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Rusk was an interested spectator when the Bruins play the Penguins in the Winter Classic

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boston – The last time the Boston Bruins played the Winter Classic at Fenway Park, Tooka your head His vantage point was up close. He backed up then Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

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“I had probably the best seat in the house,” Rusk said. “They had the heaters running.”

When the Bruins play the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 2 at the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic (2 p.m. ET; TNT, SN, TVAS), Rusk will once again be an outdoor spectator of the game — this time from afar, after retiring from the NHL on February 9. .

“Nowadays, there are a lot of American guys with the Bruins, a lot of Boston guys,” Rusk said. “When we played here, I don’t think we had a lot of Boston players. So it’s going to be a special moment for a group of these guys who either played collegiate here or from here. They’re going to love it.”

[RELATED: More NHL Winter Classic coverage]

No one from the Boston area was on the Bruins roster for the 2010 Winter Classic. Now, the Bruins are proud natives of Massachusetts Matt Grzelecik (Charlestown) W Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth). Defenseman Charlie McAvoy He went to college at Boston University (as did Grzelecik).

Rusk captured the sights and sounds of Fenway Park on Wednesday, taking a guided tour of Fenway Park alongside his six-year-old daughter, Adele. They walked across the bleachers, around the now covered area and then to the green monster, where they reached the wall.

He said, “I love this stadium.” “We come to baseball games and concerts a lot. The Red Sox are always good for me and my family. But it’s nice to see a hockey rink there.”

When asked if he was a Red Sox fan, Rusk smiled and joked, “Do we have a choice? Not really.”

Adele finally started wearing a Mookie Betts jersey that he bought years ago when the then Red Sox player was living in the Rusk neighborhood. And over the years, Rusk has had opportunities to take the field at Fenway, including batting practice about 10 years ago, when he hit a ball off the green monster.

“I think the most fun part of it was actually catching them when they were practicing batting,” he said. “They gave us gloves and we went to run around the field and catch some balls. That was the highlight of me, being a goalkeeper, I think.”

In his time in the NHL, Rask has been a part of four overseas games, starting with the 2010 Winter Classic. He played in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium and the 2021 NHL Outdoors in Lake Tahoe.

“It just breaks the norm in your season,” he said. “Usually the timing is right because you’re halfway there, Christmas is over, you’ve played a lot of games and the spring season is almost starting. It’s a mental boost for everyone.”

In his role as ambassador for the Bruins since his retirement, Rask has been at the TD Garden about once a week, though he said he can’t watch a lot of games. He’s been paying attention when they’re on the road, so he gets a chance to see his former teammates. The Bruins, who lead the National Hockey League with a 25-4-2 record, go 17-0-2 at home.

“They look good,” he said. “It’s exciting.” “That kind of surprised everyone in a good way.”

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