BOSTON — Keith Garman’s name is not on the Boston Bruins’ roster. He is, however, in the hearts and minds of every person in the historic organization.
He was an important member of the Bruins as the team’s head chef the last four years. He passed away unexpectedly Oct. 11. He was 33.
A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Garman graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island in 2010 with an associate degree in culinary arts. In 2021, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree.
Garman was passionate about hockey and the culinary arts. His two passions mixed perfectly with the Bruins and he quickly earned the respect of the players he helped keep healthy.
Tuesday “was a horrible, horrible day for all of us,” said Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “Chef Keith was a big part of our team, family and organization. Everyone in the organization had to go through his kitchen every day whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’m at a loss of words. Our thoughts and prayers go to the whole family. We send them love and comfort during this difficult time, but he’s not going to be forgotten.”
Bergeron added the entire organization is still in shock and saddened by Garman’s passing.
“His work ethic is the first thing that comes to mind when I talk about Chef Keith. He was there from the crack of dawn to cook us the best meals and always had a smile on his face,” Bergeron said. “In your house you’re always drawn to the kitchen and it was the same thing with him and his kitchen. During a long, stressful hockey season he always had the right words to calm us down and to cook us a good meal.”
The Bruins held a moment of silence before the season’s home opener Saturday night at TD Garden. The team has dedicated its season in Garman’s honor. After the Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals Wednesday in D.C., Bergeron spoke to the team and mentioned Garman as one reason for the victory.
On Saturday, the Bruins hosted the Arizona Coyotes and Boston’s Jeremy Swayman was the starting goalie. Prior to the game he offered his thoughts on Garman’s impact on the team.
“First and foremost I want to send our prayers and my thoughts out to his family,” Swayman said. “That’s not going to be a page easily turned. We’re going to make this season special for him, because he was a huge part of our team, a huge part of our lives and we’re definitely going to miss him.”
Bruins forward Charlie Coyle explained the news hit the players hard when they learned of Chef Keith’s passing.
“He wasn’t in the dressing room, but he was part of our team and organization,” Coyle said. “We all consider ourselves teammates. Everyone is together in here and this is the worst. It’s just a shame that occurred, especially for someone close to us and for someone who has been there for us every day. He was a great person and you just hate to see it. It doesn’t feel real. It’s just sad and we feel for the family.”
It’s been a difficult week for the Bruins, but Garman’s memory has brought the players closer together and they believe it will last the remainder of the season.
“When disaster strikes, or something bad like this happens it does bring people closer together, especially good people,” Coyle said. “When it’s someone who is part of your team it hits home a little more and it makes you think that life is really precious. Sometimes you forget that and it’s a shame it takes something like this to remind you.”
Garman’s presence could be felt inside the Garden Saturday night and the Bruins didn’t let him down.
“It’s good to talk about and be there for one another,” Coyle said. “We’ll always remember Keith and think about him and everything he’s done for us.”
—Contact Joe McDonald at JMcDonald2@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeyMacHockey.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Death of Bruins head chef Keith Garman has hit players hard as team honors longtime friend