Brad Marchand was the focal point of a lasting memory for a young Bruins fan Thursday when the Boston forward took the phone of Aiden Smith and recorded a selfie video on the 12-year-old’s phone that since has gone viral.
Marchand, upon walking off the ice after pregame warmups, saw Aiden holding his phone and jokingly borrowed it before realizing it had been recording Bruins players entering the tunnel. The veteran winger then took the phone into the tunnel, recorded a 15-second clip with a positive message for Aiden and proceeded to give the phone back himself.
“It kind of happened, I was coming off the ice and we always give fist bumps to the kids coming off and got time to sign some stuff. (Aiden) had a phone hanging over the glass so I kind of took it just joking around to pretend I was taking it and then I saw that he was recording a video so I figured I’d just leave them a little message, thought that’d be pretty cool when he got the phone back and looked back at it to have that as a keepsake from the game,” Marchand explained during a video conference Tuesday.
It certainly has turned into a keepsake that Aiden won’t forget.
“It’s been insane,” Aiden told NESN on Friday. “And for the next week, or month or however long, it will always be insane.”
It also serves as the latest reminder for Marchand who has tried to remember one specific piece of advice he received from Bruins and NHL legend Ray Bourque. Bourque, shortly after Marchand was drafted by the Bruins in 2006 and before Marchand’s 13-year career in Boston even started, provided a message the 33-year-old now lives by.
“It kind of started when I was 19, I had dinner with Ray Bourque at a charity event and I’ll never forget what he said. I’ve come back to it a lot,” Marchand said Tuesday. “It’s very easy when you’re in, when you have a longer career, you get comfortable in the league, or comfortable in the organization, to kind of forget where you’re at, forget how fortunate we are, how lucky we are to be in the position we’re in, to be living our dreams and living other people’s dreams. And you kind of take it for granted at times.
“So there’s been numerous amount of times where I’ve come back to this, but he just told me he said, ‘When every kid wants an autograph, every kid that approaches you or wants to talk to you, just remember to enjoy it. Don’t take it for granted. Enjoy those moments because when you retire nobody cares anymore, nobody cares about what you’ve done or who you are, you’re not relevant essentially. It’s always the new players that are in the league, the superstars that are in the league at that point that they care about. And people forget pretty quick.’
“So it’s something that I’ve come back to a lot and I think it just keeps you grounded, keeps you humble and makes you understand how fortunate, again, that we are,” Marchand continued. “When I remember those things that guys like him, and that’s coming from one of the best players ever play the game, when he’s talking like that it hits home. So I thought that good advice to learn at a young age.”
In addition to citing Bourque’s message, Marchand also noted his own experiences as a young hockey fan. That has continued to play a role in his interactions, too.
“It’s obviously, when you’re at the game, you’re getting prepared to do the job and everything, but I remember being a kid — the Bruins and I think it was Tampa played in Halifax growing up — and I remember hanging over the walkway and how amazing it was to see the players and have them interact,” Marchand said. “So, you know, it’s always good to do, the kids remember that and enjoy it. So, again, I thought it would be a pretty cool keepsake.”
Bourque’s words of advice clearly have helped Marchand create lasting memories for countless Bruins supporters, and perhaps none luckier than one specific 12-year-old hockey fan.