|Aaron Johnson eager to help Bruins however he can||01.10.13 at 5:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — While Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley and Daniel Paille were the most notable additions to Thursday’s informal practice at Ristuccia Arena, there was one more new guy in attendance. An actual new guy.
Defenseman Aaron Johnson, who was signed to a two-way contract in the offseason after spending last season in Columbus, made his Ristuccia debut on Thursday, a day after going out to dinner with Shawn Thornton and a number of other Bruins teammates.
Johnson, 29, was signed to be a depth guy for the B’s, but if Adam McQuaid (who is still recovering from blood clot surgery but has been on the ice in recent weeks) is unable to go at the start of the season, Johnson could be in the rotation for the B’s.
In 56 games for the Blue Jackets last season, Johnson had three goals and 13 assists for 16 points and a very Blue Jackets-esque minus-12 rating. He said the Bruins weren’t the only option for him this offseason, but choosing them proved to be an easy decision.
“There was a number of teams, but I just think the experience here and the fact that they won a Stanley Cup and still have a lot of those guys, I think it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I’m just trying to come in and help as much as possible.
“I think the history speaks for itself here,” he added. “As soon as they came on the list, it was pretty much close the door and sign the contract because when a team like this comes along, you want to jump in and be a part of it.”
|Bruins gear up for training camp||01.07.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
With training camp a matter of days away, a group of Bruins players had some pep in their collective step at an informal practice Monday at Agganis Arena.
Present for the skate was Andrew Ference, Tyler Seguin, Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, Adam McQuaid and Gregory Campbell in addition to a group of local NHLers. McQuaid is still getting his strength back as he recovers from blood clot surgery, but he was taking wrist shots and slapshots Monday.
Seguin said after the skate that “words can’t describe” how much he’s missed the NHL.
“Just from hanging out with the guys, seeing everyone and obviously the game,” he added. “It’s been a long couple months.”
The third-year NHLer said that while he spent plenty of time during the lockout when it was going to be resolved, he also kept the fans in mind.
“I felt sorry [for them],” Seguin said. “I mean, I want to apologize for everything that happened, but hopefully we can move forward from here. Obviously we’re going to play our hearts out the next 48 games and play for the fans out there.”
|Looking back and ahead: Adam McQuaid||05.30.12 at 11:56 pm ET|
With the Bruins’ season in the books, WEEI.com will take a look at each player on the roster one-by-one to provide some perspective on what went wrong this season and what the future holds for the 2011 champions.
2011-12 stats: 72 games played (career-high), 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, plus-16
Contract status: Signed through 2014-15 season ($1.56 million cap hit)
Looking back: After starting the 2010-11 campaign as the Bruins’ seventh defenseman and earning a full-time job on the Bruins’ lineup, McQuaid entered his second full campaign with far more assurances of where he stood. He was entering the final year of his contract when the B’s locked him up with a three-year extension to keep him in Boston until at least 2015.
With his future with the team secured, McQuaid continued to serve as a third-pairing defenseman for the B’s in the 2011-12 season. He spent the vast majority of the season skating with Andrew Ference, making for a reliable third pairing that also had plenty of grit to it.
Though McQuaid played in five more games in 2011-12 than he did in the 2010-11 campaign, his fighting major total was actually half of what it was a year earlier. McQuaid finished the season with six fighting majors (he had 12 in 2010-11) and his seven total major penalties ranked him tied with Milan Lucic for third on the Bruins, behind Shawn Thornton (20) and Gregory Campbell (10). That seventh major penalty came when he kneed former OHL teammate Nick Foligno on Dec. 14 against the Senators. The play was certainly questionable and deserving of a look from Brendan Shanahan, but he was only fined $2,500 rather than being suspended.
In addition to missing the season-opener with an illness, McQuaid dealt with multiple head injuries during the season, as he missed three games with one and later saw a hit from Jason Chimera late in the season keep him out of the playoffs.
Looking ahead: McQuaid said he was “feeling like [himself] again” at the team’s breakup day following their first-round exit against the Capitals, so unless his concussion symptoms are severe, he should be able to make the necessary preparations in training camp on time for the B’s. If the symptoms continue and his offseason and/or training camp is disrupted, the Bruins will obviously have a bigger problem on their hands.
Assuming McQuaid is fully healthy and good to go next season, the Bruins know what they’re getting out the Prince Edward Island native. He won’t produce much at all offensively, but he plays his role well as a big, tough defenseman whose best asset is his careful play. If he sees a hit he doesn’t like or he feels he needs to swing momentum, he’s as willing a fighter as the B’s have.
With some turnover anticipated on the blue line (Joe Corvo, Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon are all unrestricted free agents and Dougie Hamilton should make the team out of camp), don’t expect McQuaid’s spot to be in jeopardy any time soon. Extending him at as low a cost as the Bruins did was yet another smart move for the blue line by Peter Chiarelli. He may have overpaid a bit on Johnny Boychuk‘s new deal, but give the GM credit for the value he’s been able to get out of both McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg (four years, $13 million after the 2009-10 season).
|Bruins explain injuries to Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid, Tyler Seguin||04.27.12 at 1:30 pm ET|
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron had to play the final four games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals with a strained oblique and a broken nose.
The oblique injury was suffered in Game 3 against the Capitals, and it got worse before eventually forcing him out of Game 5 in the third period. He played in Games 6 and 7, but only took one faceoff in each of the final two games.
Bergeron had a scoring opportunity in overtime against the Capitals in Game 7, but couldn’t control the puck and sent it wide of the net. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday that the injury prevented him from making the play, noting that Bergeron “couldn’t stretch for it.”
Adam McQuaid did indeed have a concussion from the hit that he took from Capitals forward Jason Chimera on March 29. McQuaid suffered a cut above his eye, causing pain that he said may have masked his concussion symptoms at the time. He tried returning on April 5 against the Senators, but didn’t feel right and came out of the game in the second period.
In other injury news, Tyler Seguin might need surgery on a detached tendon in one of his knuckles on his left hand.
|Adam McQuaid still not skating||04.18.12 at 4:36 pm ET|
ARLINGTON, Va. – Adam McQuaid still isn’t skating, Bruins coach Claude Julien said Wednesday. The defenseman did not travel with the team to D.C., though the team still considers him day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
McQuaid originally suffered his injury on March 29 in a game against the Capitals. A hit from Jason Chimera behind the net left McQuaid with a cut around his eye that swelled and kept him out of action until April 5. He played in only seven minutes that game before leaving in the second period. The team began calling his injury an upper-body injury prior to the playoffs.
|Tuukka Rask will make the trip to Washington, but Adam McQuaid won’t||04.15.12 at 6:59 pm ET|
The Bruins’ regulars stayed off the ice Sunday, as the team elected to rest up after playing overtime games Thursday and Saturday before Monday’s Game 3 against the Capitals.
At Sunday’s media availability, coach Claude Julien said that Tuukka Rask, who has missed the first two games of the series with an abdomen/groin injury, will make the trip to the nation’s capital. Adam McQuaid (upper-body) will not.
“He’s not going to make the trip,” Julien said. “He’s going to stay here and continue to get treatment because ight now he’s not ready to go on the ice, so he’s going to continue treatment. When he’s ready to start working out with the team then we’ll bring him with us.”
|Adam McQuaid misses practice again||04.13.12 at 2:19 pm ET|
Aside from David Krejci (stiff neck), defenseman Adam McQuaid was the only player missing from Friday’s Bruins practice. He hasn’t skated all week, so it would appear his status for Saturday’s Game 2 against the Capitals would be unlikely.
McQuaid is still dealing with an upper-body injury. He has not played since April 5.
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