RAY BOURQUE

Although Ray Bourque couldn’t bring the Stanley Cup to Boston as a leader, he ended up with his name on the cherished trophy after hitching a ride with a team destined for victory. The Colorado Avalanche won the Cup in 2000-01, and Bourque retired that summer, the final piece of his Hall of Fame career in place.

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He sweated profusely during games, which is why he always used several pairs of gloves over the course of an evening. After coming off the ice he’d hand his gloves to a trainer, who would in turn hand him a dry pair. This, of course, isn’t superstition so much as equipment management, but Bourque also liked to change his skate laces during every intermission. At the end of the game, he’d throw them all out. Now this is the stuff of superstition.

As well, Bourque got into the habit of saying good luck to the goalie before the opening faceoff. It all began with a goalie named Marco Baron in the early 1980s. Baron never became a full-time goalie with the Bruins, but before one game Bourque tapped him on the blocker, then the outside of the left pad and the right pad, then a short smack to, yes, the jock. The team won the game, and this little sequence became Bourque’s signature for the rest of his career. As the “Star-Spangled Banner” neared its conclusion, Bourque bent down quickly to touch the ice with his right hand, blessed himself, and then skated off like the wind, ready to play.

RAY BOURQUE

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