Photo Credit: John Hanlon/Sports Illustrated)
Former Bruins Derek Sanderson, Ken Hodge, and Johnny "Pie" McKenzie were joined by former Flyers Dave "The Hammer" Schultz and Joe Watson for a roundtable discussion at the EMC Club at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The event featured some great stories about the good old days of the rough and tumble NHL and a few good-natured jabs, but one thing that all parties could agree on is that the Winter Classic is a great event for the NHL. Former Flyers enforcer Dave Schultz believes that the Winter Classic is something that the players and the casual sports fan can both get excited about, "It's a very unique event. It's a phenomenal experience for all the guys, particularly guys that have played out on the ponds. People are going to watch this game that probably don't normally watch a lot of hockey because it is such a unique event."
One thing that "The Hammer" wants to see at Fenway on Friday is some fists flying, "I'm sure we will have a great show and hopefully the first major in one of these events...That means a fight".
There is no doubt that there was fierce rivalry between the Bruins and Flyers during the 60's and 70's, but there also seems to be a mutual respect among these players. Derek Snaderson joked about the Flyers' "Broad Street Bullies" reputation, "You guys had some animals there. You guys didn't play fair.", but also praised the Flyers for their tough style of play and similarities to the Bruins teams of that era, "You guys played hard every night. They had the same mentality as the Bruins".
Joe Watson is better known for his time with the Flyers, but he also had the experience of playing for the Bruins and looks back on his time in Boston fondly and had tremendous praise for former teammate Bobby Orr. "I had the pleasure to play with the Bruins in '66. Playing for the Bruins was a great experience and of course I think Bobby Orr is the greatest player ever to lace a pair of skates up".
Overall, this event was a great ending to a great day at Fenway Park. Since most of these players retired from the game long before I was even born, it was interesting to hear about the way the game used to (and some would argue should still) be played.
For more videos from today's events, check NHL.com's VideoCenter