Derek Sanderson was on one of the great Boston Bruins teams, winning the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972. The brash centerman skated in 598 regular season games, putting up 202 goals and 250 assists.
When Sanderson was growing up and started playing junior hockey, there were no such thing as the NHL Draft..
The Bruins bought him and at 18 he played in his first NHL game. Going to his first NHL camp, Sanderson was ready to fight anyone just to get the coaches attention.
“If you even thought about attempting to fight me I’d jump you”, he said on the Spittin Chiclets podcast.
In the 60’s, the Boston Bruins had two junior affiliates at the time. Sanderson played for the Niagara Falls Flyers and legend Bobby Orr represented the Oshawa Generals.
Bobby Orr was seen as a player sent from heaven, brought in two end the Stanley Cup drought for the Bruins who hadn’t won the Cup since 1941.
Everyone was aware of that he could do on the ice, and once, The Bruins decided to bring Orr’s junior team to Boston Garden for an exhibition match.
On the other side? Derek Sanderson and the Niagara Falls Flyers.
To get to the game, the Flyers had to go on an eight hour bus trip. Sanderson went onto the bus, but before they even left town his dad in a station wagon cut the bus of.
“I went down and said ‘yeah dad?’. He was in front of the bus going ‘Listen, I’ve been thinking about it. You’ll be playing Bobby Orr in the Boston Garden and he’s got something coming. There’s two people that crowd is going to remember. Bobby Orr, and the one that beats him up'”, Sanderson recalled his father telling him.
Derek Sanderson made it to the game and played. And of course, he listened to the advice his father gave him.
“I really didn’t have my heart in it, it was more of a wrestling match. I was standing and watching the Bruins play one night and someone came up and said ‘hey, you’re Sanderson, the guy who fought Bobby Orr'”, Derek Sanderson said on the Spittin Chiclets Podcast.
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