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Bruins by the Numbers: 48

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Late summer 2010 finds Matt Hunwick at home in Michigan.

During this offseason the former Wolverine returned to the campus of the University of Michigan, not only to train for the upcoming campaign, but to also get the kind of rest and relaxation that injury had robbed from the young blueliner last year.

"I’ve been training all summer out in Ann Arbor," said Hunwick. "I just bought a house about 25 minutes away from downtown, so I’m pretty much a permanent summer resident of the Ann Arbor area now."

On April 18 of 2009, Hunwick had surgery to remove his spleen after it was ruptured in a playoff game against Montreal.

"It’s been about a year and a half now [since the surgery]," said Matt when asked if he had felt 100% during the 2009-10. "You know, I did feel like myself last year, but I think I have felt not quite a hundred percent.

"I think we lost [the playoff series to Carolina in 2009] on a Monday and I was back in Ann Arbor on Friday working out and it felt like it took me all summer to get back to where I was before the injury."

Hunwick explained that after missing time in the playoffs and having to work even harder than usual the following summer, he was a little burnt out going into the 2009-2010 season.

"I almost came into training camp a little fatigued because I didn’t have time to take off to just relax," he said. "I started at such a disadvantage when the summer came. You know?

"From 177 pounds I needed to get back to [over 190] and it took a lot of work.

"This summer has been a lot easier where I’m at a manageable place and I know where I need to be and how long it’s going to take," said Matt.

However, with the new season coming, Hunwick is trying not to dwell on 2009-10 and the heartbreaking loss to the Flyers.

"I think at some point you kind of have to forget about it and what happened in the past," said Matt. "You just have to start a good outlook on the future.

"You don’t really use [the loss] as a motivation," continued Hunwick. "You just try to get yourself to be the best possible, so that you can come in and have a good camp.

"I think everyone is trying to do that and we’d like to have a lot better start then we had last year, as well."

If there has been one major theme in the "Bruins by the Numbers" series this summer, it has been Boston Bruins players insisting that the Black & Gold need a much better start than last fall.

"I feel like this European trip will be good for the team as far as giving good team camaraderie.

"A couple years prior we did go to Vermont before and last season we weren’t able to do that. And I think even if there is relative little turnover [on the team] I think it’s good for the guys to be away and off on their own.

"It gives them a chance to know each other, and the team becomes a lot closer a lot sooner and I think it makes it easier for everyone."

In 2010-11, Hunwick hopes to expand and solidify his role.

"I really enjoyed the amount of playing time I was given playing on the power play and the penalty kill and those types of situations [in the playoffs]," said the blueliner. "It can get me into the game a lot more and it’s a lot easier to play when you’re playing more minutes. 

"I’d like to continue those duties as much as possible. Like everything, you have to get out there and earn them. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and prove myself."

1st game dressed as a forward, Dec. 10 2009
3 NHL seasons
5'11 height
7th round draftee of the B's in 2004 (224th overall)
12 NHL goals
17th of Nov. 2007, first NHL game
25 years old
30 NHL assists
42 NHL points
48  sweater numer in Boston
142 NHL games
163  games with the Univ. of Michigan Wolverines
190 pounds
2007 Signed by Boston on June 26th
." -Hunwick by the Numbers
Hunwick also echoed his teammates’ sentiments about returning to Boston and said he looked forward to starting camp.

I asked Hunwick what about the Bruins and the city made it so desirable to spend so much time in New England.

"First of all it’s an 'Original Six' team," said Hunwick. "I think anyone growing up in a hockey market knows who the 'Original Six' are and would love to be a part of the six teams.

"Then it comes down to you’re also playing in the United States and you’re also playing in one of the best cities in the United States so it’s a combination of where you’re playing, the fans, and how knowledgeable and passionate they are.

"Also the ability to live downtown and play downtown - I think that’s a huge factor for most players. As you know most of our guys do live downtown so it makes it fun for everyone to be in such close proximity to one another and obviously being in close proximity to the rink, too, it makes it easy on everyone."

Like so many Bruins, Hunwick talked about Boston's waterfront.

"I love living around the water and I love living in a big city that's really walkable," he said. "I think there are many afternoons where I go out to the Back Bay and I just walk around.

"Really anywhere in the city, I feel like it's fun to get to point A to point B and it doesn't take you two hours walking. You can get there in 35 minutes.

"It makes it fun for guys who have most of the afternoons off to get out and stretch their legs and be part of a great city."

---Brian Smith and Abigail Seaver contributed to this report.
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