I've been watching hockey ever since 1957. Needless to say, the Original Six NHL teams are all familiar to me. But I've always wondered about something that came up in a forum I belong to this year during the Finals: why is the "B" in the Boston Bruins' logo surrounded by the spokes of a wheel? I mean, I can understand the wheel on the Detroit Red Wings' sweater; they play in the Motor City, after all. But what in the world does a wheel have to do with Boston?
I had a sleep study done last night. After it was over, I was sitting in the hospital lobby waiting for my bus and paging through some old magazines. And there, staring me in the face from an old copy of Sports Illustrated, was the answer.
It seems that in 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.- the poet, not the Supreme Court justice- stated that the Massachusetts State House in Boston was "the hub upon which the Solar System turns." A strange conceit, and as parochial as it is astronomically dubious. But there you have the answer to the question of why the Bruins' sweater features a "B' in the middle of a wheel where the hub ought to be.
And I'm delighted with it. It's just the sort of arcane, cobweb-covered, historically obscure, oddball explanation that the logo of an Original Six NHL team ought to have behind it.
Another of life's great mysteries solved.