New Bruin Greg McKegg, Welcome to the "Bruins With The Coolest Names" Club!
As my colleague Kyle wrote in this space yesterday, the Boston Bruins recently announced three signings that were so impressive, and there is so much other exciting Bruins news today, that I've decided to devote an entire post to how one of the new signings has a fun name. How much fun? Well, everyone on hockey Twitter was so excited yesterday that they seem to be just, well- repeating it over and over again.
And so, Ladies and Gentlemen, Gallery Guys And Gals, Bruins fans far and wide meet
(Apologies for the photo of him in a Penguins uniform, I'm aware it's distasteful. )
At any rate, welcome to the REAL black and gold, Mr McKegg, and with it, welcome also to your first "Players With The Coolest Names" club, a most distinguished group that I'm sad you didn't get to belong to during your stint with the New York Rangers, but hey, thems the breaks when you're on the same team as Kaapo Kakko.
The "Bruins with The Coolest Names" club has many distinguished members, including the following three legends. Please feel free to remind me of anyone I've missed.
Bitz! Bitzy! Byron Bitz! A four year player from the Cornell Big Red, and captain in his senior year, Big Bad Byron Bitz debuted with the Bruins on January 10th, 2009, against the Carolina Hurricanes (back when that meant something) and registered an assist in a 5-1 win. Number 61 was a perennial fan favorite for his size, hustle, toughness and spirit, but I gotta admit, his name made a big impact as well. I mean, he's Byron Bitz! He shoots! He hits! He gives opponents nervous fits! Nothing not to love there. Sadly, he was shipped off to the Florida Panthers in 2010 in a multiplayer deal that brought us 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Dennis Seidenberg, so we can't say we didn't get value in return for him.
Can you possibly sound any more Canadian than "Johnny Boychuck?" That doesn't sound just like a Canadian hockey name, by God, that sounds like a fictional Lumberjack name. "Why, you've never heard of Johnny Boychuck? He's the woodcutter from up north who just broke Paul Bunyon's record of most flapjacks eaten in less than 30 minutes! We thought it would never be broken!" Obviously, any Bruins fan worth his or her salt is familiar with the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion with the shot from the point that NESN announcer Jack Edwards famously dubbed "THE JOHNNY ROCKET."
Cool name, cooler player, and in case you don't think we love him, he's the reason any Bruins fan these days can actually root for the Islanders.
Here's the great Bruce Shoebottom, pictured here in a Bruins alumni game from 2018, where, not for nothing, he took home MVP awards that night (tough luck, Graeme Townshend.) Shoe was a rough and tumble tough guy for the Black and Gold whose NHL career spanned from the late 1980s through the early '90s, and was praised by none other than the legendary Jay Miller, who said of him: "He's paid his dues, he worked his way up and when you get up here, you have to play good hockey. Believe me, he's a hockey player." Shoebottom proved he was more than just a reliable fighter for the Bruins with a great last name during game two of the 1988 Adams Division semifinal, when he slipped the game-winning goal past Acton Boxborough's own Tom Barrasso, who was in goal for the Buffalo Sabres. Oh, and you better believe they threw a shoe on the ice.
McKegg: By Michael Miller - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63284117
Bitz: By Amanda from USA - Byron Bitz, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15903618
Boychuck:By Michael Miller - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26750597
Shoebottom: Photo: JAMIE GEMMITI, The Conway Daily Sun, website: https://www.jamiegemmiti.com/