|With great paycheck comes great responsibility for Adam McQuaid||09.18.15 at 4:32 pm ET|
When asked Friday if the Bruins’ new emphasis on defensemen supporting the attack would boost his offensive numbers, defenseman Adam McQuaid smirked and replied, “There’s only room for improvement there.”
Then, as McQuaid got more serious, he added, “I never put numbers on things.”
Fairly or unfairly, a number has been put on him, and it’s a high one — 2.75 million, to be exact. That’s McQuaid’s cap hit for the next four seasons, a substantial raise from the $1.566 million he averaged over the course of his previous contract.
McQuaid’s four-year, $11 million contract has widely been viewed as an overpayment on the part of the B’s. An intangibles player who comes with as mean a streak as any defenseman in the NHL, McQuaid is a player any team would love to have on its third pairing. With the way he’s being paid however, coupled with the fact that frequent partner Torey Krug makes $3.4 million for his offensive contributions, the risk that the Bruins run is that McQuaid will either be overpaid for a third-pairing defenseman or potentially out of place as a top-four defenseman.
Though the news of his contract came out after the Bruins traded Dougie Hamilton, McQuaid actually had agreed hours before the trade was made. So, in a matter of hours, the 28-year-old went from returning to the same defense group he knew to potentially picking up bigger minutes. McQuaid wants to be a key piece of the defense, but he doesn’t want his contract to dictate his role.
“I think you have to earn those things, obviously,” he said Friday. “I’d like to play a bigger role, but it’s got to be something that you earn and you show that you’re able to do. I think you can tell that we have a lot of depth on the blue line this year. It’s going to be competitive and every day you’re going to need to show your worth or there’s going to be somebody else who can step in and do it.
“At this point in my career, I’d like to continue to improve and get better and play a bigger role, but I’ve got to prove I can do that and work towards that.”
|Brett Connolly arrives at Bruins practice, Adam McQuaid given maintenance day||03.03.15 at 10:58 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Brett Connolly has arrived in Boston, as the recent trade acquisition joined his new Bruins teammates in Tuesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Conolly will wear No. 14 with the Bruins. With another practice day before Thursday’s game, the Bruins seemingly eased Connolly in by skating him as the fourth member of Boston’s fourth line. Gregory Campbell, who has been out since last week with an upper-body injury, returned to practice. Peter Chiarelli said Monday that Campbell was “very close” to being ready to return.
Adam McQuaid did not practice, with Claude Julien saying after the practice that the defenseman was given a maintenance day. Given that the Bruins did not practice Sunday or Monday, that’s an awful lot of maintenance.
Max Talbot, Boston’s other trade acquisition, was not on the ice. The lines were as follows:
|Adam McQuaid progressing, Bruins prepare for Predators||12.23.14 at 12:06 pm ET|
Adam McQuaid joined the Bruins for Tuesday’s morning skate prior to Boston’s last game before the Christmas break.
McQuaid, who has not played since breaking his thumb on Nov. 18, is not yet ready to return to the lineup but has been skating since earlier this month. Claude Julien said after the team’s morning skate that McQuaid’s rehab is “on track.”
The Bruins will keep the same lineup that they used for the second half of Sunday’s game as they look to head into the holiday with a win over the Predators.
The lineup in morning skate was as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Cunningham
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Griffith – Fraser
Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Seidenberg
Krug – Miller
|Adam McQuaid out 6-8 weeks with broken thumb||11.19.14 at 3:14 pm ET|
Adam McQuaid is out 6-8 weeks with a broken thumb, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Wednesday. McQuaid suffered the injury in the second period of Tuesday’s win over the Blues when he was hit by a Kevin Shattenkirk shot that went off Chris Kelly.
McQuaid joins Zdeno Chara and David Warsofsky as Bruins defensemen who are currently out with injuries. Kevan Miller and Torey Krug also missed time earlier in the season.
Until suffering the injury, McQuaid had played in 20 straight games, the longest stretch of consecutive play he’d had the last two seasons. He was limited to two 15-game stretches in a 2013-14 season that was plagued by lower-body injuries.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, McQuaid had averaged 19:55 per night — the highest of his career by nearly four minutes — for the Bruins, often serving as a top-four defenseman who played against the opposition’s better forwards. He had proven himself to be a key piece of a Boston defense that had multiple players go in and out with injuries.
“It’s great to be back and a part of things here and being with the guys on a daily basis and being in the same routine,” McQuaid told WEEI.com hours before Tuesday’s game. “When you’re not practicing and playing and traveling, you’re still at the rink and you still see the guys and stuff, but it’s not quite the same. I’m really enjoying that part, being back in and being on the ice. Feeling like you’re a part of wins is nicer than anything.”
This is the last season of McQuaid’s current contract, which has carried a $1.56 million cap hit for each of the last three seasons. He will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg are the only members of Boston’s opening night defensemen that have played in every game this season. Both players missed significant time last season — Hamilton missed 18 games between multiple injuries, while Seidenberg missed 48 regular-season games and all of the postseason due to a knee injury.
With McQuaid out, it’s only logical that Kevan Miller will slot back into the lineup in McQuaid’s place. Miller filled in admirably for McQuaid last season, but a dislocated shoulder kept him out for 12 games. He was cleared to play Tuesday but was made a healthy scratch in favor of Matt Bartkowski.
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|Claude Julien has no update on Adam McQuaid||11.18.14 at 11:48 pm ET|
Claude Julien offered little update on the status of Adam McQuaid following the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Blues at TD Garden Tuesday. McQuaid left the game in the second period after appearing to take a puck off the right hand/wrist.
“I still have to see what it is, and even if I do go see I don’t think I’ll get the total answer,” Julien said. “[Members of the medical staff] have to have a look at him first and assess the whole thing.”
McQuaid was playing in his 20th straight game, which was longer than any stretch he’d played last season. He was limited to 30 games by a lower-body injury last season, which was split into two stretches of 15 games.
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David Krejci‘s in-and-out-of-the-lineup season hasn’t been easy on him or the Bruins, but one teammate doesn’t have to look too far back to remember what it’s like.
“I can definitely relate,” Adam McQuaid said Tuesday. “It’s not easy.”
Krejci has missed a total of nine games this season due to what is believed to be a hip injury-turned-somewhere-else-in-the-lower-body injury. He missed the first three games of the season, returned for nine, sat two, played one and sat the last four. He is nearing his latest return to the lineup and is a possibility to play Tuesday against the Blues.
Though the injuries may not be the same, the frustration of coming back into the lineup only to leave it again is similar. McQuaid suffered a lower-body injury in the 15th game of last season and went on to miss eight games before returning to play 15 more. He came up lame again on Jan. 19 against the Blackhawks and, despite thinking at times that he was nearing a return, did not play another game the rest of the season. The team said they were shutting him down for 2-3 weeks in March due to a quad strain, but the setbacks he had piled up and eventually led to him being shut down for the year and given surgery on another area that needing cleaning up in his ankle.
As McQuaid looks back on his 2013-14 and how he can relate to Krejci, he says the frustrating part is thinking you’re ready to go only to find out that you aren’t.
“When I went through it, you’re trying to gauge where you’re at, and you take the proper steps and it’s like, ‘OK, I feel good.’ Then you try the next thing,” McQuaid said. “Until you try the next thing, you don’t know. Sometimes it doesn’t go as planned, and then the competitive [aspect] — wanting to push yourself to get back a little bit quicker than you should at times – probably doesn’t help. It takes a little time.”
This season, McQuaid hasn’t had to worry about such uncertainty. He’s played in all 19 games for the Bruins thus far ‘ the longest stretch of consecutive games he’s had since the lockout-shortened season ‘ and has been an important part of a blue line that has lost Johnny Boychuk to a trade and has also lost Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller and Torey Krug to various injuries at points.
There was a time while McQuaid was out last season that it appeared he would ultimately be expendable on Boston’s back end, but it has become the opposite. McQuaid, who has played 19:55 a night this season, has taken on the opposition’s top-six forwards regularly after serving as a third-pairing guy for the vast majority of his first four seasons when in the lineup.
“It’s great to be back and a part of things here and being with the guys on a daily basis and being in the same routine,” he said. “When you’re not practicing and playing and traveling, you’re still at the rink and you still see the guys and stuff, but it’s not quite the same. I’m really enjoying that part, being back in and being on the ice. Feeling like you’re a part of wins is nicer than anything.”
McQuaid can only hope that the similarities between his 2013-14 season and Krejci’s 2014-15 season end now. Krejci is the Bruins’ best offensive player and has been a point-a-game player with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his 10 games played this season.
Once Krejci returns, McQuaid has his fingers crossed that everything will be back to normal and that Krejci won’t have to experience what McQuaid did a season ago.
“That’s the hope,” he said. “I haven’t gone into great detail with him about how he’s getting along. I mean, we’ve talked a little here and there, but again, now is the time if you need the extra time, to take it. At the same time, it’s hard. If you’re feeling good, you’re going to go. If you’re feeling good, you’re not going to take extra time if you don’t feel like you need it. Hopefully when he’s back, he’s back and back to stay.”
|Adam McQuaid appears to get first turn as potential Johnny Boychuk replacement||10.08.14 at 1:26 pm ET|
Adam McQuaid probably hoped that he would have been a top-4 defenseman by the time he reached his fifth full NHL season. Now, he kind of is. Maybe. For now.
McQuaid, who has played on Boston’s bottom pairing throughout his NHL career, figures to open the regular season as Dennis Seidenberg‘s defensive partner on Boston’s second pairing, by the looks of morning skate. The spot was held by Johnny Boychuk throughout training camp, but Saturday’s trade of Boychuk left an opening to be filled by McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski or Kevan Miller.
The guess here is that it will eventually be Miller, but for now, McQuaid, who hasn’t played in a regular-season or playoff game since last January, is getting his shot.
“I did feel like [I could be a top-4 player] when I could get some consistency and play a little more,” McQuaid said Wednesday. “I think everyone’s always looking to continue to take steps, but it was kind of hard when I was in and out of the lineup so much.
“It is a great opportunity, but I just need to focus on what I do and not look at as any different as a situation. Whoever I’m playing against, play hard and be aware of who’s out there. That’s all you can do.”
McQuaid and Seidenberg have not played much together in the past. Seidenberg has typically played on Boston’s second pairing in the regular season before playing on the top pairing in the postseason. McQuaid has remained a third-pairing guy.
“We haven’t played with each other a ton, but it’s one of those things,” McQuaid. “We’ve had the same group here for quite a while, for the most part. Guys have been comfortable playing with one another, but we’ve got some shifts together in the preseason. I think he’s a pretty easy guy to play with, so I’m not too worried about that.”
Look for the Bruins to take their time as they try different players with Seidenberg in order to find a full-time Boychuk replacement. For now, it’s McQuaid. The first step to keeping the job will be staying healthy.