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Training Camp: Michael Ryder Arrives

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Normand Leveille and Steve Babineau
11:28 p.m.

Okay. One more update before bed.

Steve and Brian Babineau came through this evening with some outstanding photos of the Boston Bruins Golf Tournament, including some of the first shots of Michael Ryder as a Bruin.

For those of you who haven't heard, Steve recently collaborated with Rob Simpson to produce Black and Gold: Four Decades of the Boston Bruins in Photographs. Look for your copy later this month.

In the meantime, click here to enjoy Steve and Brian's photos from today.

Plenty more to come, tomorrow. JB

9:52 p.m.
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
Some post practice quotes from the rookies:

Forward, Zach Hamill
On adjusting for today’s practice after an intense first day…
I think yesterday was a long day and it was a tough day. So, we went out last night as a team to get to know each other. I think it was important to get some good food and kind of prepare for today. Obviously, You come into training camp hoping to get better every day and that’s what we plan to do.

On the competition level…
I came in here a week early and I think that kind of helped me. Hopefully, every day I will get more comfortable and used to the pace of the game again.

Defenseman, Andrew Bodnarchuk
On differences between yesterday and today…
I think today was a lot smoother compared to yesterday. There were a lot of nerves going on and we were up at five in the morning (yesterday), so by the time we got here we were a little tired by that point. Today, to come in and just worry about the hockey was a relief and I think you saw on the ice it was a little crisper and a little smoother. So I think it was not an easier day but a smoother day for us.

How this is different from previous rookie camps…
It was a lot easier to come in on the first day. I actually came down (August) 31st, so I’ve been here a while and I’ve been skating with the guys from Boston quite a bit. It’s also my third year…there aren’t as many nerves, you’re a little more comfortable with the guys, but at the same time each year you’re expected to do more. Sure, it’s a lot easier knowing the guys and the management, but there are definitely more expectations.

Goalie, Kevin Regan
On preparing for rookie camp…
I just tried to work out and do the best that I can and come in here in the best shape possible. I was lucky to play a week of optional practices and really get back into playing with a group of talented players.

9:06 p.m.
Marc Savard
Okay, so I'm back and it sounds as if today’s golf tourney was very successful.

In fact, when I caught up with Marc Savard around 4:15 p.m. he said things were going very well.

“Well, it’s not over – we have four holes left – and we’re 11 under,” he said. “I have the guys from AT & T and they are a very good group of guys.

“We are having a lot of fun.”

At that point, the all-star center hadn’t run into too many alumni.

“A couple,” he said. “But I think at dinner we’ll see more of that.”

Like Thornton and Ward, Savard thought that the whole day went very well.

“This is really well run,” said Marc. “It’s always nice to get out with the guys, joking around and going on about who is going to win it, but we are having fun for a good cause.

“That’s the main thing.”

Savard admitted that he was looking forward to putting the golf clubs away for bit and hitting the ice for real.

“I actually can’t wait,” he said. “It’s going to be fun and I am excited about our team.

“I know we’ve talked about that before, but I met (Michael) Ryder today and I think it is going to be a good year.”

Ryder made some people laugh today because he bought a wingspan’s worth of raffle tickets and added that he was really “enjoying his first outing as a Bruin.”

More news is trickling in from the Pinehills, so I am sure to have some more to post very soon.

4:01 p.m.

Okay, so the other day I wrote about my professor from BU, Jack Falla, and how he had passed away last weekend.

Well, today is his wake and on my ride to the Garden I was thinking about how I was going to hold it together when I got to the funeral parlor.

But when I got back from Ristuccia a package was sitting on my desk.

In it was Open Ice by Jack Falla -- his recently published book.

Sometimes I am just floored by how the universe works -- in both good and bad ways. I don't know how it got here, or who sent it (I'd like to think Prof. Falla arranged it as the date on the postage was September 2). But just seeing that book gave me a boost and I am hoping that several other of his students got similar packages

And although nothing or nobody could replace Jack, being reminded that he lives on in our hearts, does the fact that his words will go on forever.

2:40 p.m.
Shawn Thornton
Word from the Pinehills is that today's outing and the weather are making for some outstanding golf.

"I'm having a terrible time," said Shawn Thornton very sarcastically via phone. "No, I'm just kidding.

"We are having a good time, obviously, for the foundation -- which is a great cause.

"And I am having a lot of fun with my group, who are from Procter & Gamble," he said.

Aaron Ward has been astonished at the turnout, not only from the Bruins current team, but from the alumni as well.

"I am having a great time," he said. "And I think the biggest difference between the Bruins Golf Tournament and others is that you get from everybody.

"I am more than surprised how many past players are showing up for this tournament."

After taking his next shot, Ward returned to the phone.

"I found the green, but it was not the normal style that you would ask for in a golf shot," said Aaron. "It had about 72 bounces before it got to the green."

But it did get there, right?


Getting back to the Bruins alumni, Ward reiterated that it really is a great cross section of Bruins people who come back to play.

"I look over and Mike Krushelnyski, a former teammate of mine, is here. He coached me in Detroit and he was a fellow player in Detroit.

"People come a long way to come to the tournament."

By way of factoid, Krushelnyski and Ward were teammates in 1994-95.

Krushelnyski was in Boston during the 1981-82, 82-83 and 83-84 seasons.

2:02 p.m.
Here is a gallery of today's action.

By the way, the session was NOT winding down and to the contrary actually went much longer than expected as the new B's prepared for what is sure to be an exciting rookie squad match up.

Matt Marquardt, who is growing into a leadership role with the younger set, talked about the difference between the Boston Bruins camp and others that he has attended.

"You don't want to be nervous and you don't want to be tense and with the group that we have here that's probably the biggest thing," he said. "The thing that sets the Bruins camp apart, in comparison to the other ones, is that everyone is good to one another.

"Even the vets , they come up and say 'Hi' to all of us and make us feel real good in our own skins.

"That's probably the biggest thing, everyone feels comfortable and then it shows when we get out there," said Marquardt.

11:52 a.m.
It looks like practice might be winding down.

Like yesterday, the second session had plenty of skating and has featured some contact.

Both goalies have shown their stuff with Kevin Regan and Michael Hutchinson making some excellent saves.

Brad Marchand continues to be a pest, but  the intensity of the other skaters seems to come into line, too.

11:11 a.m.
The first session of practice is over and was punctuated by several looks at the dry erase board. After all, the rookies do have a game tomorrow and need to have some semblance of a game plan going into their tilt with the New York Islanders youngsters.

Providence Head Coach Rob Murray reminds me of his former boss in both his demeanor (loud instructions) and his methods (stops in the action to explain). Besides his knowing how both clubs (Providence and Boston) do things, his personality should make for a smooth transition for the players.

Practice is not as "loose" or "chippy" as yesterday, where the intensity seemed to get the better of the play makers.

10:23 a.m.
Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara (33) celebrates his goal with teammate Marco Sturm. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
Rookie practice is just getting underway at Ristuccia and there are two new faces on the roster:

#, Name, Position, Last Club
84, Arthur Fritch, Defense, Colby College
83, Kevin Schaeffer, Defense, P-Bruins

Yesterday, Assistant GM Jim Benning explained some of the missing faces:
"[Adam] Courchaine has a groin injury that he sustained with his junior team so he’ll be out 2-3 weeks...[Scott] Fletcher had a medical this morning and we’re just running more tests now and he should be out there tomorrow [Wednesday]...[Jeff] LoVecchio has still got concussion symptoms so once he’s feeling better we’ll get him back in here. We’re just waiting for him to start feeling better."

Zdeno Chara also spoke to the media after the early session yesterday:
On the importance of team building during training camp…
It really comes down to coaching and leadership, as well making sure that leaders are being leaders and making sure that guys are focusing on doing their job and playing together as a team. We need to all be on the same page and focus on becoming a tight team off the ice, in order to bring that back onto the ice. It is as simple as that. We need to play really hard and stick to our game plan, and then really just battle and compete every night.

On the length of training camp and the preparation for the new season…
You can see that the training camps are getting shorter and shorter. Now it’s just two days of camp, then we have a game right away, it feels a bit like a formality. It’s not much time to do other things, you have to be sharp, you have to be ready and you need to pay attention to the little details. You need to be making sure that you are getting yourself ready as much as you can in this short period of time because we have just two days of practicing and then, boom, our first [preseason] game right away. You are going to see pretty soon that there are only going to be 25, maybe 27, guys here at most, and that’s going to be it. Those guys need to be battling if they want to make the team.

On his availability to play during the preseason…
I am going to try to play in some of the exhibition games, that is my goal. Now, obviously I don’t want to rush back and I need to make sure that I am close to 100 percent before I come back because I don’t want any setbacks.  I don’t want to rush anything. If I feel like I am ready to play, then yes, I will get out there. I definitely want to play in these preseason games, that’s not a question. The most important thing, though, is to make sure that I am healthy enough to play before I get out there. If I see that it’s not worth it to get out there then I won’t go. Sometimes just 24 or 48 hours, even 3 or 4 days is enough time to make a big difference and to heal up from an injury.

On his health and the injury recovery process…
There is a little bit of pain and I am still finding my strength again. When you haven’t done anything for two months, and you’ve just been focusing on recovering and healing, then you need to catch up and that’s not an easy thing to do at all. You need to recover your range of motion and slowly strengthen everything back up to full speed. You can’t immediately jump back into the heavy weights; you need to climb your way back up to full strength. If you come back too fast or too soon, then you will probably see some setbacks and that’s exactly what we don’t want.
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