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Chat Transcript
October 3, 1997

Bruins Defenseman Don Sweeney stopped by to answer fans' questions about everything from playing under new coach Pat Burns to who his best friend in hockey is. Here's what he had to say:

Game in Charlotte
Chris Burrows from Charlotte NC asks:

This isn't a question. I just wanted to say thanks for the goal you scored in Charlotte. It made one of the greatest night of my life even better. It was awesome to see you wearing the C. I'll try to get out of class by 3 tomorrow so I can get online. Thanks again. Chris

Don Sweeney replies:
I appreciate that Chris. It's nice to know that there are fans down in Charlotte wishing the Bruins well. I look forward to providing some exictement. Thanks for your support.

new season
from asks:
Hi Don, first I want to wish you guys the best of luck this year. I've been a loyal fan for many years and I was wondering what your thoughts are on new coach Pat Burns and what you feel the Bruins chances are this season?
Don Sweeney replies:
First and foremost, Pat Burns brings a tremendous amount of respect and discipline which will be important in the development of the younger players who are going to be a key to our success. He adds a lot of intangibles in a rebuilding process. He brings a certain amount of accountability which is going to be vital.

Your partners on the blue line
Terry Frechette` from Lowell, Mass asks:

Who will you be paired up with this year on the blue line and how did it feel to wear the captains C?

Don Sweeney replies:
It looks like I'll be playing quite a bit with Kyle McLaren. I'm really looking forward to playing with Kyle. He's a tremendous young talent and hopefully we can continue to develop a rapport. As far as wearing the C, I have all the respect in the world for Raymond Bourque. I wouldn't want my playing days to have anyone other than him wearing that captain's C.

Don Sweeney
Nick from Duxbury, MA asks:

What do you plan to do after you finish out your career? Being a Harvard graduate I'd assume that you'd have some sort of lofty ambitions.

Don Sweeney replies:
My lofty ambitions include to continue to improve as a player for the Boston Bruins as well as exploring numerous opportunities in the Boston community. Potential interests lie in sports marketing and broadcasting.

Bruins Trade
Shawn Langer from Corner Brook asks:

What do you think of the Alison,Carter,and Carey trade.

Don Sweeney replies:
Any success that the Boston Bruins are going to have Anson Carter, Jason Allison and Jim Carey are going to be pivotal role players in that success. We sacrificed some great players. The up-side is youth and potential development into great players.

Fleet Center vs. Boston Garden
Tim Quill from boston asks:

What is the major difference between playing in the Fleet Center compared to the Garden.
Don Sweeney replies:
The ice surface is obviously one of the biggest factors. I think everything happened a little quicker in the Garden. The biggest difference is the atmosphere. Fans were right on top of you in the old building where as now they are removed further from the ice surface. Hopefully we can create some new history.

Josh from Alberta asks:

What type of stick do you use?

Don Sweeney replies:
Josh, I use the Easton Graphite and the Graphite Blade.

Hockey Pools
Andrew Elliott from Duncan B.C. asks:

I'm not really familiar with the NHL's gambling laws, but are you allowed to be part of a hockey pool, and if so who would be your first pick.

Don Sweeney replies:
Ray Bourque would be my first pick.

Don Hay
Karl from Grand Manan, NB asks:

Was your goal always to play in the NHL or did it develop the more you played and the older you got?

Don Sweeney replies:
As a child I dreamt of one day playing in the NHL as do most young kids. I just tried to hedge my bets and cover both sides by going to school and onto Harvard.

Love of the game
Paul Osborn from Lake Wales, FL asks:
What makes you come back year after year and work so hard for so long?

Don Sweeney replies:
I think any athlete aspiring to be better and to win the elusive championship needs to push themself year-after-year.

Bruin Boy from Proctor,VT asks:

Mr. Sweeney...How do U think the Bruins Rookies will adapt to the nhl?

Don Sweeney replies:
Whenever you're talking about young players you have to have patience but they certainly provide a tremendous amount of upside and potential. Maybe as a group we can help each other and grow.

Don Hay
Cody from Campbell asks:

Do you have to go through a certain routine before every game?

Don Sweeney replies:
Most athletes are creatures of habit filled with routines, rituals and superstitions. If things go well one night you stick with that routine. If they don't often that routine is changed.

Rookie initiations
Andrew Elliott from Duncan B.C. asks:

Hi Don, I've always wondered about what kind of pranks are played on a rookie.What happened to you your first year, and what is the best prank you heard about or participated in

Don Sweeney replies:
As a rookie I remember Jay Miller forcing me to put shaving cream, while we were on the plane, on one of the older guys who was sleeping and he said, 'If I refused to do it. He would do it and blame it on me.'

Warm ups
Michele Gray from N. Hampton, NH asks:

It was great to see the "A" back on your jersey last night. 2 Assists last night- they were nice !
Why do you chew the tape on your stick?

Don Sweeney replies:
Nervousness and being a creature of habit. Sometimes I can't bite my nails.

Highlight as a Bruin
Fran from Boston asks:

Don, what is your highlight as a member of the Bruins?

Don Sweeney replies:
Obviously my biggest highlight is playing for the Boston Bruins. My first goal I scored in the second game I ever played assisted by Raymond Bourque and an opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Finals and with any luck getting the opportunity to play in them again with a better outcome.

Steve Tatem from Newport, RI asks:
Just wondering if the team misses Cam as much as I do.

Don Sweeney replies:
There's no question that the team cannot replace what Cam Neely provided. We would certainly welcome him back and we would be better.

Love of the Game
Jes from Herndon asks:

Do you consider hockey a job or do you consider yourself lucky to be getting paid to play?

Don Sweeney replies:
There's no question I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to play a game which I truly love.

Don Hay
Mindy from Nashua asks:

I was wondering what you thought of the decision to trade Stumpel?

Don Sweeney replies:
As a player we don't have the opportunity to question whether a team should or shouldn't make player transactions. We as teammates of the players we recieve can only look forward to working with your new teammates and wishing your old ones continued success.

Hi from the family
Peter Sweeney from Woodstock, Ontario asks:
Hi Don,
Great game yesterday and an excellent start to the season. We're all excited about Burns joining the team. How has the chemistry on the team changed with the new coach? The family sends their love.

Don Sweeney replies:
Tell them all I say Hi! Hope to see them all in Buffalo or Toronto. The chemistry and makeup of our hockey club is still sorting itself out. I think the present and the approach of Pat Burns and his staff will hold each and every one of us accountable and make us very competitive each and every night.

International Rules
Ted from Kaneohe, Hawaii asks:

Do you favor the international rule of calling icing as soon as the puck crosses the line without having to touch it? Also what about extending overtime until a winner is decided, thus eliminating ties?

Don Sweeney replies:
I favor the NHL's rule of icing. It affords the opportunity for the opposing team to often nullify what would be automatic icing and therefore creating potential scoring chances. The overtime, I don't know if it's feasible to play just sudden death or until there's a winner, due to the rigors of the schedule. It's obviously debatable whether five or 10 minutes perhaps is the ideal situation.

Hockey Knowledge
Jes from Herndon asks:
Which do you think makes you a better player, knowing where to be and what to do or depending on your raw talent?

Don Sweeney replies:
I consider myself a person who blends his abilities and talents and his ability to think in order to be successful, not overly blessed with the talent of a Ray Bourque, relying on perseverance and hard work.

Don Sweeney
Eddie from Stratford, CT asks:

Who is your best friend in hockey?

Don Sweeney replies:
Cam Neely and Ray Bourque are my best friends on the team. I have obviously developed friendships with various other players who I've been fortunate enough to play with and gone to school with.

The new kid Samsonov
Max from Miami asks:

Hi Don, what do you think of the new addition to the Bruins, Samsonov. Is he a valuable addition to the B's, and do you think he'll be a success in the big leagues?

Don Sweeney replies:
I think Sergei is a tremendous asset. His abilities are really without limits. I think he's a tremendous asset and again will be a big part of our success.

Burns versus Prior Coaches
Jeff from Washington DC asks:

Besides experience, what does Pat Burns bring to the Bruins that is going to make the team better. Is he a player's coach? Or the top-down type?

Don Sweeney replies:
I think Pat and his coaching staff provide a combination of teaching and credibility which will only benefit and contribute to our success. His no-nonsense approach will allow each player the ability to play up to their potential or they won't be here.

Tim from Portland, ME asks:

First congratulations on last nights victory. Who do you think will be your number 1 goalie this year? Also how is Jim doing?

Don Sweeney replies:
Jim is feeling much better. I think the competition between the goalies can only add to the success of our team. I'm not sure who will emerge as number one. At some point in time, the goalies all will factor into our success.

Your Idol
Jessica from Buffalo,ny asks:

Mr.Sweeny, who was your idol as a kid?

Don Sweeney replies:
I have an older brother. I'd say he was my idol, always trying to compete with him. My favorite hockey player was Bobby Orr.

Seth McAfee from Saint John, NB asks:
Do you ever come back to New Brunswick to visit?

Don Sweeney replies:
My parents still live in St. Stephen. My wife and I try to visit during the summer.

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