Wilmington, MA --
It might only be Adam McQuaid
’s second summer as a member of the Bruins organization, but you sure couldn’t tell by watching the 2008 Development Camp.
Both on and off the ice, during this, his second summer camp with Boston, McQuaid was true leader and the big defenseman set a fine example for his fellow prospects.
This year, McQuaid was more than happy to be in a leadership position, but it is a complete role reversal from where he was last summer.
“It is a little different,” he said. “Last year I came here and it was my first time here and I didn’t know anybody. So it has kind of taken on the complete opposite role as last year.
“I was just here to learn, and I am still here learning a lot this year, but I have been through it so I am just trying to help out the first year guys as much as I can.”
Throughout the week at camp, McQuaid comported himself in ways that would make any NHL captain proud and even led veterans Patrice Bergeron
and Manny Fernandez in the pre-practice stretches.
McQuaid admitted that it was, indeed, a little odd to be leading Patrice and Manny in anything and when asked about the experience, he had a good laugh and responded, “At first I didn’t even realize that they were on the ice!
"And then (Thursday, July 10) I asked Patrice to come out and lead the stretch, but he said no, and that I could do it."
Despite any trepidation, McQuaid certainly looked comfortable enough in a defacto
captain's role. He, along with the rest of the campers who returned for their second Development Camp, were definitely more composed, confident, and ready to work in this edition.
Although McQuaid, as well as most everyone at camp, felt a little summer rust, he was happy to be back out on the ice. The skating sessions and the off-ice workouts are both equally important parts of camp, but Adam mostly enjoyed getting physical again.
McQuaid might not seem like a tough enforcer type, but his position on the blueline puts him in a physical role. Whether he takes on this role in Providence or Boston, it is good for him to be back in the action and playing tough.
“I wasn’t used to having pressure like that,” he said after the camp’s first scrimmage. “It has been awhile since I have been in those situations, but if felt really good to be back in positions like that.
“It feels good to just be battling,” McQuaid continued. “All the guys are here to work hard and push themselves so we are just trying to push each other.”
McQuaid is ready and eager to get back to work and his plan is definitely to use the week at Development Camp as a springboard into the B’s main camp in September.
“I am just going to try and work hard and take in as many pointers as I can,” McQuaid said of his time in Wilmington. “Hopefully I can improve and come into Boston’s camp and give it the best shot I can.
“Obviously I would like to make the (NHL) Bruins, but my main focus is just to come in and work hard and try to get up there at some point.”
McQuaid certainly is not alone in his sentiments and it is fair to say that just about everyone, especially the returning prospects, all have that same goal.