Don Cherry (Adam d’Oliveira photography)
The Boston Bruins alumni team will have one of the biggest personalities in the game behind the bench: Coach’s Corner host Don Cherry. Cherry will help coach a team that includes Bruins great such as Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Mark Recchi, and features players primarily from the 2000s, 1990s and 1980s.
One of the winningest coaches and biggest personalities in Bruins history is set to step back behind the bench for Boston at the Winter Classic. Sportsnet’s Don Cherry, the host of Saturday night staple Coach’s Corner, has been named as one of the coaches for the outdoor event’s Dec. 31 alumni game. Cherry, 81, will be joined by a number of former Bruins players and coaches, some of whom he coached during his days in Beantown. The roster will also include another media member, as NBC’s Mike Milbury, who spent two seasons as a bench boss in Boston, will join Cherry behind the bench as a coach. Derek Sanderson, Stan Jonathan, Don Marcotte, Tom McVie and Lyndon Byers will also step behind the bench, with John Bucyk and Eddie Sandford serving as honorary coaches. As for the players on the club, Bruins president Cam Neely and GM Don Sweeney will be stepping out onto the ice as members of the alumni team. Another legendary Bruin will also be skating with the club, as Ray Bourque will don his No. 77 for the alumni contest.
The Bruins’ alumni squad has a fairly equal split of players from each of the past three decades. Representing the 2000s Bruins are players such as P.J. Axelsson, Hal Gill, Mark Recchi, Marco Sturm and Sergei Samsonov. The 1990s Boston teams will be represented by players such as Rob DiMaio, Steve Heinze, Glen Wesley and Tim Sweeney. Meanwhile, Ken Linseman, Jay Miller, Tom Fergus and Bob Sweeney will skate as members of the 1980s Bruins. The oddest inclusion on the roster is Al Iafrate. While Iafrate certainly fits under the category of Bruins alumnus, he played a scant 12 games wearing the Spoked ‘B’ during the 1993-94 season. That said, it’ll be hard to find those inside Gillette Stadium who don’t want to see the former NHL hardest shot king wind up and uncork one. Between the pipes, former Bruins’ Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft and Reggie Lemelin will get goaltending duty. The complete roster for the Bruins and Canadiens,
via NHL.com, can be seen below: