As Boston Bruins fans we all have a favorite player who we look up to. For younger fans it’s guys like Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand and for the older generation it’s guys like Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron, guys that have been with the team a while and have established themselves. While they are all stellar athletes on the ice, are they all that admirable off the ice as well? Lets take a look at how the players spent their past summer as Stanley Cup Champions and draw our conclusions from there.
Young guns such as Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin spent the first part of the off-season raging from one party to the next. While it was all in good fun and celebration, one has to take into consideration the target audience of fans for these two. As previously stated in this article, their main fan base is in the younger generation ranging from little kids aspiring to make their dreams come true like Seguin, to young men and women that are impressed at all things the bromance has accomplished at their young age.
Both Seguin and Marchand have been remarkable since entering the Bruins Organization last year and have proved to be great additions to the alternating first line, in public their presence is questionable. Admittedly we have all seen the Foxwoods pictures floating around with Seguin and Marchand dancing on tables with their shirts off, each sporting an adult beverage and new tattoo. Yet, is this the image we want the younger generation seeing of their favorite role model? Let me make it clear that it is completely acceptable to celebrate and party after reaching such an outstanding goal, and they are acting like any normal twenty-something year old would. However, little kids look up to these guys as people they want to be like, if we allow them to think it is okay to party and get drunk in public and dance with half-naked girls, what is that saying for our future? While I firmly believe Seguin and Marchand are great players on the ice, they still have some growing up to do when it comes to handling themselves in public. They have to remember that they are always in the scrutiny of the public eye and unfortunately every move they make is going to be judged.
Any true fan in the hockey world knows that the organization sets up appointments for players to interact with fans and give back to the community. The question is, how many of these guys would go out of their own way to do this, if it wasn’t required? One name comes to mind when thinking of an answer to this question. That name, Milan Lucic. On the ice he is known as an enforcer and goal scorer. Off the ice he is one of the most down to earth people on this planet. This season alone Milan contributed $5,000 of his own money to help bring military members and their families to a game in November, along with creating the Rock & Jock Clebrity Softball game to raise money for his Celebrities for Charity. He is someone who puts his fans and people of the community before into consideration before making a decision. This summer Lucic spent his time with the Stanley Cup on a boat with his close friends and family so as not to snub his fellow Vancouver hometown. It is the acts of kindsness and gestures from the heart that truly make a role model and Milan Lucic exemplifies these to a tee.
While the Bruins are made up of numerous players who may or may not fall under this category, the fact of the matter is that in every great enforcer lies a kind and gentle man underneath. Don’t judge the book by its cover without getting to know him, he just might wind up surprising you.