Bruins Alumni Coordinator Karen Wonoski was featured in a recent edition of "The Hockey News."
As the Bruins alumni coordinator, Karen Wonoski gets to witness some amazing interactions with former Boston stars, including the time Johnny Bucyk met Milt Schmidt.
By Lisa Wallace
Many people would be envious of Karen Wonoski.
Wonoski is the Boston Bruins alumni coordinator and, as such, has the opportunity to spend time with some of the organization’s fan favorites.
Think of players such as Ray Bourque, Terry O’Reilly and Rick Middleton who continue to live on in Bruins lore. “Spending time with the players is awesome,” admitted Wonoski. “They all have different personalities, but are great people. That’s what you have to remember, they are all human. I love listening to their hockey stories.”
Wonoski, a Bruins fan since she was a child, saw the posting for the position, applied, and has held the role for the past seven years.
Much of Wonoski’s job entails managing ticket requests for seats in the Alumni Suite, maintaining player appearance schedules, and organizing about 30 alumni games every season. She works closely with Bruins legends 'Chief' Johnny Bucyk and 'Nifty' Rick Middleton.
Over the years Wonoski has enjoyed numerous special moments, but two stand out in particular. One was going to Milt Schmidt’s home with Bucyk. Schmidt played 16 seasons with the Bruins over the course of nearly 20 years from 1936 through 1955. Schmidt was signing a number of items that would later be donated. “He carefully signed each item, and the whole time chatted with 'Chief' about old hockey memories,” Wonoski said. “Watching and listening to those two gentlemen was something else.”
Outside the Fame catches up with one of the most electric and exciting goal scorers to ever wear a Boston Bruins uniform. Rick "Nifty" Middleton was a prolific and gifted hockey player who spent the best part of his career in black and gold and was a one man highlight reel.
Host Jayme Parker's candid conversation with Middleton covers his time on ice with the BIG BAD BRUINS and his career after he stopped lacing 'em up.
Middleton went on to coach the 2000 USA Men's Sledge (sled) Hockey Team to gold in the Paralympics. It was a Cinderella story of the tournament and is currently in development to become a movie.