BOSTON — Brian Rolston has hoisted the Stanley Cup with New Jersey, won a silver medal with Team USA on home soil in Salt Lake City and played in an NHL All-Star Game. But when it comes to the highlights of his 17-year NHL career, one moment off the ice stands among his top memories.
In Rolston's final season of his first stint in Boston, he and then teammate Nick Boynton got a chance to play guitar on stage with the Dropkick Murphys when the popular Irish punk act played a set at the Garden following a game on Nov. 15, 2003.
"That was one of the highlights of my career," Rolston said after his first morning skate back with the Bruins on Tuesday. "And it had nothing to do with hockey. It was a lot of fun."
Of course, it helped that the hockey that day was pretty good for Rolston, too. He scored in the final minute of overtime to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 victory over Vancouver. Back then, the Canucks weren't the hated villains they are today after last year's contentious Cup Final, but it was still a significant win as the clubs came into the contest atop their respective conferences at the time.
Rolston hasn't lost his love for Boston's favorite punk act in his years away from the city, and the Dropkicks haven't forgotten about him either. Frontman Ken Casey was among the first to welcome Rolston back to town when news broke that he had been traded to Boston on Monday.
"Ken Casey texted me right away," Rolston said. "I hope to go see the Dropkicks right away."
In that regard, the trade couldn't have come at a better time, as Rolston returns to Boston just a couple weeks before St. Patrick's Day, and the Dropkicks annual set of shows in their hometown around the holiday.
"It's coming up," Rolston said. "St. Patty's Day is coming up and I’m sure he’ll be doing a few shows in Boston on St. Patty's Day."
Who knows, maybe Rolston will even get another chance to join them on stage.