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Happy Pebben Day! We celebrate PJ Axelsson

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Today, on 11/11, we celebrate the man, the myth, the penalty killer. Number 11 in your programs, number 1 in your hearts. (Robot dogs don't have hearts, Servo. You don't count.)

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Good morning and welcome to a most glorious day! It's PEBBEN DAY! Yes, today, 11/11 is reserved for celebrating our favorite #11 on the Bruins of all time, Per-Johan Axelsson. (Sorry, Jimmy Hayes. You're better than the last #11, at least.) Here are some of my favorite facts:

  • True Bruin: PJ Axelsson played 797 games for the Boston Bruins, and zero for the 29 other loser teams. Those 797 place him in the top 10, until Patrice Bergeron plays 44 more. Axelsson is now a part of the front office as a European scout.
  • Coachable: PJ Axelsson's coaches have won two Jack Adams awards: Pat Burns, may he rest in peace, in1997-98 and of course Claude Julien in 2008-09. These were the first and last seasons PJ Axelsson played in the NHL. He played for another Jack Adams winner, Mike "Iron Mike" Keenan.
  • Overachiever: PJ Axelsson ranked 14th in Games, 13th in Goals, 15th in Assists, and 14th in points in the 1995 draft class. Not bad for a 20-year old taken with the 177th overall pick.
  • Consideration: PJ Axelsson earned votes for the Calder trophy his rookie year. He earned votes for the Selke six times, and the Lady Byng three times.
  • Charitable: PJ Axelsson was involved in a number of charities in Boston, but the one he put his name on was PJs for PJ, which benefits Cradles to Crayons. Here, he talks about it:

    Boston Bruins player P.J. Axelsson celebrates... by JudeTheriault

What's your favorite PJ Axelsson memory?