BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins practiced Wednesday morning, and after they were done on the ice, donned some much different uniforms
Brad Marchand was decked out like a Christmas tree. Captain Zdeno Chara had a pair of Santa legs adorning his head and Christmas lights around his neck. Jake DeBrusk was the big guy himself, complete with an oversize puffy suit.
All of that was appropriate as the entire Bruins roster delivered toys to patients at six local hospitals on Wednesday, toys that were purchased at their holiday shopping event on November 20. The Bruins played Kris Kringle for patients at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Franciscan Children’s, Mass General Hospital for Children, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital throughout the day on Wednesday.
“This is the most exciting part of all, delivering the toys to the kids and seeing them in person, getting to interact, talk with them and play some games. This is what it’s all about,” said Chara. “To give back to the community, especially at this time of the year, it’s crucial for us. It’s the culture of the team and the identity we created. It couldn’t be any better.”
In addition to delivering presents, the Bruins took time to chat and have fun with the kids. There were activities aplenty, and lots of games to be played as well, including some intense air and bubble hockey matchups. Chara said he’s pretty good at air hockey, thanks to his lengthy reach, and Marchand brought his usual level of competitiveness to his matchups.
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But the smiles they saw on Wednesday were the real sign of victory for the Bruins.
“We want to cheer up the kids and families that can’t be home at Christmas. It’s a bright day for us because we can actually spend some time with them and play with them, make their day better,” said Chara.
“Any time you get to spend time with kids, it’s always fun,” said Marchand. “They always bring so much joy to your life, and this time of the year, it’s great to get in here and spend a little time with them and have fun. Definitely an event we look forward to.
“Everyone in here is going through a tough time, and just to have the opportunity to take their minds off that for an hour or just a few minutes, it lets them think about something else and get away from that stress. We just try to have a good time,” Marchand continued.
Marchand was a little disappointed with his get-up, wanting to be Santa, but he was happy to end up as the Christmas tree this year.
“This is the first time I’ve been tall,” he joked.