BOSTON - There is a new energy around the Bruins, and not just because of the upcoming 2016-17 season.
On Thursday, the team's new practice facility - Warrior Ice Arena - was unveiled.
After practicing for more than 25 years north of the city, the Bruins are back in Boston, with their new start-of-the-art training complex located at the Boston Landing development in the Brighton/Allston neighborhood next to New Balance's headquarters.
Warrior Hockey owns the naming rights for the rink, which can be seen from the Mass Pike, along with a 68-foot, 7,000-pound Warrior hockey stick adorning the side of the building.
"The excitement right now, it's going around, and I think the energy we have with the guys coming back into town and getting into this facility, it's going to do wonders for us," defenseman Torey Krug during a Media Open House no Thursday, where local reporters were able to get a first look at the rink.
"We're pretty lucky to come into a facility like this and we're all very excited, and guys will be coming back to town pretty excited."
Bruins President Cam Neely gave a tour of the amenities for the media on hand.
"With this facility, the guys are very excited about it," said Neely. "The players that have been in here already are very excited about being in this space a lot more."
The concept of Warrior Ice Arena had been in the works for years, and came to fruition about five years ago, when New Balance first began their plans to develop the Boston Landing area (which will get its own MBTA stop in the spring of 2017).
Neely has been the catalyst for the project.
Both the players and community will benefit from the space, with 75 percent of the ice time already booked. Warrior Ice Arena is the first public hockey arena to be constructed within the city of Boston in the last 40 years.
"I think the proximity to the [TD] Garden is important," said Neely. "I didn't think we would be this close when I started looking, so that's important. Obviously, what this development is going to turn into is going to be really special, too, with what New Balance is doing."
"It's been a long time coming with the planning stages," said Jim Halliday, Managing Director for NB Development Group, the arm of New Balance that is developing the Boston Landing area. "It's been over five years and just under two years of construction, and I can tell you we've got a lot of excited people on the project development team looking forward to [the grand opening]."
While the facility is not yet open to the public, there will be a Community Day on Saturday, Sept. 10, with first-come, first-served skating sessions beginning at 10:15 a.m. (More details can be found on the homepage of BostonBruins.com).
There are also tweaks being made to the different spaces, as the coaching staff and players get their first look at their new home.
Features include a spacious strength and conditioning area, training room with cold and hot tubs, a locker room with the Spoked-B prominently displayed on the ceiling, along with a video room and players lounge for the team to eat their meals and spend time together.
"Walking into this building, people want to be here and they want to spend time here," said Krug. "It allows you to go the extra step and go the extra mile to make sure you're prepared for the season and doing the right things for your body and everything. So we've been given a lot of resources here and the energy of the guys has just been incredible so far."
The Bruins' championship banners and retired numbers are prominently displayed in the arena, and throughout the players' areas.
"It's an investment - for this organization, the players, the coaching staff - for everyone to become better and to reach their potential," said Krug. "It's an old saying - to whom much is given, much is expected - so we have this beautiful facility here and the ownership's investing in us, and we've got to make sure we can repay that."