The bombings at the Boston Marathon hit especially close to home for Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, who grew up just outside the city and both attended and worked at the event as a teenager. Earlier this week, he took to the ice with “Pray for Boston” written on his skate.
That wasn’t enough for him. Yandle said he was hit particularly hard by the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard, a bombing victim who happened to be from Dorchester, the same neighborhood where Yandle’s wife, Kristyn, was raised.
“He’s from my wife’s neighborhood, and that’s a tight-knit community,” Yandle said earlier this week. “Everybody knows everybody.”
So on Saturday, Yandle decided to honor the young hockey fan Saturday by wearing a specially made jersey for pregame warmups. Rather than “Yandle” and his traditional No. 3 on the back, the jersey featured the full name “Martin Richard” and the No. 8.
The 2011 All-Star, who was not allowed to wear the jersey during the game, said it was the least he could do to show his support for the family and community, which is still recovering after a tragedy-filled week.
“I’m super proud. There’s nothing I can really say or do; it’s just wanting to show my support and show my family that I’m thinking of them, praying for them, and show my family back home that I love them.”
Yandle said he cried while watching the Bruins’ fans take over an emotional performance of the national anthem at TD Garden two nights after the bombings, and he was just as proud watching the events and celebration in Boston unfold Friday night, when suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev was arrested in dramatic fashion.
“It was amazing. Boston’s finest, everybody — all the policemen, law enforcement, everybody who helped out to catch the bad guys — it was amazing, and I couldn’t be more proud to have friends and family that are policemen. Knowing what they did, it was amazing.”