@mjb_3A little over three years ago, then-15-year old Matt Brown was a member of the Norwood High School hockey team in Massachusetts. During a game in his sophomore year, Brown collided with the boards and broke his fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae in his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
The hockey world opened its arms to high schooler, specifically the Boston Bruins, who invited Brown participate in a ceremonial face-off before a game. They team also hosted the Matt Brown Gala, which raised enough money to purchase a state-of-the-art wheelchair for Brown.
Safe to say, the Bruins and Brown have built up a very strong relationship, which should make the next gesture come as no surprise.
During the playoffs, the Bruins gave their "player of the game" an Army ranger jacket to wear. It was acquired by now-former defenseman Andrew Ference after he visited a Rangers' training school in Georgia. Its presence served as inspiration during their run to the Stanley Cup Final this past season.
The Bruins hadn't handed out the jacket since their final win of the 2013 season in Game 3 of the Final. This week, Ference did the honors one last time by giving the jacket to Brown.
Ference's message to Brown? "This jacket represents a lot of great things. I couldn’t think of a more worthy final recipient than you bud."
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy