Around the NHL: Retiring Guerin was great for Bruins, briefly

Guerin

Bill Guerin’s stint with his hometown Bruins lasted all of 142 games over two seasons.

But they were a couple pretty impressive seasons in his illustrious career.

Guerin, a native of Wilbraham, Mass., retired today through an announcement by the Pittsburgh Penguins — the last NHL team he played for. He was an unrestricted free agent over this summer and could not find a deal anywhere. The 40-year-old tried out with Philadelphia during training camp but did not earn a contract.

Guerin scored 429 regular-season goals in 1,263 games — 69 of those goals coming in Bruins black and gold. Oddly enough, Guerin was a rare two-time winner of the Seventh Player Award, which is voted by the fans to the player who most exceeds expectations, in his only two seasons in Boston.

“I knew a lot about it and I knew it was a big deal and how important it was to the guys,” Guerin told me while researching my book “100 Things Bruins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die.” “And just to Bruins fans, it’s pretty important. I was really happy because I remember watching on TV, seeing the guys get it and win it. My dream was to play for the Bruins, never mind win the 7th Player Award.”

Guerin didn’t shy away from playing so close to his hometown and for the team he grew up idolizing. He produced points and was the type of leader that many thought would one day become a captain. However, a contract dispute led to his trade to Dallas and, despite rumors of a return over the years, he never again donned a Bruins sweater.

Guerin will be missed around the NHL. But Bruins fans can at least look back at his brief time on Causeway Street and know that he made an impact on their franchise.

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