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Ted Donato Lends a Hand

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Wilmington, MA -- Throughout the rookie practices this week, there has been a familiar face helping out Providence head coach Rob Murray and his assistant Bruce Cassidy.

Ted Donato, the head coach of the Harvard University Crimson and a former Boston Bruins forward, has been lending a hand with the rookies' on-ice drill and instruction.

GM Peter Chiarelli, a former Harvard captain, talked about Donato's presence in camp and said that it doesn't hurt to have another set of eyes.

He also said that the experiment has been a good one and that the B's might just ask other local coaches to follow suit in the future.

Coach Murray was happy to have Donato lend a hand.

"Peter and [Bruins Assistant GM] Donny [Sweeney] just told me that Teddy was interested in coming out and just kind of being a fly on the wall, checking it out and seeing what we do and how we do things," said Murray after Monday's practice.

"I had Teddy when I was an assistant in Providence my first year he was down with us, so I know Teddy a little bit...[and] It’s nice to have him out there.”  

Donato is happy for the chance to return to his old stomping grounds in Wilmington.

"Obviously, the Bruins and the staff ahs been very nice to let me have this opportunity," said Donato. "I was fortunate enough to be around this level for a long time.

"Not that long ago, so things haven’t changed that much, but It’s been a great learning tool for me to get to watch, to listen, and to learn."

Coach Donato explained that his shadowing the B's wasn't as unique a development as it might seem.

"It's something that happens quite frequently around the league with different staffs," said Donato. "College staffs or junior staffs [are often] allowed to shadow a coaching staff, and learn things about how they handle situations that come up. How they, structurally, set up their practices -- not only what they do systems-wise, but how they practice-good habits, etc.

"I have a great deal of respect for the coaching staff in Boston and in Providence and this is an incredible opportunity and one I’m thankful for."

It's not shocking to learn that Donato, a long time NHLer, Harvard grad and Crimson head coach has a great respect for listening and learning.

"I think in some ways, when you stop trying to get better or you stop trying to learn, you can fall behind," said Donato. "For me this is an opportunity.

"Even though I was able to play for a good length of time...the game changes.

"This game is getting faster and faster and more wide open, so you have to find new ways to do things, be able to watch two great staffs like this, I think it’s going to be great for our players [at Harvard] to bring back new drills and new ideas and maybe new ways of looking at things."

Harvard fans will be happy to hear that, but Bruins fans will also be happy to hear that Donato was thrilled to see the level of talent on the ice for the B's.

"There’s a lot of kids on the ice with a great skill level," said the Harvard bench boss. "I think it’s a great time to be out there with Bruins’ rookie camp because the talent level is as high as it’s ever been, I’m sure.

"It’s really impressive."
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