Monday, August 22, 2011

Oldies But Goodies: Former Bruins Rock On

Songs from the 1960s and '70s—when today’s oldest NHLers were born—are ripe for airplay on oldies stations. Tunes from the '80s and early '90s—when today’s oldest players were drafted—are maturing into fashionable fruit for these same stations.

So, in the spirit of Steve “Fly Like an Eagle’” Miller and Dave “Please Come to Boston” Loggins, I present these memorable former Bruins.

Mark Recchi
2009-2011

The kid from Kamloops (BC) was born when “Hey Jude” hit the charts and was drafted when Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It” was up for awards. Recchi (skating on a line with his boyhood idle Bryan “Hot Diggity” Trottier) won the ultimate hockey award with Pittsburgh in 1991; in 2006, with Carolina, Recchi (and fellow oldie Glen Wesley, also born in 1968) again hoisted the hardware high above his head.

In 2009, with the dismal Tampa Bay Lightning, Recchi owned the dubious distinction of a team-worst plus/minus (-15). When the B’s acquired him at the trade deadline, I was concerned that he would be a detriment to team defense.

Ha. Two years later and Recchi, who says he prefers rock ‘n’ roll or country over Marc Savard’s Top 40, probably was amused when, before the Stanley Cup parade, wanna-be rapper Brad Marchand performed “Wiz Khalifa’s Black and Yellow.”

Sean O’Donnell
2001-2004

Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” climbed the charts in 1971, when Odie entered the world. Twenty years later, when the Buffalo Sabres drafted the defenseman, Maria Carey’s “Someday” ruled the airwaves. No way the Queen of the High Cs could have know her tune would be a smash hit or that O’Donnell’s quest to win the Cup would sixteen years later culminate with the Anaheim Ducks.

After signing with the Blackhawks, Odie (or should I say Oldie) is “Alive Again” in Chicago.

Mike Knuble
1999-2004

Born in 1972, Knuble grew up during the Age of Abba. Then in 1991, when Boyz II Men’s "Motownphilly" was all the rage in Cheesesteaktown, Knuble might not have predicted that “Mamma Mia” would be made into a musical, or that during the 2003 All-Star break, he’d tell his fans at Bruins.com that he planned to attend the show—because his wife is a big fan. (Sure Mike, admit it: Even a rough-and-tumble forward on the 700 pound line with Joe Thornton and Glen Murray, can dig the “Dancing Queen”.)

Will Washington be the “End of the Road” for the former Philadelphia Flyer? (Knubes turns 40 in 2012.)

Brian Rolston
1999-2004

The Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” might be Brian Rolston’s theme song as the well-traveled forward was born in 1973. Then again, maybe Paul Abdul’s “Rush Rush” is a more appropriate theme song. Drafted in 1991, Rollie often led the charge up ice during his tenures with the New Jersey Devils (twice), the Colorado Avalanche, the Minnesota Wild, and the Boston Bruins. Here in Beantown, he thrilled fans with his specialties: speed, slap shots and short-handed goals (nine in 2001-02).

Rolston signed with the New York Islanders and will play an up-tempo game, blast a few slappers past would-be puck-stoppers, and maybe score a shortie or two.

Aaron Ward
2006-2009

I’m not sure if “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” is on Wardo’s playlist, but Jim Croce’s classic was among the top hits in 1971. Drafted in 1991, when Bryan Adams’s “Everything I Do (I Do it For You) ranked high on the charts, would Wardo have predicted that he’d still be playing eighteen years later? In his two seasons in Boston—before the B’s traded him back to Carolina to end his career—I enjoyed watching him stiff-arm puck-toting opponents, (broken?)-sticking it to Philadelphia with an OT game-winning goal.





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