The Bruins headed to Vermont this weekend to continue their tradition of a preseason, team building trip. The getaway allows them to get out of Boston, rest, and above all, bond with their teammates – some old, some new.
This year’s trip couldn’t have come at a better time, as the players learned prior to their game versus Detroit on Saturday that defenseman Johnny Boychuk had been traded to the Islanders. The news was tough to swallow for a lot of players, though they understood why it was necessary. The trip was used to build chemistry and boost morale after an emotional Saturday.
“It was an awesome weekend. I think anytime you go away with your teammates, it’s always fun, first and foremost,” said defenseman Torey Krug. “We were up at the Vermont Police Academy, hanging out, having a good time – we went through a bunch of different educational exercises and training. We had a lot of fun with it, and it was a great weekend.”
With a mix of old faces and new, building chemistry within the team was important, and the trip offered the opportunity to do so. A handful of new players – Bobby Robins, David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Craig Cunningham, Matt Fraser and Simon Gagne – made the trip, getting used to being a part of the Bruins and allowing them to bond with current players in a relaxing, off-ice situation.
“Every year it’s important, and this year we had a few more guys – you know, new guys that might be part of the team. It definitely was even more important this year to do it,” said forward Patrice Bergeron.
“It’s also about making a connection with all the guys, even the new guys, and trying to make them feel comfortable around the group and not [be afraid of] stepping up or leading the way if need be in our activities. And realizing that’s the way we do things around here – it’s all about the guys and not just individuals.”
Meshing well as a team will be an important factor as the Bruins try to incorporate new faces in a team that has been reliant on a main core of guys for the past few years. Trying to replace Boychuk will be a challenge, and the chemistry between guys will be a key factor in figuring out the best pairing to do so.
After Tuesday’s practice, Chiarelli announced that the Bruins have opted to send first round draft pick David Pastrnak to Providence, to further assess his skill and decide what his future will hold for the young player. He also announced that Spooner, Robins, and Fraser have made the opening night roster, but decisions regarding certain players still needed to be made prior to submitting the roster at 5 PM today.