BOSTON, MA -
If Bruins fans had stopped by the Edge Sports Complex in Bedford on Tuesday afternoon they probably would have been surprised by what they saw.
All 25 Bruins prospects took a break from the traditional hockey centric Development Camp workouts to build structures out of wooden slabs, flip over a tarp while still standing on it and pass each other through a contraption that can only be described as a giant standing cat’s cradle.
It was all in an effort to teach the young B’s how to work together and communicate.
And while these activities might sound more like something you would see at a scout meeting or leadership seminar rather than at a camp for future NHLers, Boston Bruins Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development, Don Sweeney, a long-time NHL defenseman for the Black & Gold, stressed the importance of team building for the chemistry of the organization.
“A lot of these guys will have a chance to play together,” said Sweeney. “So, it’s about building those foundations of friendships of camaraderie that you know very well exist in a locker room that you have to have moving forward.”
And for the young Bruins those foundations for the future began with their attempt to negotiate the nightmarish cat’s cradle.
As such, the young prospects were given 10-minutes to get all 24 players through a five and a half foot tall maze of string, without touching anything.
After struggling the first time around, with each player attempting to snake through on his own, the B’s worked together, passing each other one by one over and through the tangle of string to beat the clock.
When it was all over, the B’s were pulled into a circle and asked what important things they learned from their experience.
“Trust”, “communication” and “how to work together” were the overwhelming responses from the guys.
“We all just got here yesterday, said Bruins prospect and current Boston College Eagle Tommy Cross
. “[Team building] definitely brings everyone together.
“That way we get to work with everyone and have a dialogue at the same time.
“And It was a good time,” he said.
The good time continued after the official team building exercise was over and the guys found a soccer ball.
A few players took the lead and within minutes everyone was on the field joking around and playing a game of pick up soccer. At that point, it sure looked like the team building worked on the field.
Now we’ll have to see if it translates to the ice.