As is customary, the lead-up to the 2016 Winter Classic will feature an alumni game, with Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens players from years past squaring off outdoors at Gillette Stadium.
The official lineups for the Dec. 31 exhibition have yet to be released, but Bruins president — and former player — Cam Neely offered an early preview Thursday in an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Massarotti.”
“I haven’t seen (the Canadiens’) full lineup yet,” Neely said, “but from what I’ve gathered they’ve got some young guys that still can play.”
One of those “young” guys is 39-year-old goaltender Jose Theodore, whom Neely says will start in net for the Montreal squad. Theodore, who retired from the NHL just two years ago, enjoyed great success with the Canadiens in the early 2000s, winning both the Vezina and Hart Trophies in 2002.
Theodore had been last goalie to win the NHL’s MVP award until his successor, current Habs netminder Carey Price, did so last season. Needless to say, he’ll be a tough nut for the Bruins’ old-timers to crack.
Boston, according to Neely, will counter with 35-year-old Andrew Raycroft, who perhaps is best known as the guy the Bruins traded to acquire Tuukka Rask. Raycroft played 108 games for the B’s, then bounced around between four NHL clubs and two more in Europe before calling it quits in 2014.
Neely also confirmed that Mike Milbury and Don Cherry will help coach the Bruins contingent at Gillette. As for himself…
“I said yes (to playing), but I’m still on the fence,” the 50-year-old former power forward said. “I haven’t skated since the last alumni Winter Classic game (in 2010), so … I might have a few shifts.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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