BOSTON — Christmas came early for the Bruins this year. In June to be precise, a month of celebration for which Boston fans had been waiting 39 years as the Stanley Cup finally came back to Beantown.
Last week, the team's championship book, "Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins," went on sale just in time for the holiday rush.
The book chronicles the historical season, through the eyes of the players, coaches and management staff of the Bruins organization.
Beverly native and Bruins assistant director of media relations Eric Tosi co-authored the book with John Bishop, who manages the official Bruins team website. Tosi has worked for the Bruins for the past four years as a liaison between the Bruins staff members and the media.
The 29-year old Tosi had a front row seat watching the journey to the Stanley Cup. Tosi spent many a road games with the team, traveling to half of the regular season away games and nearly all of the playoff road games. It was on those trips and behind closed doors when Tosi began to hear and see clever tidbits that would make for the book's special insider story.
"John (Bishop) and I began to see these unique stories that the fans don't get a chance to see," Tosi said before a recent Bruins home game. "The book is literally a result of us being around the guys everyday and interacting with them. We kept seeing these stories, some humorous and some serious, but they kept piling up."
As the regular season ended and playoffs began, Bishop and Tosi started to jot down the information they came across on their Blackberry devices. With the approval of management, Bishop and Tosi were able to open up the Bruins locker room to the fans and as a result the idea of the championship book started.
"The really great thing about this project was that everyone in the organization bought into what we were doing," said Tosi. "A lot of people were very forthcoming with information and that made it easier for us."
The book took about two months to put together, including all of the photos and text. Many of the players and management staff wrote their own segments of the book, which allows fans to see even closer into the how the players felt about their championship year.
It is very easy to flip through and look at all the colorful pictures in the book, but the unique stories are captured through the side notes of the pages — everything from how center Patrice Bergeron prepared for Game 7 in the Finals against Vancouver to what captain Zdeno Chara said to the team before games to get the guys pumped up.
"When I heard stories like that, I was even surprised and I work with those guys everyday," added Tosi. "I knew it was things like that the fans would want to know about too."
So far, the response of the book has a been a positive one. Not only do fans have a chance to relive the experience that happened just a few short months ago, but so do the Bruins players and coaches.
"The beauty of the book is that the longer time goes by, the more meaningful the book will be to us," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "To be able to go back through and see these things that we experienced, that's really what I take out of the book and what makes it special for me.
"I think it's great for the fans that are buying it to really see what happened behind closed doors. Too often those kind of things go untouched and now they have an opportunity to read some of the things I said or things that players did."