Following last Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle scrawled “Pray For Boston” on his skates for their game against the San Jose Sharks.
On Saturday night, before the Coyotes took on the Blackhawks in Chicago, Yandle honored a specific victim of the bombings: 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was standing near the finish line when an explosive device detonated. Here’s Yandle, in the jersey he wore during warm-ups:
As he told Fox Sports Arizona earlier this week, Yandle had a special connection to the Marathon and to Richard:
“One of my best friends finished four minutes before the bombs went off, and his parents were right at the flags where the bombs went off,” said Yandle, who is from nearby Milton. “My high school coach runs it every year, and he was 500 yards away before he was stopped by the police and just started running in the opposite direction.”
But the detail that stuck in Yandle’s throat was the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard, from nearby Dorchester.
“He’s from my wife’s (Kristyn) neighborhood, and that’s a tight-knit community,” Yandle said. “Everybody knows everybody.”
Richard was previously honored with a T-shirt that featured his name that was placed on the Bobby Orr statue in Boston before the Bruins' first game after the bombings.
The tributes to the victims and the first responders from this week’s tragedy continued on Saturday around the NHL, from the Boston Bruins honoring them before the game again to Don Cherry sporting a Bruins ensemble on HNIC.