Neely wanted to introduce Bruins great Derek Sanderson, who played for the organization from 1965-74 and won two Stanley Cups, to current Boston defenseman Derek Forbort. And Neely had a terrific reason as to why he wanted to connect the two.
“Found out — I don’t know if it was end of last year — that Derek Forbort was named after him,” Neely told reporters at Warrior Ice Arena, per team-provided video. “So, I thought it would be great for Derek to come in and meet him.”
Forbort being named after Sanderson wasn’t surprising news since he revealed his dad named him after the Bruins forward upon signing with Boston in July of 2021.
“I was actually named after Derek Sanderson. He was my dad’s favorite player,” Forbort told reporters at that time, per Bruins.com’s Eric Russo. “That was the first hockey card I had in my room was a Derek Sanderson card.”
It had to be a surreal moment for the 30-year-old Forbort to finally meet Sanderson. And it had to only add to the strong season Forbort is putting together on the ice. The 6-foot-4, 208-pound defenseman is having one of the better seasons of his career, tallying five goals and seven assists for 12 points while also being a critical piece of the Bruins’ penalty kill.
Forbort won’t see action Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres, though. He’s the odd-man out in the defensive corps as Jim Montgomery has shuffled the pairings since the Bruins acquired Dmitry Orlov. Connor Clifton, Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo have all taken their turn already sitting out a game.