Charlie McAvoy will play for Team USA at the 2017 World Championships. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Charlie McAvoy will play for Team USA at the 2017 World Championships. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Charlie McAvoy has played a ton of hockey this year. And although the Bruins were eliminated last Sunday, the 19-year-old is not done yet, as he will reportedly join Team USA for the 2017 World Championships.

It’s an invite that comes on the heels of an impressive NHL debut, as McAvoy seamlessly transitioned into the pro game and stepped into the playoffs as the B’s No. 2 defenseman, with three assists in six games.

“I had a quiet confidence in myself, but before you experience something like that you really don’t know how you’re going to fare and I think it was a credit to my teammates,” McAvoy said when asked of his NHL debut. “When you play with someone like Zdeno Chara, he puts you in a position every shift you’re out there to look good and be successful and I was out there with a lot of great players playing hockey and they made that transition as seamless as possible for myself, and like I said I’m just very thankful to have had that opportunity.

“It was definitely a whirlwind. Played in a couple different jerseys this year and been so very fortunate in every one of those experiences and I’m so thankful for all of them. And each particular thing had its own lesson and its own experience that I can use to help my hockey career and to help me grow and become a better player.”

He will be joined on Team USA by Bruins prospect Anders Bjork.

McAvoy’s jump to the Worlds will make Team USA the fifth team that he’s played for this season between Boston University, Team USA at the World Junior Championships, the P-Bruins, and the Big B’s.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Adam McQuaid has spent his entire career with the Bruins. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

Adam McQuaid has spent his entire career with the Bruins. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins, along with every other team in the league, are going to lose somebody to the Vegas Golden Knights come June’s expansion draft.

Unable to protect everybody (and expected to go with the seven forward-three defensemen-one goaltender protection plan), it’s likely that the Bruins will lose one of Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Spooner, or Riley Nash up front or one of Kevan Miller, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow, or Adam McQuaid from their point. They’re not the only options for the Golden Knights to take, but they’re the most likely, especially when you look at the guys the B’s have on that backend.

With Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug set to make up two-thirds of the protected defensemen for the B’s, the last spot will come down to one of those four defenders, and you can’t help but feel that the unprotected one of Kevan Miller or McQuaid will be picked by Vegas.

“Well, I hope not,” McQuaid, who played in a career-high 77 games this year, said when asked about the potential of leaving the Bruins via the expansion draft. “I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you.

“The reality of the situation is they’re picking somebody from every team, so, I hope that’s not the case for me. I’ve won back here and I’ve always said how much I love it back here and I can’t imagine playing for another team.”

A career-long Bruin — McQuaid’s 424 career games rank as the 57th-most in franchise history — McQuaid has experienced almost everything one can during his eight-year run in Boston. He’s been to two Stanley Cup Finals, including a victory in 2011, and has grown from Providence to Boston and into a bonafide leader for a B’s blue line that’s changed an awful lot over that span. He’s also set to enter the third year of a five-year deal that comes with an affordable $2.75 million cap hit.

But those exact reasons are why a team like Vegas might want the 30-year-old McQuaid in the first place.

“It’s totally out of my control, but hopefully, it’s not the case,” McQuaid said.

The expansion draft will be held June 18 to 20, and the team will be announced on June 21.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Bruce Cassidy went 18-8-1 as the interim head coach of the Bruins. (Greg M.</p>
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After his late season run following Claude Julien getting fired, Bruce Cassidy impressed the Bruins enough to named the 28th coach of the team.

On Wednesday morning, the team announced Cassidy is now the full-time coach of the team.

The Bruins officially named Bruce Cassidy their next coach. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins officially named Bruce Cassidy their next coach. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

After his late season run following Claude Julien getting fired, Bruce Cassidy impressed the Bruins enough to be named the 28th coach of the team.

On Wednesday morning, the team announced Cassidy is now the full-time coach.

Cassidy served as interim coach for the Bruins’ final 33 regular and postseason games, compiling an 18-8-1 regular season record and propelling the team to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Since Cassidy assumed head coaching responsibilities on Feb. 9, the Bruins ranked first in the NHL in goals per game (3.37), first in the NHL in fewest shots allowed (741), tied for second in the NHL in wins (18), tied for second in the NHL in power play percentage (27.8 percent) and tied for third in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.30).

Prior to this year, he spent five seasons (2011-16) as head coach of the Providence Bruins, having spent the three previous seasons (2008-11) with the club as an assistant. He coached the Capitals from 2002-04 and led them to a 39-29-8-6 record and a postseason berth in his first season with the team.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Patrice Bergeron played through a sports hernia this season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Patrice Bergeron played through a sports hernia this season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has long shown a willingness to play through almost anything. He did it in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks, where he suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung but kept playing, he did it again last year when he played through a considerable ankle injury to finish his season.

And this season was no different, according to Bergeron.

“We’re going to go through physicals today, but I’ve been going through a sports hernia all year,” Bergeron said on the club’s break-up day today at Warrior Ice Arena. “With the schedule it was definitely something that was nagging and was there for most of the year. But the breaks in the second half definitely helped make it feel a lot better.”

Bergeron did miss the first three games of the season because of this injury, which at the time was dubbed a lower-body ailment, and it would appear that the injury happened somewhere between the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and the end of the B’s training camp. In fact, it likely happened in the club’s final practice before the season began, as Bergeron hobbled off the ice at Warrior and did not reappear until his season debut on Oct. 20.

The injury obviously limited the 31-year-old Bergeron in a number of ways — he had just 12 points through the first 36 games of the year, and experienced a 11-goal and 15-point dip from his 2016 numbers — but No. 37 was still proud of the way that he and his team battled to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.

“We’ve shown a lot of character, we’ve battled,” Bergeron said. “It’s been three years now that we’ve been really battling to get into the playoffs, and this year we came through, and it definitely gives us a lot of confidence looking forward, as well.”

Bergeron, a Selke Trophy finalist, is unsure if the injury will require surgery this offseason.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Both the Bruins and first-year pro Brandon Carlo knew that they were better safe than sorry with the health of the 20-year-old defenseman.

Brandon Carlo missed all six playoff games this season because of a concussion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Brandon Carlo missed all six playoff games this season because of a concussion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Both the Bruins and first-year pro Brandon Carlo knew that they were better safe than sorry with the health of the 20-year-old defenseman.

Knocked out of action on the final day of the regular season on a hit from Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin, Carlo confirmed what it was that ailed him and ultimately kept him out of all six of the B’s first-round playoff tilts against the Senators this month.

“I was diagnosed with a concussion and just going through the protocol with that I was trying to be safe with it,” Carlo, who skated in all 82 regular season games this year, admitted. “There’s a point where you kinda have to worry about the next 20 years rather than this year.”

Carlo did, however, give it a go at various times during the series, as he skated on his own during many of the club’s optional days or early practices, but confirmed that he was never quite symptom free.

“It was really disappointing. I really wanted to be out there, and it was hard to watch,” Carlo said of his recovery attempts. “But at the same time, I feel like the guys handled it very well and the guys who came up and filled those positions played very well.”

Although he was not well enough to play before the season’s end on Sunday, Carlo did feel part of this playoff run even from just being with the team on a daily basis, and noted that he has continued to improve in the last few days, mentioning that he was feeling pretty good though he was still getting past ‘a couple of little things’ along the way.

The Colorado Springs, Colo. native also said that this is not the first concussion of his career.

“One little one [before], this one was a little bit different,” Carlo said of his concussion history.

“I’m just trying to make sure I’m being smart with it.”

The 6-foot-5 finished his first season with six goals, 16 points, 88 shots on goal, and a plus-9 rating. His 20:48 of time on ice per game also ranked third among Bruins skaters and was the sixth-highest among NHL rookie defensemen.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Charlie McAvoy made his debut in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

Charlie McAvoy made his debut in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

A six-game series loss is not a success. It’s a failure by its very definition. But when the Bruins eventually look back on this year’s first-round loss to the Senators, they won’t recall it as the series that had more letdowns, injuries, and penalties to count, but rather the city’s first look at the future promise of defenseman Charlie McAvoy.

Thrown into the fire of the Stanley Cup Playoffs thanks to injuries that sidelined half of the Boston defense corps, the 19-year-old McAvoy was not a disaster. He did not need to be sheltered. By the third game, the 14th overall pick from just a summer ago looked more than ready, and it really only got better from there in terms of his consistency.

And as the opening round of postseason play came to a close last night, McAvoy’s 157:09 of time on ice in the series ranked as the seventh-most among playoff defensemen. His 26:11 of ice time per night was the 10th-most, and the three assists he tallied over the course of his six-game baptism by fire were the fifth-most.

It was long before Erik Karlsson embraced McAvoy in the post-series handshake line that you knew that McAvoy was real.

“I think the Boston Bruins fans are seeing something right now that they’re going to truly appreciate for years,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Just his composure and ability to play in three zones. He’s come in and moved the puck and he’s pushing the pace and trying to make things happen, and those are special talents when, in situations like [the playoffs], they want to be a difference maker. They can’t teach that. We can teach him some things system wise that he’ll pick up in a hurry. But, the stuff that he has – natural talents and abilities that you’re seeing – I think they’re getting a little bit better every time we see them.”

“Charlie [McAvoy] never played in the NHL before and he stepped up, logged a lot of minutes,” Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask mentioned when asked of the team’s defense (he later mentioned Joe Morrow in the same breath as well). “I think they definitely took a lot of steps forward in the series, and made some great plays and played a heck of a series.”

It’s impossible to imagine somebody going from the NCAA to the AHL to the NHL in a four-week span, but that’s basically exactly what McAvoy did, and without missing a beat for a Black and Gold squad that needed a miracle.

“We had a lot of neophytes going into this series in terms of hockey league playoffs. So, there’s a learning curve for them and that’s part of the growth process that we hope that if we’re sitting here next year at this time talking about advancing, that they learn something from this year,” Cassidy said following the series, clearly referencing No. 73. “That’s what every team goes through and the Pastrnaks of the world, McAvoy now, pick your players that are new to it and you have to learn from them.”

McAvoy’s emergence also answers a sneaky big question for the Bruins next year in regards to their defense, which will remain stacked with bodies with him here, even if the Vegas Golden Knights draft one of Adam McQuaid or Colin or Kevan Miller.

The beautiful part of this for the B’s, too, is that his ceiling can go only up with a full training camp come September.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

The Bruins’ season came to an end with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 at TD Garden. We got some reaction from players. Watch below. (Video courtesy Josh Dolan.)

Blog Author: 
WEEI