WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Boston Bruins held an informal practice Thursday — their third of the week at Ristuccia Arena — to help them get back into shape and rekindle chemistry before the start of rookie camp Sept. 11 and training camp Sept. 18.
The skate also is open to other NHL players who live in the Boston area. One player who showed up Thursday was Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, who was born in Milton. He has been at all three of the B’s informal practices this week and has skated with Boston at summer sessions in previous years.
Toward the end of practice, Yandle did a shooting drill with a few other Bruins.
New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider arrived for the first time Thursday, sporting red Devils pads and mask. Schneider was born in Marblehead and played three seasons at Boston College from 2004-05 through 2006-07. He got some playing time against the Bruins during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final when Vancouver Canucks starter Roberto Luongo was pulled from Games 4 and 6 at TD Garden.
Veteran defenseman Ryan Whitney, who played seven games for the Florida Panthers last season, also participated. He’s a Scituate native who played three seasons at Boston University.
The Bruins will have another informal practice Friday at Ristuccia.
— Milan Lucic was wearing a visor, which could be a permanent change for him this season. The veteran winger skated for a little while before the practice officially began.
Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 04, 2014
— Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Daniel Paille and Zdeno Chara were among the Bruins veterans absent from Thursday’s practice. Chris Kelly was the only captain present.
— David Pastrnak displayed his excellent puck-handling skills in drills. He was asked about playing alongside fellow Czech Republic forward David Krejci and replied, “(Krejci) signed for six years, so I have seven years to make the team.”
— Former Bruins defenseman Hal Gill was in charge of Thursday’s skate. He played in six games for the Philadelphia Flyers last season.