“It should be fun, a little bonding for the boys,” said forward Josh Jooris.
While paintball was an activity a bit familiar to some skaters, to others it was a completely new experience to look forward to during the Boston Bruins Development Camp.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said forward Alexander Fallstrom
. “I’ve never gone paintballing before so I’m pumped.”
Despite this event being designed to be build team camaraderie, that didn’t stop the players from indulging in friendly trash talk.
“A lot of trash talk. [Ryan] Button called me out...so he’s going to have to keep his head up,” said forward Jared Knight
, who was the consensus favorite going into the off-ice event due to his sniper-like shot on the ice.
“If his aiming is anything like his shot, I think he should do pretty well,” Jooris said. “He’s got that lethal shot so if he can put that in the gun he should be pretty good.”
“Well this is only my second time playing, so I don’t know about that,” countered Knight.
Button confirmed the friendly banter between he and Knight before the first match of the day, but said he thinks he had the advantage.
“I think I have the upper hand,” Button boasted. “I’ve paintballed a couple times. I usually do it once every year back home. A lot of guys are kind of scared, actually. It should be kind of interesting to see how the first couple of games go.”
The group of 24 split up into two teams. One team wore white tape on their arms, consisting of all of the college players at camp. The other team was made up of all the Junior-Major players on the Camp Roster.
The first person of the day to be eliminated after being shot was goaltender Zane Gothberg
. He walked off the course blinded by the splatter of paint that covered half of his protective mask.
This could be, ironically, a good sign. Being a goaltender, Gothberg is used to having small objects being projected at him at high speeds. It’s just his nature to get in the way of it.
After about two hours of laughs, small welts, paint stains, fogged up masks and team bonding, the guys called it a day.
“It was pretty good. A lot of the guys had fun. It was really competitive,” said forward Ryan Spooner
who felt it was important to do some off-ice bonding with his teammates.
“I love being on the ice but when you’re out here, it’s more toned down,” he said. “You just get to know a lot of the guys you don’t know so it’s good.”
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Dougie Hamilton
, added that while he wasn’t expecting to be running around in the woods during his first Pro Camp, he enjoyed getting to know the rest of the guys he shares the ice with this week.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I thought it would be more at the rink and stuff like that but this was pretty fun."
We can look forward to events like this as the players progress and build as a team this week.---John Smith