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Adam McQuaid is one of several defensemen battling for a spot on the Boston Bruins blue line during training camp and the preseason.
He came into Bruins camp healthy and played well Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals in his first game since Jan. 19. It was a good first step in his journey toward becoming a key part of the Boston blue line again.
“I think he came out and tried to make a statement there that he?s ready to play, and he wants to be here,? Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after his team’s 2-0 win over the Capitals. ?I thought he played a real strong game. I gave him high marks for his first game back and how well he played for his first game back.”
2013-14 Stats: one goal, five assists in 30 games
Contract: one year remaining with a $1,566,667 salary cap hit
What He Will Bring The Team
McQuaid is a physical blueliner who blocks shots, drops the gloves when needed (he’s not afraid to fight John Scott) and provides 10-15 points of depth scoring. He also is a very good penalty killer, and averaged 1:48 of short-handed time on ice per game last season. McQuaid is a responsible defensive player with a career plus-53 rating and can be trusted in lots of situations. He also brings 54 career games of playoff experience.
Weakness That Must Be Improved
Durability is always a concern with McQuaid, who missed 52 regular-season games and the entire 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs with quad and ankle injuries. The 27-year-old has missed a total of 93 regular-season games since the start of 2010-11, and he’s never played in more than 72 contests in a single campaign.
Expected Role For 2014-15
If McQuaid is able to stay healthy, expect him to secure a spot on the Bruins’ third pairing because he’s more trustworthy defensively than Kevan Miller, his primary competition for a roster spot. McQuaid’s penalty killing skill and physical game also are valuable components of the team’s success.
The veteran D-man has plenty of motivation to play a full season and perform at a high level because he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Projected 2014-15 Stats: four goals, nine assists in 67 games
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