Saturday

Ted Donato

Describing Ted Donato as a very intelligent hockey player and coach should be no surprise. After all he has a history degree from Harvard.

More impressively, he's now molding young Harvard minds.

No, he is not a professor. He is the head coach of his alma mater, probably teaching "his students" life lessons that will take them far, even if it is ultimately not on the ice.

For NHL fans, Ted Donato was an undersized but heady forward best remembered with his hometown Boston Bruins. In Boston, Donato was something of a legend before joining the Bruins, and may be growing into a bigger legend now that he is retired from the game.

Donato had a knack for scoring big goals. He scored the championship winning goal in the Massachusetts high school championships. In 1989 with Harvard he scored the game winning goal in the NCAA championship game, defeating Minnesota to become the national champions!

Donato would go on to score 150 goals (including 22 game winners) in 796 games in the National Hockey League. While in his heyday he got some secondary power play unit time in Boston, he was best known as an ace penalty killer. Donato often teamed with 1992 US Olympic teammate Steve Heinze to be one of the best PK units of the 1990s, using speed and anticipation to break up plays and even create offensive chances. Ted Donato may very much be Ivy League, but he was all blue collar on the ice.

There are a couple of great articles on Donato and hockey in Harvard I want to share with you.

David Waldstein of the New York Times looks back at Harvard's 1989 national championship, while Nathaniel Popper looks at Donato's tough job as Harvard's head coach.

2 comments:

Ian 2:01 PM  

Ted Donato was the definition of a class act. When I was still a young lad, he was traded to the Islanders and I was 100% devastated. My mother being a great hockey mom, got me tickets to the next Islanders/Bruins game. I walked down the stairs to the glass with a sign saying "Ted Donato is still #1". As I was mesmerized by the players warming up and taking shots, Ted Donato knocks on the glass to recognize me, picks up a puck and hands it to me through the photographer's glass. I'll never forget that moment Teddy. Your Legend in Boston will never be forgotten!

Jeff Falardeau,  6:28 AM  

Early '90s and my stepson Justin and I get 2 tickets to the Bruins-Stars game. Keith Robinson, the Bruins equipment manager, gives us a back-stage pass to where the players come out after the game (hand written by "The Chief" himself). So Justin is standing there,mouth open in awe, new Bruins home white jersey, no Sharpie! The first player out is Teddy. He calls his girlfriend over, she digs a Sharpie out of her purse, he signs Justin's shirt and says "Keep it you'll need it". Lots of players (Stars and Bruins) sign the shirt. Justin has recently passed the jersey on to his nephew. The classy acts that we hockey players perform evry day.

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