In 2007-08, former Boston Bruins defenseman and current TSN analyst Aaron Ward started a tradition that still carries over today thanks to Shawn Thornton.
It’s safe to say that Ward, who initially reported that Jarome Iginla would be traded from Calgary to Boston (yes I did bring that up), would be proud of that.
Both VIP and General Admission tickets were sold out for the sixth annual “Cuts for a Cause” event Monday afternoon at the Royale Nightclub in Boston. Eighteen players, including Thornton, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly (just to name a few), and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Fred Toucher, Jon Wallach (on-site), Marc Bertrand and Tony Massarotti (during Monday’s edition of “Felger and Mazz” in the 98.5 studios) shaved their heads to benefit the Boston Bruins and Shawn Thornton Foundations.
Certainly not a bad way for the Bruins and their fans to spend a Monday afternoon.
“We have the most amount of guys who shaved their heads this year, which is huge,” said Thornton. “We’ve got a pretty tight team – we always have – but for those guys to step up, its huge. The people [who helped] sold 200 VIP tickets and I think 450 general admission tickets. For a Monday afternoon I think that’s pretty impressive.
“My teammates have been unbelievable every year, everyone shows up, everyone signs autographs for an hour and they’re going to be here for three or four hours on a day off,” Thornton added. “It’s not mandatory whatsoever, it’s pretty big of them to do this to raise money for a good cause.”
In his third season with the Bruins, Peverley credits Thornton for keeping this tradition going.
With two years left on his contract, its sure looks like that Peverley will be back after these remarks.
“A lot of credit goes to Shawn and the foundation and the Bruins for putting so much effort into it,” he said. “If we can do anything to help, it’s a great charity and I think everyone likes being a part of it.”
Over $76,000 was raised for the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. And it’s that lasting impression that Thornton and company appreciate the most.
“This year we are going to raise the most amont of money, ever,” said Thornton. “I’m very happy that it’s a success again and it keeps bigger and bigger. And hopefully we can raise more and more money every year.”
While a few of Thornton’s teammates – Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Tuukka Rask – opted not to have their heads shaved, they helped raise a few extra bucks.
Thus, all 24 Bruins, one way or another, contributed in some capacity.
“To remember what this event came from six years ago, and to see how much bigger and better it gets each year has really been rewarding for me,” Thornton said.
“I’m also really proud that all 24 members of the team contributed. Eighteen players had their heads shaved, and guys like Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin made personal donations even though they couldn’t make it today. It shows what a tight team that we have, and how much these guys care about helping out those less fortunate than them.”
What was Thornton’s favorite part of the afternoon?
“The kids,” he said with a grin. “Seeing the kids up there when they get to shave our heads…you don’t get to see them while they’re doing it, but afterwards you see the pictures and the smiles.”
At the end of the day, putting a smile on a kids face is what it’s all about.
Here’s video of Thornton speaking to the media after getting his head shaved