First, the rookie won a spot on the Black & Gold's blueline, then the 24-year-old scored three goals and added 12 assists for 15 points with 96 penalty minutes. Finally, the 6-foot-5, 209-pound McQuaid finished the 2010-11 season with a plus/minus rating of +30 -- good for first among rookies and fifth overall in the NHL.
And, oh yeah, the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years. Not a bad rookie season.
But Thursday was another banner day for McQuaid, who signed a three-year contract extension and is set to remain in Black & Gold for the next four seasons.
"You know, I’m extremely excited. It’s a great organization from top to bottom," said McQuaid. "I really couldn’t picture myself being with any other team, and being anything other than a Bruin.
"I love this city and love the fans and the people there. And I'm just pretty much just overjoyed right now."
McQuaid also appeared in 23 postseason contests for the Bruins and earned four assists for 14 penalty minutes. Through 86 career NHL games, McQuaid is 4-12-16 with 117 penalty minutes.
"He came into our organization and he worked hard at his craft at the American League level and improved every year," said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. "He found his way into the line-up and now is a real solid contributor with his size, his toughness and his range and we continue to see him improve.
"And he’s still at a young age, and we’ve felt fortunate to be able to lock him up."
Originally selected by Columbus in the second round (55th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, McQuaid was traded to Boston on May 16, 2007 for a fifth round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island native spent two-plus seasons with the Providence Bruins where the defenseman earned 8-29-37 totals in 204 AHL games.
"He’s a very competitive player and competitive person, although sometimes he comes across as quiet, we know that there’s an inner drive to this player," said Chiarelli. "We’re very excited as an organization to have him in the mix for the foreseeable future."
The feeling is mutual.
"It’s where I want to be," reiterated McQuaid. "It’s where I want to be for a long time.
"To be able to do something that could put me in that position was really a no-brainer for me." Cunningham & McKelvie Signed
Chiarelli also announced that the Bruins had signed forward Craig Cunningham
to an entry level contract and defenseman Zach McKelvie
to a one-year contract.
Cunningham, a 5-foot-9, 191-pound forward, split the 2010-2011 campaign between the WHL's Portland Winterhawks and the Vancouver Giants, and posted 27-60-87 totals in 71 games. Cunningham also played in 21 playoff games for the Winterhawks with a 7-14-21 line.
"It’s only been two years for him, but he’s improved his strength, he’s improved in all his testing," said Chiarelli. "He went back and he played as an overage in the Western League, and he did well with a real good team in Portland.
Cunningham spent the four previous seasons with the Vancouver Giants and garnered career highs in goals (37) and points (97) during the 2009-10 campaign.
"I guess it’s fitting we sign him at the same time we sign Adam," added Chiarelli. "He looks like he’s a kid who’s willing to learn and willing to put the time in."
Cunningham, a Trail, BC native, was drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round (97th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and recently participated in Boston's 2011 Development Camp.
McKelvie played four collegiate seasons with the Army Black Knights (AHA) from 2005-2008 and amassed a 14-46-56 line. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman originally signed with the B's in 2009, however, contractual obligations with the US Army prevented him from taking the ice for the Black & Gold.
"We’ve been informed that everything should be in order for him to compete with us," said Chiarelli. "His military obligations have been fulfilled.
"He’s still relatively young and we want to give him an opportunity to play."
The New Brighton, Minnesota native won the 2009 fastest skater competition at the Frozen Four.