BOSTON – Newly signed right wing Shean Donovan was born in Timmins, Ontario, but he should have been born in Boston. Donovan freely admits to being a huge Bruins fan growing up, but has never spent time in the city.
“I was a big Bruins fan growing up and I’ve heard it was a great city,” he said.
For Donovan to sign in Boston is a treat and he is excited to bring his experience and leadership to a team that has been aggressive on the free agent market this summer.
“When I heard Boston was one of the teams interested, I was real excited,” said Donovan with his thick Canadian accent. “I can’t wait to get there and play. I have heard nothing but awesome things about the city, so I’m ready to go.”
Donovan will enter his 12th NHL season and Boston will become his sixth NHL team. Through 12 seasons, the 6’2”, 200-pound forward has recorded 94-103=197 totals with 502 penalty minutes in 698 games played. In the 2003-04 season, he recorded career season-highs of 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points. He also added 5-5=10 totals in 24 playoff games that season as the Flames advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals where they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a seven-game series.
Donovan possesses strong qualities that could help round out a formidable third line with P.J. Axelsson and Wayne Primeau.
“I’ll bring some speed and some energy and try to be a leader,” he said. “In Calgary this past season we were very defensive minded. I played a third line role and spent time on the penalty kill. No matter what, I’ll work hard every time I step on that ice.”
Bruins new Head Coach Dave Lewis has said numerous times that hard work, determination and grit are attributes that will award a player ice time. It seems Donovan fits those categories perfectly and should provide a key element for helping this team get back to its winning ways.
“I want players that are hard to play against,” said Lewis. “I want players who compete for ice time and I want players to compete against opponents. I’m a big believer in attacking as a group and defending as a group. When you don’t have the puck, you’re playing defense; when you have the puck, you’re attacking. In today’s game, as you all saw, you can have the speed, the attacking of the net, and yet you can play physical.”
Lewis called Donovan and gave him the run down of what he expects out of the 31-year-old right wing.
“Coach Lewis called me and I’m excited to play for a coach like that for sure,” said Donovan. “There’s a lot of winning behind that guy.”
With all the changes the organization has made this summer, it’s safe to say everyone is excited to come to Boston and play for the Bruins this fall. Donovan is no different and when he found out the Bruins signed some big name players like Chara and Savard, the former Calgary forward could not pass up this golden opportunity.
“They signed some pretty awesome players and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting team next year,” he said. “When you’re a free agent, you don’t know what to expect, but after watching what they did on Saturday and then expressing interest in me on Sunday. I was very excited to sign and I’m ready to go there and play.”