Today in Boston Bruins History: August 28
Boston Bruins history for August 28:
1968: Tom Fitzgerald (full name Thomas James Fitzgerald) is born in Billerica, Massachusetts. He started his hockey career by playing high school hockey in Massachusetts and then at Providence College, though he was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1986. While with their AHL club, he won the Calder Cup in 1990. He stayed with the Islanders until 1993, when the then-new Florida Panthers needed to create their first roster and held an expansion draft. Fitzgerald was taken and his Calder Cup experience helped as the Panthers went deep into the 1996 playoffs. A trade to Colorado served as a short stay in Denver because he was once again taken in an expansion draft by a new team, this time in Nashville, a team looking for leadership. He became the Predators’ first captain. He also played for Chicago and Toronto (playing his 1,000th game with the Maple Leafs) but, as his career drew to a close, he signed as a free agent with the hometown Bruins. In 71 games with Boston, he scored 10 points and retired in 2006. Following his play career, he served as a commentator for a time, then joined the Pittsburgh Penguins organization as director of player development and was eventually moved up to assistant general manager. Also, one of his sons is following in his dad’s footsteps–Ryan Fitzgerald plays too and is committed to Boston College for 2013.
2011: After the Stanley Cup finished its journey across basically all of Canada, Adam McQuaid enjoys his Cup day in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He took Stanley to his hometown of Cornwall and visited his old arena, which is now a flea market, but he still found it important to bring the Cup back to where he used to learn the game even if it looks different now. He also took Stanley to all of his alma maters–Westwood Primary School, Eliot River Elementary, East Wiltshire Intermediate and Bluefield High School–excluding the schools he went to in Ontario after moving there to play junior. While making the school circuit, he also stopped in a potato field. Potatoes are a huge export in PEI. Then, his family gathered at his grandma’s house for pictures and set off for a parade through the town. The weather was starting to look a little frightful because of the oncoming Hurricane Irene, but Irene held off long enough for the parade to go off without a hitch and for thousands of people to get a glimpse of Lord Stanley. The parade ended at the new intown arena, where they painted a saying into the ice to honor McQuaid and have a special exhibit of his gear. At the town fairgrounds, the mayor of Cornwall and premier of PEI further honored him in front of 15,000 fans, presented him with a key to the city and declared Aug. 28, 2011 Adam McQuaid Day. After that big to-do, McQuaid stopped at home to cool down before going on another tour, taking Stanley to a church for a blessing, the local senior center and his local gym. That night, 450 people chowed down at a banquet hall in Charlottetown for a big celebration and then about 40 people accompanied McQuaid to the airport for one last hurrah before his day ended.
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