WILMINGTON — Like the rest of the Bruins, Zac Rinaldo can’t wait for the season to get underway.
“It’s about time,” the forward quickly remarked with a smile following the Bruins’ last informal practice on Wednesday before the first orders of business for 2015-16 begin. “I hate the summertime, especially when you don’t make playoffs. It just drags on and on.”
After a lengthy summer, players will report to TD Garden for off-ice testing on Thursday.
This marks Rinaldo’s first training camp with Boston, having been acquired from Philadelphia via trade on June 29.
“I’ll just adapt,” he said. “It’s not too hard - I’ve been around the League for a couple of years now, I’ve adapted to different coaches and situations, so it won’t be too hard.”
There’s always a level of anticipation, and maybe even anxiety, for players entering the first day —regardless of how many training camps in which they have participated.
The physical tests vary from team to team. In Philadelphia, Rinaldo went through mostly on-ice testing. In Boston, the most difficult tests happen off the ice.
WILMINGTON -- Max Talbot wore the Spoked-B for just 18 games at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Acquired by Boston at the trade deadline in March from Colorado, the veteran was immediately thrust into a race for the playoffs.
“Last year was kind of quick, you know, 18 games that you come in here and it’s a playoff rush and playoff race and everything is a little hectic,” Talbot said following the final informal practice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday before the start of training camp on Sept. 17.
“I’m happy to be here now — kind of like a white page in front of me, I can write my own story with the Bruins and kind of start fresh, learning to know the guys a little better, the room, the prospects, the staff, so it’s exciting for me right now.”
Talbot didn’t have much time to carve out a solid role for himself last season or even settle into the city, but he certainly made an impact in the room amid a tense time of year.
His personality and constant chatter keep the atmosphere light, and his work ethic keeps those around him focused and motivated.
WILMINGTON — Jonas Gustavsson made his first appearance at Bruins’ informal practice on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.
The goaltender will be attending training camp with Boston on a professional tryout (PTO). Camp opens with off-ice testing on Thursday.
General Manager Don Sweeney confirmed that Gustavsson would be at camp when he spoke with reporters on Sept. 10 before heading to Buffalo for the Prospects Challenge.
Gustavsson sported the Spoked-B practice jersey on the ice, with the rest of his gear still in Detroit’s red and white. The goalie spent the past three seasons in the Red Wings organization, suiting up in 41 NHL games for Detroit and serving as Jimmy Howard’s backup.
“It’s a new experience,” Gustavsson said of entering camp on a tryout for the first time in his career. “No matter if you have a contract, a tryout or whatever, you’ve always got to have the mentality that you’re going out there and you’re going to try to become a better goalie every day - and that’s not gonna change just because I don’t have that real contract.”
BostonBruins.com - For 20 years, Travis Roy has been a beacon of hope.
“Hope is…I live on hope,” Roy told reporters gathered around him during the 12th Annual Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at The International Golf Course in Bolton, Mass. on Monday.
“Hope gets me out of bed in the morning. But hope needs to be funded — and that’s what the Bruins are doing here today. It inspires the people that participate. They’re funding my hope, they’re funding all of us with spinal cord injuries that things are going to get better.”
Roy was the tournament honoree. The Boston Bruins Foundation and Boston Bruins Alumni paid tribute to the 20th anniversary of his accident and thanked him for his dedication to enhancing the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries and their families.
The Bruins presented him with a $50,000 check to the Travis Roy Foundation, which helps spinal cord injury survivors and funds research for a cure.
BOLTON, Mass. - Every September, the Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament marks the unofficial start to the new season.
On Monday at The International Golf Course, Bruins past and present gathered for the 12th annual charity tournament, with alumni like Ray Bourque and Rick Middleton sharing the course with the current roster.
“It’s nice to have everybody back,” said Captain Zdeno Chara. “It’s a week where we’re all going to start and obviously Thursday’s a big day, but before you know it, we’re going to play the first preseason game on Sunday, so it’s right around the corner.”
On Thursday, players will report to TD Garden for off-ice testing and the intensity will ramp up with the opening of training camp. But first, a relaxing day on the golf course was in order.
“This is great for the community, great for everybody,” Chara said of the tournament. “We all enjoy participating in events like this, where it’s kind of a last chance to relax before training camp starts and it’s a part of bonding I would say - interacting with the fans and people participating in this golf tournament. I think it’s just a great event.”
BOLTON, Mass. - David Krejci was limited to just 47 games in 2014-15.
This season, he’s hoping for less injury trouble and a healthier start.
Luckily, Krejci didn’t have to undergo any offseason surgery, took a couple of weeks off after the season ended in April and was back to working out with no limitations.
“Off the ice, in the gym, everything was fine,” Krejci said Monday at the Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at The International Golf Course before hitting the links. “I’ve been skating for a little over a month now and felt good on the ice, so there shouldn’t be any reason why I shouldn’t be 100 percent.”
Training camp opens this week on Thursday, Sept. 17 with off-ice testing before on-ice sessions begin Friday.
The center is anxious for a clean slate. Thirty-one points off seven goals and 24 assists through 47 games isn’t exactly the way he wants to contribute to his team. He wants to offer much more.
WILMINGTON — Kevan Miller entered 2014-15 ready to tackle his first full NHL season.
After climbing the ranks through a four-year college career at Vermont, signing with the Black and Gold as a free agent and biding his time working hard in Providence for two seasons, he first got his shot in 2013-14 when Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg faced injury trouble.
He earned a new two-year deal and played 47 games with Boston that season. After seeing his first NHL postseason action in 2014, the hard-nosed defenseman was primed for a full 82-game season at the NHL level.
But as so often happens, circumstances didn't pan out as Miller - and the team - would have liked.
Less than two weeks into the season, Miller dislocated his right shoulder at the end of a fight (Oct. 18 in Buffalo) and was sidelined for a month.
That frustration at the start spread to the ending for Miller, too, when he re-injured his shoulder towards the end of February and had to undergo season-ending surgery.
“I mean, as unfortunate as it was that it happened, it happened at a good time rather than at the end of the season,” Miller said of the surgery. He was speaking with reporters after his first informal practice back with the team at Ristuccia Arena on Friday, having returned to Boston from his offseason home in Valencia, Calif.
WILMINGTON — Ryan Spooner will take part in his sixth training camp with Boston next week.
The centerman signed a two-year extension with the club back in July as a restricted free agent - his first one-way deal.
For the first time since being drafted 45th overall by the Bruins in 2010, the 23-year-old will be entering camp with solid footing for his speedy legs.
“In the past, I’d say, four years, the team wasn’t set but you kind of had an idea,” said Spooner, who made his first appearance at Bruins informal practice on Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena, before main camp opens Sept. 17. “ But just going into the season, we’re not really sure what’s going to happen.”
This camp is bound to be one of the most intriguing since Spooner become a member of the organization. There are spots open, new faces all around and young players - including himself - expected to make an impact.
WILMINGTON — Brett Connolly made his first appearance at Bruins' informal practice on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena, and already began fielding questions about who his linemates might be for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
“It starts already, eh?” he joked as the media settled in with recorders and microphones.
There is a greater spotlight on Connolly now than there was on March 1, when Boston acquired the forward from Tampa Bay before the trade deadline.
“You know what, I think we’ll see kind of where I fit,” the right winger answered to the group of reporters gathered around him in the locker room.
“They will trying a bunch of different things at training camp and trying to find guys that work together well and there’s a lot of spots and a lot of places where I could slot in,” said Connolly. “So I’ve got to have a good training camp, have a good start and get the ball rolling.”
WILMINGTON, Mass. - The Bruins will have a younger team this season than they did in 2014-15. General Manager Don Sweeney has had his sights set on that since being hired in May.
Chris Kelly is on board.
“That’s hockey. I think that’s for every team, you know, very rarely do you see a team just keep getting older and older and older,” the alternate captain smiled following an informal practice at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday.
“Yeah, you have players that get older, but there’s always new young guys that come in and filter in. That’s the great thing about hockey; regardless of the age, you always feel like you’re 24.”
“You know, if you’re  like David [Pastrnak], you’d think he was 24 because he’s way more mature than I think most  year-olds. But if you’re older,” he paused, jokingly lifting his head to glance at 34-year-old defenseman Dennis Seidenberg’s locker room stall. “Like Seids, you know, you’d think Seids is 24.”
“So I think age is such a mindset, a label that is put on players,” said the 34-year-old Kelly. “But I feel good with the young and the old guys that are mixing and gelling.”