WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins were busy the last few days packing for their long road trip out West, but at least one article of clothing wasn’t going to get tossed into a suitcase until it was properly modeled.
Defenseman Andrew Ference drew plenty of laughs on Sunday as he walked through the locker room after practice with a homemade “Darth Quaider” t-shirt in tribute to defense partner Adam McQuaid‘s latest nickname. The shirt — and the nickname — were still the talk of the room on Monday before the club departed for Calgary.
“He told me he had a surprise for me, so I knew he had something planned,” McQuaid said. “It’s pretty funny. He said he did it one day on the plane. He did a pretty good job with it.”
The shirt featured the iconic Darth Vader mask with McQuaid’s curly hair sticking out of it, “Darth Quaider” written above and his No. 54 emblazoned below. McQuaid has taken the jokes — and the unexpected attention — in stride, though he admits he’s a little hazy on the references.
“It’s getting quite a reaction, people seem to like it,” McQuaid said. “I’m surprised by the reaction to it. People back home, even my billets in Ontario [where he played junior hockey with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves from 2003-07] have seen it. Everyone’s gotten a good laugh out of it. It’s all in good fun.
“I’ve never actually seen the movies,” McQuaid added. “I think I’m going to have to now because I’ve had people talking to me about it and I don’t know the movie well enough to carry on a conversation with them on it. I’ll have to brush up on my Star Wars now.”
McQuaid’s Netflix queue is getting full. He still needs to watch the movie that inspired his previous nickname, as he’s also yet to see the 1983 Chuck Norris action classic Lone Wolf McQuade.
The “Lone Wolf” moniker played into his junior hockey past with Sudbury as well as his name, but McQuaid seems to favor “Darth Quaider” as his alter ego of choice.
“It’s funnier,” McQuaid said. “It’s a little more original maybe, something a little out of the ordinary.”
McQuaid has earned the nicknames largely for the toughness he’s displayed on the ice. He’s second on the team with 11 fighting majors to go with 58 hits and 72 blocked shots in just 45 games. So McQuaid has the pugilistic background, if not the cinema knowledge, to answer the most important question out of all of this: Who would win in a fight between Darth Vader and Chuck Norris?
“It’s tough to go against either, but with all those Chuck Norris sayings? I don’t know,” McQuaid said. “I’ll have to watch the movies then I’ll answer that one for you.”
Another mystery remains unsolved, at least for now.