Boston Bruins: 5 Traditions the NHL Lockout Will Make Bruins Fans Miss

Al DanielCorrespondent IISeptember 30, 2012

Boston Bruins: 5 Traditions the NHL Lockout Will Make Bruins Fans Miss

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    One of the latest reports on the NHL’s labor negotiations offered a frank and frightful warning.

    “If a deal isn’t reached soon, regular-season games will be in danger of being lost,” began the concluding paragraph of the fairly brief Canadian Press write-up.

    For every Boston Bruins home game that might be lost, a host of in-game traditions will evaporate with it. Integral and entertaining personalities will be idled, as will key community programs that depend specifically on the mere occurrence of a game.

    The franchise’s top five seasonal institutions that will stay out of commission for as long as the Bruins are out of action are as follows.

The Bear

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    The team’s secondary mascot, behind “Blades,” and silent spokesman makes a multitude of appearances on the TD Garden Jumbotron, as well as on commercial breaks during NESN telecasts.

    In recent years, Bruins buffs have grown to await the bear’s return from “hibernation” and will likely grow restless if that wait is prolonged beyond the standard summer.

Mini One-on-One

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    This shootout tournament for regional youth teams need not be viewed as a gimmicky time-plug for intermission. Not when NESN viewers and Garden-goers are left to wonder if there is to be more where Oliver Wahlstrom came from.

8-Spoked Salute

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    The Bruins appear to have every intention of continuing their periodic promotion that invites American servicemen and servicewomen to a game this season. Naturally, though, they will need the games to go on to make the promotion valid.

Patrice’s Pals and Brad’s Brigade

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    Linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand reach out to less fortunate youngsters in the area for every home game through programs known respectively as Patrice’s Pals and Brad’s Brigade. In both cases, a section or suite in the Garden is rented out for every home game and given to a select group of patients staying in nearby children’s hospitals.

    If a lack of these spirit-lifting outings throughout October, November and maybe beyond is not a testament to the fans being the greatest losers in a lockout, this author is not sure what is.

Rene Rancourt

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    The top anthem vocalist at the old and new Garden for more than 35 years, Rancourt can still delight New England hockey buffs with guest appearances in various AHL and college venues. He does that every winter, anyway.

    Even so, restricting him to just that and keeping him from Boston Bruins action for a full or partial season is akin to indefinitely evicting Saturday Night Live from the GE Building. Either that, or putting it on a much more obscure television network that fewer households can access.

    Rancourt simply reaches out to his widest, most fervent audience when he is performing on Causeway Street before a sold-out Garden congregation on either NESN or national TV. That is where he performs the most regularly and is therefore the only way for the entire Bruins fanbase to see and hear him on a consistent basis.