Chuck Kobasew always chooses his words carefully, and as any media member will attest, if the former Boston College Eagle speaks more words than you can count on your ten fingers, you can consider yourself lucky.
But during Wednesday's conference call, when the Bruins formally reintroduced their winger and announced they had signed Kobasew to a three-year deal, Chuck was downright chatty.
"I'd just like to start off by thanking the Bruins organization for making me a part of their future," said Kobasew via cell phone. "I really enjoy playing in the city of Boston -- I love the city.
"I had a chance to play a couple years of my career with different teams in the area, both in the American League (Lowell) and in college (BC), and I had a great time there."
It's certainly a cliché, but heretofore Kobasew has let his play do the talking for him.
This past season, Kobasew enjoyed a career year during his first full campaign in the Hub of Hockey. He played in 73 regular season games and established career highs in goals (22), assists (17) and points (39), and those 22 markers placed him second on the team and his 39 points ranked fourth on the squad.
While Seeing action on both the power play and penalty kill units, the speedy Kobasew led the Bruins in shorthanded goals with three and his six power play tallies were the fourth most on the roster.
"Our goal was making the playoffs," said Kobasew. "We were always in contention for a playoff spot throughout the whole season…and that was exciting.
"When it really mattered the most is when we played our best and that was down the stretch."
Selected by the Calgary Flames with the 14th overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Kobasew was traded, along with good friend Andrew Ference
, from Calgary to Boston on February 10, 2007 in exchange for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. He played in 10 games for Boston during the 2006-2007 campaign and notched one goal and one assist.
"You never expect to get traded," explained Kobasew. "And if I ever had to pick a city to be traded to, it would have been Boston. I was familiar with the area, I enjoyed the city and the guys really welcomed me.
"But anytime you come into a season with 20 games left [during 2006-07] there's always a bit of an adjustment period. We were battling for a playoff spot last year and fell short there."
But the club found new direction in 2007-08.
"As far as playing for Claude [Julien], he makes it easy," said Kobasew. "It's simple for all the guys; we all play the same system. We all play hard and there is no gray area. If you play hard, you play a lot. So that's what a player is looking for in a coach."
And along with a new coach and new systems came new responsibility for Chuck.
"There is always room to grow and in Boston I'd say I had quite a different role, and got to play in a lot of different situations," he said. "I learned a lot from that and I think that it can only get better in those areas."
Unfortunately, an errant shot ended Kobasew's season prematurely when he limped off the ice with a broken tibia on March 25th. Chuck said that injury should be in the rearview mirror once next season rolls around.
"The leg is going good," said Kobasew. "This past week has been a real positive and I am walking on it now and just started the rehab.
"Once the bone is healed you can get back to doing normal things and it's something you shouldn't have to look back on.
"This last week, walking on it, there has been no swelling and no pain. I am looking forward to doing some more stuff on it and getting that strength back," he said.
And as far as getting back on the ice, Kobasew said it's just a matter of time, but that he will take his time.
"In one more week we are at eight weeks and that's when it should be fully healed and I can start doing stuff off the ice," he said. "I'll have to talk to the doctors for a plan to getting back on the ice. Now, with the season being over, there is no real rush and it is better to make sure it is fully healed."
It is clear that Kobasew believes that the Bruins are in the midst of a renaissance and fully intends to be a big part of that transition going forward.
"I think it is an exciting time to be a part of this team," said Kobasew. "With the direction we're going and the young guys that are playing great for this team, it's something I look forward to contributing to."
In 293 NHL games (83 with Boston, 210 with Calgary), Kobasew has recorded 55-57-112 totals. Kobasew also saw action in 33 postseason contests with the Flames where he registered one goal and one assist.
Prior to signing with Calgary, the 26-year-old Osoyoos, British Columbia native played one season for BC and helped lead the Eagles to the 2000-2001 NCAA National Championship.