Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season on a player-by-player basis. Today, BlueJackets.com continues the series by looking at Adam McQuaid's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2018-19 campaign.
Birth date: Oct. 12, 1986
Height/Weight: 6-4, 210
Stats (Games, G-A-P, point shares): 50 GP, 3-4-7, 1.9 PS (14 GP, 1-1-2, 0.4 PS with CBJ)
Contract: Unrestricted free agent
In 2005, looking to bolster defensive depth, the Blue Jackets used a draft pick on a big blueliner from Prince Edward Island who had been impressing with the Sudbury Wolves named Adam McQuaid.
The problem is McQuaid never made it to Columbus, being traded to Boston before his pro career began. The rangy blue liner went on to become a mainstay on the Bruins blue line, using his toughness and defensive skills to play nine seasons with the Bruins and win the Stanley Cup in 2011.
He never was an offensive defenseman -- he had 13 goals over his nine seasons -- but was one of the big, bad men on the big, bad Bruins. McQuaid was plus-60 in his time with the Bruins and had 652 penalty minutes including 55 fights in his Boston tenure.
Entering the season: McQuaid's run in Boston finally came to a close, as the Bruins traded him to the Rangers just before the season for fellow defenseman Steven Kampfer and draft picks. He had played just 38 games for the Bruins in his final season in Boston.
While he's a big, physical defenseman in an era that is moving more and more to speed and skill, McQuaid ended up being a similar player for the Rangers as he'd been for the Bruins over the years, posting five points and a plus-3 rating.
What happened: With the Rangers out of contention as the trade deadline neared and McQuaid set to enter unrestricted free agency, he was on the market, and a Columbus team looking to add defensive depth with Ryan Murray out snapped him up for a fourth-round pick, a seventh-round pick and prospect Julius Bergman.
General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he would add "experience, character and compete," and he did just that. But there was a bit of a transition period for McQuaid, who struggled a bit in his first few games and even was a healthy scratch at one point.
Head coach John Tortorella pointed to a player who was overanalyzing what his new team wanted, and once McQuaid became comfortable, he was a different player as a solid third-pair defender. He had a goal and an assist in 14 games and was plus-4 in his last seven games with the team.
Unfortunately, his season ended March 28 when he on the penalty kill for the Blue Jackets against Montreal. He was hit from the blind side by Andrew Shaw at the blue line as the Habs were attempting to enter the zone and was down for a while, then skated off slowly. He wouldn't play again for the Blue Jackets as he continued to rehab his injuries.
McQuaid's lone goal for Columbus came in a huge win for the Jackets on March 15 at home vs. Carolina. He got the team on the board 3:08 into the game as his shot from the right point wound its way through traffic and got past goalie Petr Mrazek. Columbus ended up winning the game 3-0 against a team it was battling for position in the Metropolitan Division.
Video: CAR@CBJ: McQuaid beats Mrazek through screen
By the Numbers
11:25: McQuaid averaged that total of ice time for the Blue Jackets, a number that is brought down some by the fact he played just over four minutes in the game he got hurt. Still, he was a third-pair defenseman for the squad and was settling into that role well when injured.
10: In the last 10 games McQuaid played for the Blue Jackets, he was on the ice for zero goals against.
0.14: McQuaid over his career has averaged 0.14 points per game for an average of 11.5 per 82 games. This season, he averaged 0.14 points per game in 36 games for the Rangers and 0.14 points per game in 14 games with Columbus.