It’s a day Peter Chiarelli won’t forget.
On April 15, 2013, Chiarelli was the general manager of the Boston Bruins. He was jogging along the Charles River when he heard two loud bangs. Chiarelli thought maybe it was a vehicle noise. Then he looked across the river.
The finish line of the Boston Marathon had been bombed.
“It’s indelible in my mind. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Not only the actual incident, but the trickle down effect, and the four days that followed. The lock down. We had a game that was postponed. You were almost under house arrest,” Chiarelli, now the Edmonton Oilers GM, recalls. “It was a surreal, helpless experience.”
Chiarelli’s appreciation for police grew even stronger as a result. On Thursday at Rogers Place, he was named the first ever ambassador for the Edmonton Police Foundation.
“In all this, you see the efforts of the police and other first responders, but also the efforts of the community. You recognize the strength of that connection,” Chiarelli believes. “The connection between community and police, which we’re all aware of, but we take for granted. That was when I stopped taking it for granted and began to appreciate it.”
The Oilers will dedicate their March 7 home game against the New York Islanders to the Edmonton Police Service, which will marking its 125th year in 2017. During the 2017/18 season, the Oilers Entertainment Group will host major fundraising gala in support of the Edmonton Police Foundation. (jrw)