From Pee Wee to Pro The Maine Way

A story by Danny Bolduc from 1960s to 2018

Where do I begin? Hockey has been a part of my life, all my life. Maine has also been a big part of my life, all my life. As an athlete, I have been fortunate to experience some memorable moments starting at age nine when our pee wee hockey team from Waterville played in the national tournament two years in a row and I was named the tournament MVP twice. My high school team won the New England Hockey Championship my freshman year and in college at Harvard, my team made it to the Frozen Four National championships twice. After Harvard, it was a whirlwind hockey year, culminating with an appearance in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, scoring two goals and experiencing the thrill of a lifetime on the world stage. A subsequent 10 year professional hockey career with the Hartford Whalers and the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL was indeed icing on the cake. Hockey has always been so very special to me and Maine has always served as my home base of operations.

As a student, I was blessed with opportunities to learn at Waterville High School, Phillips Andover Academy, and Harvard University. Often times, the pursuit of my dreams led me away from Maine, but always the lure of "the way life should be" led me right back to Maine! In 1980, my wife Jane (daughter of Maine Sports Hall of Famer John "Swisher " Mitchell) and I built a home on Messalonskee Lake which remains as our original Maine homestead nearly 40 years ago today.

Over the years, I can remember many people trying to advise me to live in Maine for the summers only and, for tax reasons, move to Florida to become a Florida resident. I could never ever do that. I am so very proud of the fact that I am the first Maine resident to have played in the Olympics and in the NHL. Maine will always be my home. I am very proud of my roots in Maine. I am a proud member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. And now, at the tender age of 65, I am starting my new job as the director of the Bureau of Labor Standards for the State of Maine.

I feel as if I have come full circle back to the state where I had my start in life. I can't help but think of all those years I have invested here in Maine. Ironically at the Department of Labor, their focus now is on helping Maine's teens join the workforce through the help of their "YES" initiative by getting that first job and harnessing crucial life skills that will help them shape their futures. These are the same life skills that I was exposed to at an early age.

Maine has so much to offer and I like to think that I took full advantage of opportunities created right here in Maine, nurtured them all over the world, and finally treasured them forever as I approach my retirement years. As an athlete, a student, and a Maine businessman, I feel that the state of Maine laid a solid foundation for me to build a dream life and what a pleasant ride it has been.

Respectfully,

Danny Bolduc Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards

Story submitted July 17, 2018

Danny Bolduc, Detroit Red Wings

Danny Bolduc, Detroit Red Wings

Carrying the Olympic torch, 1996 Atlanta games

Carrying the Olympic torch, 1996 Atlanta games

Dan Bolduc and Gordie Howe on the bench

Dan Bolduc and Gordie Howe on the bench