Over that time, they have taken part in countless off-ice workouts to make sure they are in prime physical condition.
But, perhaps, none of those workouts were as memorable as the one they participated in on Wednesday morning.
The second day of the Bruins USO trip to Fort Bragg began with an early-morning training session with the Green Berets of the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
For the Bruins triumvirate, it was the highlight of the visit, which was the first of its kind for an NHL team.
“It was great to hang out with them,” said Raycroft, who manned the pipes for the Bruins from 2000-06.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – While visiting Fort Bragg, North Carolina, last week, Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller and former Bruins Hal Gill and Andrew Raycroft were able to meet with many of our service men and women, something Miller considered a great honor.
“I think it’s something that I hold near and dear to my heart, that these people sacrifice their lives and much more to serve our country and allow me to do my job,” said Miller.
In addition to meeting and speaking with a number of soldiers and their families, Miller toured the base and saw firsthand how the soldiers live and train.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Colonel Brett Funck has played hockey nearly all his life. He grew up in New York and skated all the way through college at West Point.
Funck is now garrison commander of Fort Bragg, N.C. But his love for the game has not wavered.
As the mayor of the nation’s largest military base by population (52,000 soldiers) and second-largest by size (160,000 acres), Funck still finds time for the game that has given him so much.
That’s why Tuesday was so special.
The Boston Bruins visited Fort Bragg – which is also home to the Airborne and Special Operations Forces – becoming the first National Hockey League team to make a USO-sponsored tour to a military base.
With the guidance of the USO of North Carolina, Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller joined former Bruins blue liner Hal Gill and goalie Andrew Raycroft in touring the facilities and meeting with many of the base’s service men and women.
BostonBruins.com – It’s gold for Brad Marchand and Canada.
The Canadians took down previously undefeated Finland, 2-0, in the gold-medal game Sunday afternoon for their second straight IIHF Men’s World Championship title.
Marchand assisted on Matt Duchene’s empty-netter with 1 second remaining to seal the victory. The Bruins winger finished the tournament with four goals and three assists in 10 games.
Marchand added a goal in Canada’s 4-3 semifinals win over the United States on Saturday. After a give-and-go with Cody Ceci, Marchand got the puck at the goal line and fired one past goalie Keith Kinkaid to give Canada a 2-0 lead.
BostonBruins.com – All three Bruins participating in the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship have advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Brad Marchand (Canada), Frank Vatrano (United States), and David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) have each been important contributors to their teams to this point, combining for four goals and 11 assists through the preliminary round.
Marchand (two goals, two assists) helped Canada to a 6-1 record and the second spot in Group B with 18 points. Pastrnak (one goal, six assists) and the Czech Republic advanced with a 5-4 win over Switzerland Tuesday to clinch the top spot in Group A, with a 6-1 record and 18 points.
The United States is also moving on, despite a 3-2 overtime loss to Slovakia Tuesday morning. The U.S. needed only to avoid a regulation loss, which they did with help from Vatrano, who assisted on Brock Nelson’s second-period tally that tied the score at 1.
BostonBruins.com – Canada secured a place in the quarterfinals of the IIHF Men’s World Championship on Saturday after a 5-0 win over Slovakia.
Bruins winger Brad Marchand contributed to the victory, with an assist on Matt Duchene’s first period tally that gave the Canadians a 2-0 advantage. Marchand added another helper on Monday in Canada’s 4-0 win over France, assisting on Mark Scheifele’s goal in the third period.
Canada improved to 6-0 and is tied with Finland for the Group B lead at 18 points. The teams square off on Tuesday afternoon (1:15 p.m. EST) in the final preliminary round contest for each country.
BostonBruins.com – To this point of the IIHF Men’s World Championship, the Republic is the only team to have reached five wins, having captured all five of its contests during the preliminary round, for a tournament-high 14 points.
That success can be attributed in large part to Bruins forward David Pastrnak, who is one of just three NHLers playing for the Czech Republic. Tomas Plekanec (Montreal Canadiens) and Michal Jordan (Carolina Hurricanes) are the others.
Pastrnak is tied for the team lead in points, with six (one goal, five assists), along with Michael Birner and Roman Cervenka.
BostonBruins.com – Brad Marchand is fresh off the best season of his career. The 5-foot-9, 181-pound winger led the Bruins with a career-best 37 goals, good for fifth-most in the NHL.
And while his Bruins campaign ended sooner than he would have liked, Marchand picked up right where he left off with a strong start at the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Russia.
Marchand tallied a goal in each of his first two games of the tournament to help propel Canada (3-0) to convincing victories over the United States and Hungary. Frank Vatrano (USA) and David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) have also been significant contributors to their teams during the preliminary round, combining for six points in six games.
BostonBruins.com – Three members of the Boston Bruins will be competing in the upcoming IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia.
Frank Vatrano was added to Team USA’s roster on Tuesday afternoon, joining Brad Marchand (Canada), and David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) as the Bruins’ representatives at the tournament, which begins Friday and lasts through May 22.
Vatrano, who was a member of the U.S. National Development Team from 2010-12, also represented the United States at the 2012 U-18 World Championship, where he scored two goals and added two assists in helping the team to a gold medal.
BostonBruins.com – The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will be held Saturday evening in Toronto (8 p.m., NBC). The Bruins are one of 14 teams eligible to receive the No. 1 overall pick. This year, the second and third picks will also be determined through drawings.
Because the Bruins finished with the most points among non-playoff teams, they have the lowest chance of securing the No. 1 pick.