Feb 15, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) hits Montreal Canadiesn forward Louis Leblanc (71) during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

# 54 Adam McQuaid – The man, his mitts, and his mullet.


McQuaid was selected in the second round (fifty fifth overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. When he was drafted, he was playing for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League(OHL). He played for the Wolves for four seasons. (2003-04 to 2006-07) In those four years as a defensemen, he put up a decent seventy six points for the club. (Eighteen goals, fifty-eight assists in 246 games.) In that same amount of time, he racked up an impressive three hundred and forty minutes in penalties. He also gathered a lot of post season experience in his OHL career. The Wolves were in the playoffs all four seasons.  In his final season in Sudbury, McQuaid helped lead the Wolves to the OHL Final against the Plymouth Whalers. The Wolves were defeated in six games.

After the 2006-2007 season, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded McQuaid to the Boston Bruins. The Blue Jackets got a fifth round draft pick for McQuaid. He was signed to a three year, entry level contract with the Bruins organization. He was assigned to the American Hockey League(AHL) Providence Bruins. McQuaid put up a respectable nine points in his first AHL season. He also racked up over a full game in penalty minutes (seventy three).

McQuaid’s time in Providence reflected his OHL career. He put up one hundred seventy-eight games in Providence. In the two and a half seasons in the AHL, McQuaid scored eight goals, and racked up twenty six assists. He was also keeping his other skill set up as well. Adam McQuaid found himself in the sin bin for two hundred and eighty minutes. McQuaid also got himself some valuable post-season experience. Thirty six games earned him three points in assists and thirty five more minutes in penalties. He had the skill set and talent to be noticed by general manager Chiarelli and Coach Julien. McQuaid was soon given a chance to prove himself.  Newly minted as Bruins #54, McQuaid scored his first NHL goal on February 7th, 2010 against the Bruins’ ancient rival, the Montreal Canadiens.

Adam McQuaid became a permanent part of the Boston Bruins line up just in time for the incredible 2010- 2011 season. That silly little year where our B’s played twenty-six games to become the Stanley Cup Champions. McQuaid continued his OHL and AHL traditions in the NHL. McQuaid played sixty seven games in that year. He scored three goals and earned twelve assists. He also put up ninety six minutes for various penalties. I don’t understand why McQuaid got penalized so often. He was just backing his team. He backed them often. Quite often. Then there was the post season. He played in twenty three of the games, grabbing four assists and getting another fourteen in the box. In the end, it was all worth it.   The Bruins won it all in seven against the Vancover Canucks, and Adam McQuaid got to bring the Cup home to Prince Edward Island.

McQuaid, like his fellow pugilist Shawn Thornton is one of those players that can rally his team. The Bruins are 12-2-3 in games in which he has had a fighting major in the last two seasons. One of those signs that the Bruins will dominate not just with their skill sets, and their manuverability on the ice, but when it comes down to it, the Bruins will NOT be intimidated by any other team in the league.

McQuaid still played seventy two games last season, even having surgery to remove a blood clot under his collarbone. “The physical signs were there. My arm got really swollen, and there was no denying that something was going on, so it was a no-brainer to go get checked out,” he explained. “When I kind of had an idea of what was going on, I got in contact with some of the team doctors just on my own, on behalf of myself. Luckily enough, they worked with me just on a personal level and not with the team. I was pretty fortunate to have those guys watching over everything that was going on.” With the surgery, it was unclear whether or not McQuaid would be ready for the Bruins opening night.

Coach Claude Julien put that concern to rest yesterday. After being cleared by the Bruins doctors, the coach had nothing but praise for the number six defenseman. He looked pretty good,” Julien said. “He went through a pretty good scare. For me, it was about giving him the green light to pull himself out if he needed to and take a step back if he needed to. And he didn’t. I talked to him afterward and he said he felt great. It’s not just the physical thing, it’s a mental thing. You’ve got to allow him to process all of this stuff and make sure he feels A-OK. And to me, he looked OK today.

“He certainly didn’t stick out of the group as far as a guy being off his game. So we’re looking forward to having a (player) like him because we missed him last year.”

As a solid defensemen, and as a Bruin who provides a strong physical presence for his team, we can look forward to Adam McQuaid giving Boston a reason to believe this season. Now let’s go rescue that Cup.

 

 

 

 

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