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With future uncertain, Adam McQuaid happy to be healthy 09.03.14 at 3:51 pm ET
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Adam McQuaid

Adam McQuaid

WILMINGTON –€” Earlier in Adam McQuaid’€™s NHL career, the book on him fairly apparent: He was a tough-as-nails right shot defensemen whose responsible style made him a good fit on a third pairing, but he couldn’€™t be counted on for 82 games. That, and he could fight like a maniac.

McQuaid suffered smaller injuries here and there as he missed two playoff games in Boston’€™s 2011 Cup run, 10 games in 2011-12 (and then all seven playoff games with a concussion), then missed 16 games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season.

Last season, however, was a different animal. A quad injury hindered him through multiple attempts to return to the lineup, and when all was said and done McQuaid got into only 30 games, the last of which was Jan. 19. When it became clear that the quad had ended his season, the decision was made for him to get ankle surgery to heal another issue that had been bothering him.

Now, with the Bruins and other local skaters taking the ice in preparation for the season, McQuaid is at full health and trying to find his feet again. The biggest physical hurdle remaining for him is conditioning, as it’€™s tough to be in optimal game shape when you’€™ve been off the ice for seven-plus months.

“Just getting strength and endurance,”€ McQuaid said of where he stands in his comeback. “€œIt’s been a bit of a layoff, so getting back into situations, making plays and reading plays and understanding your position on the ice, which probably everyone will have a bit of an adjustment but it’ll be a little more for me. So just need to make those areas that I focus on.”

Injuries aside, McQuaid’€™s biggest problem might be that he is returning to a Bruins defensive picture that is much different than the one that he left. When McQuaid initially suffered his injury on Nov. 13, he was locked in as Boston’€™s third-pairing right defenseman, playing regular minutes alongside Torey Krug.

When he went out, Matt Bartkowski got more NHL experience, while Kevan Miller emerged in McQuaid’€™s spot on the third pair. Now, the 27-year-old McQuaid is just one of nine NHL blue liners trying to get on the ice for the B’€™s.

“I guess it’s a good situation to have for the team,”€ McQuaid said. “€œLuckily, we’ve put ourselves in this position as an organization. I think everyone, just same old saying: control what you can control. I want to come out and give out my best effort. Hopefully that’s enough. We’ll see how things go. Just focus on your job and the other decisions will be left to the people that make those decisions.”

When Miller initially established himself and then signed a team-friendly two-year contract with an annual cap hit of just $800,000, it looked like McQuaid could become expendable. Trading McQuaid now would be unwise for the Bruins, however, as the more logical move would be to let McQuaid re-establish himself with an extended stretch of healthy playing time and then re-assess where the team’€™s back end stands.

“You just focus on your job and at the end of the day, you don’t make those decisions,” McQuaid said. “Other people do. You try to put yourself in the best position to succeed and that’s really all you can do.”

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Zdeno Chara joins captains practice, Chris Kelly, Adam McQuaid provide updates on health 09.03.14 at 12:58 pm ET
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WILMINGTON –€” Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara were the two notable additions to the group at Wednesday’€™s semi-formal (called informal, but super-organized) practice at Ristuccia Arena. Lucic, who is coming off wrist surgery, skated by himself beforehand and did not join the others, while Chara took part in the full skate.

After the session, both Adam McQuaid and Chris Kelly briefed the media on their respective injury situations. McQuaid, who is coming off ankle surgery and a quad injury, is at full health but is a bit behind on his conditioning. He hopes to be in playing shape during training camp.

Kelly, meanwhile, was instructed to not do any sort of exercise for six weeks following surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. Since then, he has been working out and skating plenty. Kelly said he now feels no limitations.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Chris Kelly skate as Bruins begin captains practices 09.02.14 at 12:58 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins began their informal captains practices Tuesday, and there was a strong turnout from current Bruins, future Boston hopefuls, ex-Bruins and plain old local NHLers.

Among the current Bruins on the ice were Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid and Chris Kelly, all three of whom were off the ice last postseason when the B’s made an early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Canadiens. Seidenberg has long recovered from his torn ACL (he would have been available in the Eastern Conference finals had the B’s made it there), while Kelly is coming off back surgery and McQuaid is returning from quad and ankle injuries.

Other Bruins on the ice included Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, Loui Eriksson and Daniel Paille. Among the Providence Bruins present were Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, Bobby Robins, Tommy Cross and David Warsofsky. One surprising face to see was that of 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak. In the past, rookie camp invitees have not participated in captains practices.

The biggest name of the former Bruins present was Shawn Thornton, but he definitely wasn’t the biggest former Bruin in attendance. That distinction went to Hal Gill. Boston native and current Coyote Keith Yandle was also on the ice.

The informal practices, which are closed to the public, are expected to continue throughout the week. Rookie camp begins on Sept. 11, while training camp practices begin on Sept. 19.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Patrice Bergeron is in weirdest NHL 15 commercial 08.29.14 at 11:47 am ET
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There’s no two ways about it: This NHL 15 commercial, starring Patrice Bergeron, is the weirdest.

Bergeron, who was voted the cover athlete of the EA Sports video game, beat out P.K. Subban to get on the cover. That means more bright lights for the quiet and humble center, and, apparently, poetry. This is a far cry from Bergeron’s license plate commercial from when he was a rookie in 2003-04.

As I’m posting this, I remember that GIFs exist. This is going to be interesting.

This is also weird, but less weird because it’s Brad Marchand:

 

 

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Bruins extend affiliation with Providence, hire Jay Pandolfo 08.27.14 at 5:41 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have extended their affiliation with the Providence Bruins and hired former Bruins forward Jay Pandolfo as a development coach. They also announced that Don Sweeney, currently an assistant general manager for the Bruins, will also serve as GM of the Providence Bruins.

Pandolfo, a Winchester native and Boston University graduate, spent the majority of his 15-year NHL career with the Devils. After a season with the Islanders in 2011-12, Pandolfo finished his career with the Bruins in 2012-13. In playing for Boston, he was also reunited with former Devils coach Claude Julien.

Sweeney is entering his ninth year in the Bruins’€™ front office. He will retain his current responsibilities as assistant GM in addition to his new Providence duties.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Contract extension talks between David Krejci, Bruins expected to pick up soon 08.27.14 at 10:51 am ET
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David Krejci is entering the final year of his contract. (Getty Images)

David Krejci is entering the final year of his contract. (Getty Images)

Though two key free agents remain unsigned in Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, the team has had talks to avoid a similar situation with one of their top players next summer.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Bruins have had “casual discussions” with David Krejci‘€™s camp about a contract extension for the first-line center. Krejci, 28, is entering the final year of a three-year, $15.75 million contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the coming season.

The source said there is an expectation that talks will accelerate in the near future. Historically, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has tried to get deals with his franchise players done before they enter their contract years. Chiarelli did it prior to the 2010-11 season, when he locked up free-agents-to-be Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, and last summer, when he signed Bergeron to an eight-year extension.

Krejci’€™s current contract was signed during his contract year, as Krejci was months away from restricted free agency when the B’€™s gave him the three-year pact in December of 2011.

The Czech center is coming off the second-most productive regular season of his career. His 69 points (19 goals, 50 assists) were the most he put up since posting 73 points in the 2008-09 season. Krejci enjoyed the successful regular season while centering Boston’s top line with longtime linemate Milan Lucic and the since-departed Jarome Iginla. With Iginla now in Colorado, Loui Eriksson is expected to serve as the Bruins’ first-line right wing.

Krejci fell short in the postseason, however, scoring no goals and contributing four assists in 12 playoff games. His quiet playoff performance was rather uncharacteristic of him, as he had led two of the previous three postseasons in points.

As for Smith and Krug, both players are entry level free agents, meaning they are at the end of their entry level contracts but have not accrued enough NHL service time to qualify for restricted free agency. As such, neither player can negotiate with other teams. Using figures from Capgeek.com, Bruins currently have 3.218 million in cap space, assuming Marc Savard will be placed on long-term injured reserve.

Read More: David Krejci, Reilly Smith, Torey Krug,
Bruins announce rookie camp, training camp details 08.21.14 at 12:49 pm ET
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The Bruins announced their training camp schedule, as well as the particulars of their rookie tournament in Antioch, Tenn. on Thursday.

Rookie camp begins on Sept. 11, after which the B’€™s youngsters will head south for a tournament against prospects from the Predators, Panthers and Lightning organizations. Highlighted by 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak, the roster for that camp is as follows:

FORWARDS: Andrew Aamon*, Spencer Asuchak*, Anthony Camara, Mitchell Dempsey, Alex Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Seth Griffith, Cory Kane*, Dawson Leedahl*, Matt Lindblad, Pastrnak, Ben Sexton, Kevin Sullivan*.

DEFENSEMEN: Linus Arnesson, Bryce Aneloski*, Mickael Beauregard*, Chris Casto, Lee Moffie*, Frankie Simonelli*, Mike Young*.

GOALTENDERS: Adam Morrison, Malcolm Subban

Aamon, Aneloski, Asuchak, Beauregard, Leedahl, Moffie, Simonelli, Sullivan and Young will all attend the camp on a tryout basis.

Per the press release, the schedule for the rookie camp and training camp is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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