Beyond all the hubbub about new defensemen Aaron Ward and Dennis Wideman, "newish" Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew (right) was in the room today as well.
"I’ve got two years experience playing in the area," said Boston’s new #12 after just his second practice with the squad. "I played one year at Boston College and one year, during the NHL lockout, in Lowell, in the American Hockey League.
"I am really familiar with the area and am excited (to be back)."
Kobasew suffered an elbow injury while playing with Calgary in late January and is just about ready to join the B’s for some game action. Describing his game, he said "I’ll contribute offensively and help the team score goals."
"At the same time, I want to be a good, responsible defensive player," said Chuck, who added "I’ll bring some speed and add it to the forecheck -- the energy side of the game."
For those fans who last saw Kobasew skate for Boston College, he gave a primer on how his skill set has evolved.
"I’ve picked up a lot of stuff (since BC)," said the new B’s forward. "There are a number of little things that I’ve been trying to work on, not one thing in particular, and I’ve been able to (improve) in my time in Calgary."
His former teammate on the Heights, Bobby Allen, said that Chuck has a lot to offer to Boston and was a bit more precise in his own preview of Kobasew.
"He brings grit, hard work and a great attitude," said Allen. "Every time I stepped on the ice with him at BC he was one of the hardest working guys out there.
"That’s just how he plays…with a lot of energy.
"He’s going to be good for our team," concluded Allen.
Just about next door to Kobasew in the locker room is Ward.
"I am excited to be in a new situation where I am familiar with some people," said Ward. "I am thrilled to be here."
Ward was asked about having to play his former team -- the Rangers, twice before the end of the season.
"The whole key is to not make it a special day when you go back there," he said. "We are in as much of a playoff hunt as they are, and the cherry on the Sunday would be to get into the playoffs and see how far we can go."
Wideman, now seated across from Ward in the room, went from the rebuilding Blues to a postseason scramble with the Bruins.
"At first I was shocked," said Wideman. "I was a little nervous…and now I am just excited to get things going here.
"I think we have a good chance (and) I am hoping I can help out and get this team into the playoffs."Practice lines
Minus Marc Savard
, who was given the day off, today’s lines looked like this:Axelsson - Kessel - Murray
Sturm - Bergeron - Kobasew
Reich - Mowers - Donovan
Tenkrat - Chistov - Bochenski
With seven defensemen:Allen, Alberts, Chara, Ference, Wideman, Ward, York
And the goalies: Tim Thomas, Joey MacDonald.
The team, with all the new faces, practiced line rushes to start, as they looked to get familiar with each other’s game. They then moved on to working on the power play and penalty killing drills.
Even without Savvy, the traditional four-on-four game took place with Joey MacDonald in goal.