Bruins president Cam Neely, AHL president David Andrews, Boston University coach Jack Parker and Boston College coach Jerry York were the recipients of the 2010 Lester Patrick Awards at the Garden last Wednesday for their "outstanding service to hockey in the United States."
Neely, York and Parker each have done incredible work to promote hockey in Boston in particular, but Harry Sinden, himself a winner of the award in 1999, couldn't resist throwing a friendly jab at Parker, who rejected several overtures from Sinden to coach the Bruins.
"Well Jackie Parker had a negative impact when he didn't take the Bruins job a few years ago," said Sinden when asked about this year's recipients' impact on Boston hockey. "Jackie Parker, we did the best we could to get him to come over and take this job, but we understood how he felt. There can't be enough said about either of them [Parker and York] and this is a great way to honor them. A contribution to hockey in the United States, when you think about both of them, they've promoted college hockey and hockey in general across this country as well as anybody."
Parker, in turn, admitted he almost took Sinden up on his offer, but felt it worked out best for both sides that he stayed at BU.
"It was very, very close, on two different occasions, and it was a lot closer the second time," said Parker. "I've known Harry a long time and was very comfortable in wanting to work for him, and if I was going to coach in the NHL, where better to coach than in my own hometown? But in the long run I felt I was better suited where I was. And Harry hired Pat Burns. He didn't do a bad job, so they didn't miss me."
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