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Despite lockout, Bruins staff still making an impact in the community

Posted by David D'Onofrio  December 20, 2012 03:22 PM

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The NHL is an absolute mess these days, with the league announcing Thursday that its lockout has now canceled any contests scheduled through Jan. 14, and its next announcement likely to be one that cancels the entire 2012-13 season. Regardless of which side ultimately deserves more, for merely letting it get this far both the owners and players are to blame for what's gone wrong.

But at least in Boston -- and particularly during this holiday season -- the team employees that exist outside of those two polar factions continue to do things right.

On Wednesday morning a half-dozen delegations from the Bruins delivered toys and gifts to patients at Boston hospitals all around their home city, visiting Boston Children's Hospital, the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Franciscan Hospital for Children, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to brighten the holidays for the children receiving care at each.

Funded by the Boston Bruins Foundation, Delaware North Companies and Garden Neighborhood Charities, they dropped off an estimated total of $22,500 in gifts, according to the team's website -- and, even more impressively, it was simply the culmination of a full season's worth of efforts.

Afforded a bit more free time than usual, front-office executives, coaches, and staff members have been visible in the community, even buying the gifts they distributed Wednesday in a Target trip headed by team president and icon Cam Neely. The head coach did some reading as "Santa Claude" Julien, staff members worked at the Salvation Army Christmas Castle event, and assistant coach Doug Houda even helped select Christmas trees for the troops.

Thanks to Boston Bruins TV there's video of it all, and it's posted below. Check it out. Hey, if labor strife beyond their control doesn't allow you to watch the product of their work on the ice, you might as well see what the good things they're achieving off of it.

Neely and Julien take the front office and hockey operations staff shopping:

Julien reads to kids during the Four Seasons' Boston Teddy Bear Tea:

B's staff visits Spaulding Hospital and works at the Salvation Army's Christmas Castle event:

Houda helps trees get to the troops:

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About the author

Dave D'Onofrio follows Boston's pro players away from the field, court or ice, covering their interests and activities in the community and beyond. A Massachusetts native, once his dreams of More »

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