In our feature articles, we talk about the Centers position. Some of you may or may not remember these players, but their contributions, helped the Boston Bruins get to the team that they are today.
Let’s Start with an Iconic Centers Joe Thornton
The former Captain before Zdeno Chara played for the Boston Bruins from 1997-2005. In 2002. Joe Thornton was named Captain of the Bruins. He spent eight years in Boston but from what I have read, he did not get along with the Bruins coaching staff and went to the San Jose Sharks. And to this day, he is still a center with the San Jose Sharks.
Patrice Bergeron aka “Bergy” is an amazing player and leader. The magic between him and Brad Marchand is uncanny! Bergeron came to Boston in the 2003-2004 season and hasn’t gone anywhere else. (Thank God!)
In the quest for the cup of 2013, Bergeron suffered torn rib cartilage in Game 4 of the finals, a broken rib on his left side in Game 5 and a separated right shoulder and a punctured left lung in Game 6. The puncture eventually caused the lung to collapse, and Bergeron ended up in the hospital following Game 6, spending three days there. Because Bergeron quickly went to the hospital after Game 6, most of his teammates didn’t realize he played with the lung injury until the next day. The players praised his courageous efforts, calling him a true Bruin. Enough said!
David Krejci, one of the most considerate players that I have ever seen! Over the past years, I have seen him pass the puck to more teammates just so they can get their first goal or hat trick. In my opinion, one of the best Krejci lines was with Milan Lucic. Now it’s Jake DeBrusk which is equally great! Krejci, like Bergy, has only been a Bruin since his NHL career started. Let’s hope we keep him for a long time!
Marc Savard – One of our Most Memorable Centers
Marc Savard “Savvy” was a great player for the Boston Bruins from 2006 -2011. However, the hit in 2010 would mark the end of his career.
On March 7, 2010, Savard suffered a Grade 2 concussion in the third period of the Bruins’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins after getting a shoulder to the head from Matt Cooke. The on-ice officials did not penalize Cooke for the hit. On March 10, Colin Campbell declared that the NHL would not suspend or fine Cooke.
The hit and its aftermath were part of the key evidence that caused the NHL to institute a new rule that more heavily penalized blindside hits.
Savard was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome during the subsequent off-season, missing the first 23 games of the 2010–11 season. Despite eventually returning, Savard’s performance was quite muted, with just 10 points in 25 games after scoring at a near point-per-game basis for most of his career with the Bruins.
On January 23, 2011, Savard suffered a second concussion on a hit by former Bruin Matt Hunwick in a game against the Colorado Avalanche. The Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. Due to recurring symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, Savard was not able to travel to Vancouver to take part in the on-ice victory celebration with his teammates, but he was able to join them back in Boston for the official victory parade.
Tyler Seguin – One of Our Younger Centers
We acquired Tyler Seguin in the Phil Kessel trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored his first career NHL goal on October 10, also against Arizona, scoring on a breakaway backhand goal past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in a 3–0 shutout of the Coyotes. Ironically, Seguin’s first hat trick was against the Maple Leafs. He was a huge part of the 2011 Stanley Cup win. He became the first teenager to score four points in a Stanley Cup playoff game since Trevor Linden did so for the Vancouver Canucks in 1989. On June 15, 2011, Boston won the Stanley Cup in the Finals, prevailing over Vancouver in a 4–3 series victory.
Rich Peverly – One of a Admirable Centers
I have the utmost respect for Rich Peverly, although this didn’t happen during his time as a Bruin, I think that it is worth mentioning.
March 10, 2014, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas was among the rare exceptions. Less than seven minutes into an NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars, Rich Peverley of the Stars was sitting on the bench waiting to return to the ice when his heart stopped beating. He was in cardiac arrest.
Peverley slumped over and horrified teammates screamed for help. Within seconds, two athletic trainers carried Peverley down a tunnel and into the hallway leading to the dressing room. Players and fans were confused by the commotion, which halted the game. What they didn’t realize was that a far more high-stakes contest was playing out: the race to save Peverley’s life.
Peverley didn’t have a pulse, so rescuers started CPR, giving chest compressions. Then they connected him to an automated external defibrillator (AED) and waited for it to jolt his heart back into rhythm. When it did, Peverley said he wanted to go back into the game. He had no idea what happened.
The following players definitely made an impact and contributed to the game or Bruins wouldn’t be where they are today. And those Centers deserve a mention in this article. They are:
- Carl Soderberg 2012-2015
- Reilly Nash 2016-2018
- Vladimir Sobotoka 2007-2009
- Landon Ferraro 2015-2016
- Dominic Moore 2016-2017
- Zac Rinaldo 2015-2016
- Jakob Frosbaka Karlsson (JFK) 2016-2019
- Marcus Johnasson 2018-2019
- Ryan Spooner 2012-2018
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