The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins didn’t just take a bus to Fenway Park for the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic. They took a trip back in time.
The Bruins arrived in throwback Boston Red Sox uniforms, complete with old-style baseball gloves. Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and forward Brad Marchand carried bats given to them by Red Sox clubhouse attendant Tommy McLaughlin that were formerly the property of Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who was in attendance Monday and participated in the opening ceremony.
Tweet from @NHLBruins: Batters up. ������ pic.twitter.com/51aWZ8kMku
“They look very legit,” said Red Sox utility man extraordinaire Kiké Hernandez. “I’m hoping we get uniforms like that and do some sort of throwback. Those uniforms were really cool for sure.”
Bergeron said that the Bruins were planning this for a year, since the announcement of the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway. The uniforms were custom-fitted to each player, complete with stirrup socks. Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark completed his look with a pair of vintage cleats, which he wore to the postgame press conference.
The Penguins donned uniforms from the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates season.
Tweet from @penguins: Honoring the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates with some fresh fits for Fenway 💯 pic.twitter.com/6uSX8Etc5g
Apparently, the baseball uniforms were not a combined effort, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.
“We did not coordinate with the Bruins, at least it’s not my understanding that we did,” Sullivan said. “I think it’s really appropriate, and in an event like this, in such an iconic stadium, in a lot of ways I think it’s appropriate because it gives us an opportunity to tip our hat to all the great players and great teams that have played in this stadium over the years. And for me, I think it’s just part of the entertainment value, but I know our players were excited about it, and I’m sure Boston was as well.”
Video: Bruins arrive at the Winter Classic in Red Sox styles
The Bruins really got into the spirit by playing catch on the field at Fenway Park before their 2-1 win.
Tweet from @NHLBruins: Having a catch. ������ pic.twitter.com/soLci7Bi39
“I went on the field with them and I played catch with that glove,” Hernandez said. “It took a lot more talent back in the day to catch a ball with that glove than it does now. Especially with me, playing here in Fenway, playing in April in May with those gloves does not sound fun at all.”
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry arrived wearing catcher’s gear.
Tweet from @penguins: Goalie = puck ���catcher��� pic.twitter.com/IyJvwpqWoo
The Bruins even did a pregame pep talk on the field, and the famed Green Monster listed the Atlantic Division standings and NHL scores from Sunday.
Tweet from @NHLBruins: The pregame pep talk. ����� pic.twitter.com/dv1Nhi9cCl
Bruins forward David Pastrnak got into the baseball spirit Sunday with his baseball-themed stick and gloves. Boston also posed for a team picture at Fenway.
Tweet from @NHLBruins: So, who���s on first? pic.twitter.com/tYMPVhiIiX
“‘Field of Dreams’ and a combination of ‘Eight Men Out,'” is how Bruins coach Jim Montgomery reffered to the baseball uniforms. “The guys walked out in vintage Red Sox outfits and, again, you come back to how lucky we are to be at such a great event.”
“This is a storied building and we wanted to make sure that as much fun was we were having with it,” Bruins forward Nick Foligno said.
Video: Penguins arrive at Fenway in vintage Pirates uniforms
This was the second time the Winter Classic was held at the 110-year-old home of the Red Sox. The Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in the 2010 Winter Classic.
This time around, both teams hit the exact right note arriving to the game. When you are entering storied Fenway Park, you have to dress the part.
NHL.com independent correspondent Joseph Pohoryles, NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin and NHL.com senior director of editorial Shawn P. Roarke contributed to this report