that were used by the NHL.



I love hockey as some of my closet and storage areas can attest. I have jerseys for the Boston Bruins, the Halifax Mooseheads and for the Halifax Citadels and countless Bruins T-shirts and even a Vancouver Canucks jersey (you know that funky multicolored V one from the early 1980’s). I also have pennants, hats, and pucks for many of the teams and events such as All Star games. The stuff my mom threw out on me for being a slob and not cleaning up my room included at least two Wayne Gretzky rookie cards (if I only knew, I was only 9), now that I think of it she also threw out my goalie mask that we painted stitches on to make it look like Gerry Cheevers’ mask. I remember the note that I was left by Santa one year as they couldn’t find any posters of Bruins goaltender Gilles Gilbert. I also had over my bed a large framed picture of Bobby Orr with the trophies he won in the NHL, the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy, The Prince of Wales Trophy, the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy, and the Calder Trophy. My 8 year old son wanted to watch TV one night in May of 2011 and the Bruins playoff game has just started. He quipped “It’s not a matter of life and death.” I barked back “No, it’s much more important than that”. Within two weeks I had him asking for a Bruins T-shirt, another generation of hockey fans in the family. I never got to play ice hockey myself as I didn’t learn how to skate and lived a little too far from the rink to be able to play in a league. My uncle who played junior and senior hockey had sent me hockey gear, but I never got to used it on the ice, trust me I wore it with end to end rushes up in down the hallway of my home however.

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