BOSTON — As handfuls of Boston Bruins took the ice Wednesday in Brighton for the first captains’ practice, donning either their white or black practice uniforms, one player was skating about in a full Columbus Blue Jackets getup.
It was Adam McQuaid.
The veteran defenseman was traded from the Bruins to the New York Rangers just prior to last season in the deal that landed Steven Kampfer back in Boston. He played most of the season with the Rangers, then was moved to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline. Columbus elected not to bring McQuaid back this summer, so at the moment he remains an unrestricted free agent.
It certainly was interesting to see McQuaid back in Boston, but it’s probably not something worth reading into.
It’s not totally uncommon for a free agent to skate with another team, particularly one they played with for a while, during offseason workouts. The prime recent example is Lee Stempniak, who spent all of last training camp with the Bruins, then was an extra body during practices throughout the season. He eventually was signed, did a tune-up in Providence then played a few games for the Bruins before getting sent back down. At 32-years-old though, McQuaid probably isn’t looking to take the Stempniak route at this point in his career.
If you are a big McQuaid person though and would love to see him back in Boston, here’s one theory you can hold on to. Both Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo remain unsigned, while Kevan Miller likely will be out for the start of the year and John Moore is out to begin the campaign. In other words, the Bruins don’t have a ton of defensive depth. So if a nuclear situation were to unfold where the Bruins were without those four defensemen to start the season, a possible fit might exist for McQuaid.
Unless he signs somewhere else soon though, this probably won’t be the last time we see McQuaid with the Bruins this preseason. But barring an unforeseen change, you probably shouldn’t bet on seeing him opening night.