Last updated at Tue, 05 Mar 2024 13:45:00 GMT

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque into the herd as we continue to expand our Bruins jersey sponsorship.

Ray is an absolute hero to Bruins fans everywhere. He has cemented his status in the annals of Boston sports history through 21 seasons in the black and gold and completely reinvented the game. He holds NHL records for goals, assists, and more for a defenseman. Ray’s relentless offense and tireless defense helped the Bruins command the attack surface. To top it off, he’s worn numbers 7 and 77, making this partnership feel like kismet.

In the spirit of our shared numeric connection, we’ve asked Ray to answer seven rapid questions about his time on the ice, his work off the ice, and his partnership with Rapid7.

What is your favorite memory of your days on the ice for the Bruins? (Maybe your top 3?)

Playing in Boston for 21 years, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. There are a few moments from my time playing in Boston that really stand out. One of those being my first game. That was the most surreal feeling, realizing that I had made it to the NHL, which had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

Another night that stands out is the night the Bruin’s surprised Phil Esposito with the retirement of his #7 jersey and we revealed my new number, 77. That was such a special moment.

An evening I will hold on to forever is the closing of The Garden. So many amazing alumni came out onto the ice after the game and took their last skate on The Garden ice. The last player they announced was Normand Leveille, who had suffered a brain aneurysm that ended his career. His dream was to skate one more time. Normand and I had a special relationship, as he did not speak English when coming to Boston. We would be roommates, sit next to each other at dinner, he would order the same meals as me because he couldn’t understand the menu. Being able to take him on his final skate around The Garden ice was one of my favorite moments as a Boston Bruin.

It's the Bruins Centennial Year. What does 100 years of hockey history in Boston mean to you?

Anyone who has had the opportunity to play for one of the Original 6 teams understands how much of an impact that history and energy has on a team. Making it 100 years is an incredible feat, and having such an incredible city support a team for that long is impressive. It speaks so much to the dedication of the fans, ownership, management, and the culture built around the Boston Bruins. I am grateful for the opportunity to have played for an Original 6 team for 21 years of my career and be a part of such a unique and inspiring culture for so much of my career.

How important is the work the Bruins are doing in the community to engage youth from all backgrounds to grow the sport of hockey?

The NHL as a whole has done a great job at working on inclusivity, and this initiative wouldn’t be possible without the support of each team and their supporters who expand upon these efforts like Rapid7. So many people from so many different backgrounds have flourished in the sport and it is becoming something that is available to everyone. Having new teams and expanding the game has opened hockey to so many new regions. That has allowed kids to grow up with hockey in their community and give them the opportunity to dream of playing in the NHL.

Doors are wide open for anyone that wants to get involved and enjoy the game of hockey, at any level, and I think that is so important because there is so much to learn and take away from the sport at all levels.

It's probably hard for you to imagine, but just go with us for a minute here: If professional hockey had never worked out, what sort of career would you have liked to have?

I don’t know what I would do, you’re right, it’s hard to imagine. I never thought about doing anything else. At 13 years old, I started separating myself from my teammates. I found another gear in my development that allowed me to advance my skills, and at 15 years old I started playing up, joining a Junior’s team of 16-20 year old’s. That is when it became realistic to me that I could make it to the NHL.

If I wasn’t a professional hockey player, I think I would still be involved in sports in some way. Sports were a huge part of my youth, playing hockey and baseball, and I would want to have the same impact on young athletes that my coaches and trainers had on me. I am not sure where that would have taken me, but it is something I am passionate about and would have enjoyed spending my time on.

As a legend in the sport, you've had your pick of organizations to align yourself with. What about Rapid7 speaks to you?

From the beginning of our conversations, Rapid7 has come across with a great energy that stuck out to me. It is clear that this team is pulling in the same direction, and it just feels like a team you want to be on and a part of. Their positive and inclusive culture makes it an environment you are excited to be a part of. On top of that, what they are doing is so important to today’s world and their work can truly make a difference.

What are the most important aspects of the Bourque Family Foundation you would like people to understand? How can they get involved?

Giving back is something that has been a significant part of my family since we moved to Boston when I was 18. The Boston Bruins are an extremely charitable team, and as a young player I quickly became involved in the community through the charitable efforts we did as a team.

Raising our family, my wife and I instilled the same values in our children, and all of us have played our own part in giving back to our community. The Bourque Family Foundation is a way for us to come together and combine our charitable efforts. My family and I are truly passionate about the work we do, from supporting individuals with spinal cord injuries to having an ongoing initiative to support the fight against ALS. We are able to touch so many different parts of our community and so many causes. Being able to bring our grandchildren into this as well is just a very special feeling, and I look forward to seeing the continued impact we can all make together with the amount of passion and love for this work that exists in my family.

We have 3 core events that are a great way to get involved; the 7.7K Road Race, Bourque Golf, and The Captain’s Ball in honor of Pete Frates. On top of that, there are some 3rd party initiatives as well that we are a part of that allow our community to raise funds. If you’re getting involved with any of the Bourque Family Foundation events, we can promise you’ll have fun and we’ll raise good money while doing it.

As the sport of hockey continues to spread further around North America and the world, any advice for those talented youngsters who dream of taking up the sport and making it to the NHL someday?

The most important thing I can say is work hard and have fun. Believe in yourself and in your dream. Being dedicated in terms of your work ethic and preparation will get you far and so will doing so with open eyes and open ears. There is so much value to be learned by everything that is happening around you. Hockey is a great game to be a part of, regardless of where it takes you. You can learn a lot of lessons about teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and everything that comes with being a part of a team. Approaching the game being willing to work hard, learn, and dedication will get you far, no matter where you end up.

And there you have it, NHL great and Boston sports legend Ray Bourque answering seven rapid questions from Rapid7. If you’d like, you can also learn more about how Ray and Rapid7 are working together to support hockey and continue icing out cyber threats everywhere.