February 26, 2024


Ray Bourque accompanied fellow beloved Bruin Normand Leveille for the ceremonial puck drop.

Ray Bourque and Normand Leveille led the ceremonial puck drop of the Bruins’ newest Centennial Eras Evening. (Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Pictures)

The Bruins held evening three of their Centennial Period celebration on Saturday, honoring the ‘Lunch Pail AC’ previous to their matchup with the New York Rangers.

Fittingly, lots of the honored gamers began the night within the penalty field.

Boston’s ‘Lunch Pail Athletic Membership’ was recognized for being powerful, onerous employees — and for spending a number of minutes within the penalty field. 4 of the eight Bruins honored are amongst Boston’s top five career penalty minute earners.

Main the cost for the ceremonial puck drop had been two essential former Bruins. Among the finest defenders in his period, and a beloved Boston athlete, Ray Bourque returned to Boston and assisted fellow former Bruin Normand Leveille with the puck drop.

Leveille’s hockey profession was minimize brief after a congenital malformation in his head was found bleeding out, which required speedy and prolonged mind surgical procedure. Medical doctors saved his life, however instantly knew he wouldn’t be capable to play hockey once more.

“He was going to be a particular one, his first yr was an incredible yr. Such an explosive, dynamic participant, and you could possibly solely see what he had the potential of changing into,” Bourque mentioned throughout NESN’s broadcast of the sport. “We must always all recognize what we have now as a result of, the way it might be taken away from you in a second, whenever you see issues like that, it’s a disgrace.”

Nonetheless, Leveille has been intertwined with the Bruins. Earlier than the Boston Backyard closed its doorways, Leveille’s former teammates helped him take one last lap across the rink. On Saturday, he rose from his wheelchair to ship the puck drop in a heartwarming second.

Stan Jonathan, John Wensink, Keith Crowder, and Mike Millbury all got here out onto the ice from the field. They had been joined shortly after by Terry O’Reilly and Rick Middleton, whose numbers each hold within the TD Backyard rafters.

Earlier within the day, Boston coach Jim Montgomery obtained an opportunity to characterize that period of Bruins hockey.

“Bodily, relentless … [playing with] desperation was a part of their DNA each evening,” Montgomery mentioned. “It’s why I believe Bruins followers love them.”

As typical, Linus Ullmark had a customized goalie masks available to honor the ‘Lunch Pail AC’ period, despite the fact that Jeremy Swayman obtained the beginning in web.

The Bruins’ subsequent Centennial Period Evening, entitled “new blood, new beginnings” will happen on Jan. 20, 2024.