The hockey community in New England rallied around Newtown, Conn., after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. The AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, for example, wore jerseys that honored the names of the victims and wore green ribbons in support of the families.
[Y! Sports Radio: Nick Cotsonika assesses the first month of the NHL season]
On Monday, it was the Boston Bruins’ turn to support the community, as coaches and players met with fans and held floor hockey games during a scheduled off-day – choosing instead to fly on owner Jeremy Jacobs’ jet and spend it in Newtown.
From WEEI, speaking with Bruins Foundation director Bob Sweeney:
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.
… “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,” Sweeney said.
The Boston Herald spoke with some Newtown residents and Bruins players about the day; here’s Coach Claude Julien on what it meant to visit the families:
Julien and the players took a few moments to speak with each person getting an autograph — and Julien clearly felt a close connection to this community.
“I really admire these people for what they’ve gone through,” he said. “It can’t be easy. At a season of the year when we should have been celebrating, we ended up having to mourn.
“But this town is amazing, the way the people have shown their support for each other, how strong they are, the faith that they have. It’s pretty amazing. For me to be able to be part of this group and help them out the best way I can, this is extremely important to me.”
Nice work from the Bruins, remembering a community that’s still deep in mourning after that unthinkable tragedy.
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