Not only will there be hockey this year, but it’s also looking like the Bruins won’t have to start the season without bruising defenseman Adam McQuaid after all.
McQuaid, who underwent blood clot surgery earlier this offseason, was believed to be in jeopardy of missing some time to begin the season. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said McQuaid has been cleared to play, though, and that he’ll likely be ready to play in the B’s season opener against the Rangers on Saturday.
“I would assume so, yes, unless he stinks out there,” Chiarelli said in a lighthearted manner at Sunday’s practice. “He’s been cleared to play now. I don’t what level of contact he can take, but I think he’s been cleared to play.”
McQuaid, who is known for his physical style of play (and fantastic mullet), dropped the mitts six times last season, and he threw down 12 times in 67 games the year before. The 26-year-0ld’s return is certainly a welcome sight, especially given the serious nature of his ailment.
Head coach Claude Julien said McQuaid, who was partnered with Andrew Ference on Sunday, “looked pretty good,” meaning it’ll come as a surprise if he isn’t ready when the puck drops at TD Garden on Saturday. The blueliner’s return likely means prized rookie Dougie Hamilton, offseason addition Aaron Johnson, Matt Bartkowski and David Warsofsky will battle for the Bruins’ sixth defenseman spot.