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Pool Quotes For Bruins Forwards Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

FORWARD JIMMY HAYES ON BEING ACQUIRED BY THE BOSTON BRUINS ON JULY 1…

On getting the chance to play for his hometown team…
It’s a dream come true for me. I grew up a Boston Bruins fan, and having the chance to play for the Boston Bruins is a dream come true. It really hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s probably one of the most exciting moments I’ve had in a while.

On finding out about the trade…
I got a call from Dale Tallon, the general manager of Florida, and he let me know that I had been traded and then he said, “We’re sad to let you go, but you’ve been traded to Boston.” So it’s a hometown team, but it’s a sad situation leaving; Florida’s a team that’s given me an opportunity to develop my game, and I’m very appreciative of that, but now it’s a dream come true to play for your hometown team.

On whether he felt that a trade might be coming…
It came out of nowhere for me. I didn’t think I was in the trade talks. I wasn’t sure what was going on with the trades and whatnot. I assumed I was going to be with the Florida Panthers; I was a restricted free agent, and that situation was going well for me. It kind of just threw me off guard, but it ended up working out well for me.

On keeping up with the Bruins since turning pro in 2010-11 and how he might fit in with the current team…
Well, I’ve been following the Bruins — obviously, they’re my hometown team, and you have that general interest — and playing against them a few times in a row, and with the standings, you follow them when you’re facing them and you know their moves every day. Where I am in terms of fitting in with this team, I’m a big guy — I know the Bruins like to play the big, power-type style of game, so I’m going to have to continue to develop myself into that type of player and continue to use my size and scoring ability to my advantage.

On the reason behind his improved numbers in 2014-15…
I would say it was just the coaching staff there, with Gerard Gallant — they gave me a huge opportunity. Coming from the top, again, with Dale [Tallon] and believing in me and giving me a chance to play and show people that I can play in this league — I think that was the biggest thing, was getting an opportunity to play.

On potentially filling the power forward role with the Bruins…
I mean, [Milan] Lucic was a guy that I followed and he’s had a lot of success being a big power forward, so there’s a guy’s game that I want to develop my game like and hopefully be a similar player to him.

On the elements of his game that have helped him achieve success offensively…
We kind of say it [in Florida]: You can’t really teach size, so being big, I have to take advantage of being as big as I am, and I’ve got to use my reach and use my skill set as well as I can and continue to develop my skill around the net to score a lot of goals. I don’t score many goals from outside; I score my goals in tight, so I’m going to have to continue to work on that with my game.

On feeling like he is finally coming home after bouncing around among a few NHL teams…
It’s funny; I think this is my third or fourth time traded, so it’s kind of crazy. One time I was traded, I wasn’t even signed yet, but to come home to Boston is crazy. It’s a moment that I always envisioned happening; I just didn’t know when, and didn’t know it would happen this soon, so happening now, when I’m 25, is just a huge opportunity for me.

On whether he has relationships with any current Bruins players…
I think all the guys that I’ve played with have been traded. [Laughs] I played Juniors with [Matt] Bartkowski. Well, Tommy Cross is in the system; he was my direct roommate in college, so he and I were direct roommates for two years in college. But nobody on the Bruins right now that I can think of; I don’t think so.

On his offseason thus far…
I moved back — I live in the Seaport, actually. I live in Boston. I live in the Seaport, and I’ve been training up in Foxboro with Brian McDonough and his EPS staff, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Nothing much too exciting. I’m down in Cape Cod now.

FORWARD MATT BELESKEY ON BEING ACQUIRED BY THE BOSTON BRUINS ON JULY 1…

On what the past few hours have been like…
It was a very hectic day. A little stressful here or there, with my first time in free agency, not sure where I’m going, but I couldn’t be happier where me and my family have landed in Boston. That’s been a team that we’ve always liked and we talked about leading up to this and it’s just amazing that it ends up that way.

On joining the Bruins, their style of play and coming to the city of Boston…
Boston’s always been a team that I’ve watched. Obviously, the Big Bad Bruins has been something I’ve loved as a player and as a fan of the game. You know, guys like Cam Neely you watch as a kid, you look up to. An Original Six team with an amazing fan base. I actually got to play there for the first time in my career last year and it was just a great feeling playing in that building, and I’m extremely excited to wear the ‘B’ on my chest this season and for the next five years.

On the process of being a UFA and deciding on Boston…
It was interesting. I’ve never been traded through junior or professionally, I’ve always been with the Ducks so I’ve never really gotten to see what other situations and teams are like, but it was eye-opening to get out there and see some teams. The fact that Boston showed so much interest in me and really wanted to have me, it’s a great feeling being able to come to a team that I’ve always looked at as a great place to play and a great city.

On the importance of settling on a five-year term…
I definitely wanted the five-year deal. After last year and having a good season, I was put in good situations last year to succeed, and me and my agent both felt it was important to go to a team that wants me to succeed in those situations, and getting on a term like that it shows their faith in me as a player, and it just excites me for things to come.

On how his playoff experience and his recent postseason with the Ducks will give him confidence moving forward…
You know, that’s my fourth time in the NHL playoffs and every year, it’s gotten better and I learn more each time, and I felt this year, I took a big step in helping our team succeed and helping us get to the next level. We came up short, but I’m ready for playoffs - playoffs is the hockey that I love, that’s what I live for. I can’t wait to be able to do that in Boston.

On his Game 5 OT-winning goal celebration with the Ducks, and people likening it to the Bobby Orr photo…
[Laughter] Yeah, not nearly as graceful as Bobby, and I could never put myself in that category, but the comparison was nice, that’s for sure.

On doubling his scoring output this past season and how he can build on that…
It’s given me a lot of confidence. Like I said, being put in situations to score and being put with great players, I feel that coming to Boston, there’s a lot of great young players, guys who have been around and guys who have won Stanley Cups. I think the experience is there and I think the style of play that I play is going to be useful in Boston. I think after being able to score some goals and get that confidence, I’m looking forward to next year. I’m looking forward to doing the same thing.

On having played on the Ducks with centers like Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf, and where he sees himself fitting in with the Bruins’ strength up the middle as well with David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron
The chance to play with those guys is awesome. They’re two great players, premier centers in the NHL and they both move the puck extremely well. I’m a guy that - I obviously like to shoot the puck and go to the net. You watch the way that they can create plays and they’re both great in the faceoff circle, it’s a great opportunity to have the chance to play with them. And you have young guys like [Ryan] Spooner coming up, who are also extremely creative. So it’s just exciting to be able to come to a team like that.

On his connections to Boston…
I actually don’t think I personally know any of the guys on the team, but Nate [Thompson] obviously was with the Bruins for a little bit, and I talked to a couple of guys that have played here or guys that live in Boston in the summer. I got a chance to come last summer, for a wedding I was in Boston and both me and my wife loved the city and the atmosphere and then playing there this year, you see the passion of the fans and already just through social media how much they’ve already gotten behind me and supported me, it’s just a really great feeling.

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