BostonBruins.com - A look at Chris Kelly's game-by-game summary from 2013-14 shows a lengthy gap in the middle of the season. Instead of a statline and ice-time, the letters "INJ" sit next to a list of 22 games from December through January.
But the injury that kept Kelly out for those two midseason months - a broken fibula in his right lower leg - didn't take a toll on him as much as the injury that forced him to miss the entire 2014 postseason.
The alternate captain was sidelined by a herniated disk in his back at the end of the regular season, and never had the chance to suit up for the playoffs. He had back surgery to repair it in May.
"It was probably one of the worst pains I’ve ever had," Kelly said Wednesday following the Bruins' informal practice at Ristuccia Arena. The captain-led practices are taking place before training camp begins on September 18.
"I’ve broken a lot of bones, separated shoulders, but this just kind of crippled me."
Kelly tried to work towards a return during the posteason, but he realized he was fooling himself. The atrophy in his leg caused by the herniated disk was too great; he couldn't get back to playing.
It was night and day for the forward post-surgery. He felt great afterwards. But there was one caveat before getting back into his training routine in his offseason home of Ottawa: six weeks of doing absolutely nothing.
WILMINGTON, MA - Captain Zdeno Chara was the latest Bruin to join informal practices at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday.
A group of Bruins and Providence Bruins began skating together at the team's practice rink on Tuesday. They will continue the sessions in advance of training camp, which opens on September 18.
Chara took over the reigns of leading the skate, after Patrice Bergeron led the drills on the first day of informal practices.
The group includes Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, David Pastrnak, Brian Ferlin, Bobby Robins and Tommy Cross. Milan Lucic skated prior to the practice. P-Bruins Cory Kane and Andrew Ammon, both on the roster for the Bruins' rookie camp, are participating in the skates as well.
At this time of the offseason, with about two weeks before training camp opens, the Bruins are usually finishing up their individual summer training routines, and their on-ice and off-ice conditioning varies.
Watching the skate, it was easy to see the enthusiasm from the veterans and young players alike to be back on the ice and gearing up for training camp.
WILMINGTON - It's that time of year again. With the passing of Labor Day, schools are in session and the end of summer is well on its way.
For the Bruins and the rest of the NHL, that means it's back to work.
Those who don the Black and Gold have been putting in the work all summer, and now comes to the time to implement that training back in Boston.
On Tuesday, several Bruins and P-Bruins began holding informal practices at Ristuccia Arena in preparation for the start of training camp on September 18.
The group included Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, David Pastrnak, Brian Ferlin, Bobby Robins and Tommy Cross.
Bergeron led the drills, and pulled out a stopwatch at the end of the skate to run himself and the group through sprints from goal line to goal line.
"It’s always nice to get back here," Bergeron told media following the skate. "Especially being here early, you know, and seeing the guys and seeing the trainers, and the coaches, and just being here, and enjoying the little bit of the rest of nice weather here in Boston, and getting ready."
BostonBruins.com - Nearly 200 players in Black and Gold have made the drive on I-95 between Providence and Boston as they worked towards establishing themselves into full-time NHL players.
On Wednesday, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli made a series of announcements that will continue to foster strong organizational depth, with the Providence Bruins as an integral part of the process.
The GM announced that the club has agreed to a long-term affiliation agreement with Providence, named Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney the GM of the Providence Bruins, and hired longtime NHL player (and former Bruin) Jay Pandolfo as Development Coach.
“Having a solid working relationship with your AHL affiliate is so integral to the long term success of your NHL team,” Chiarelli said in the team's official announcement sent out on August 27. “With Providence and [Providence Bruins team owner] H. Larue Renfroe's stewardship, we have that and more. We look forward to many more years with the Providence Bruins."
The P-Bruins have served as the American Hockey League affiliate for Boston since their inception in 1992, making the 23-season affiliation one of the longest standing player development agreements in the history of the AHL and of the NHL.
Current players in the organization who have played at least one game for both Providence and Boston include the aforementioned Krejci, Marchand, Boychuk and Rask, along with Matt Bartkowski, Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Alexander Khokhlachev, Torey Krug, Matt Lindblad, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky.
MARGATE CITY, NJ - Before you read this, take a moment to get into a push-up position. Then, lower yourself barely an inch off the ground and explode up into the air. Once you get a couple of feet off the ground (yes, feet) and gravity pulls you back down to the floor, land in that same push-up position and do it all over again, and again, and again, and again. No stopping.
Okay, so it's much easier for an NHL athlete, like Dennis Seidenberg, who did a series of them with the same seemingly effortless explosiveness that he deploys on the ice. He had so much fun that he flashed his big smile afterwards.
For the second and final day of BostonBruins.com's #BearTracks visit with Seidenberg in his offseason home in South Jersey on Tuesday, we received a glimpse into his summer workout routine, and how he's preparing with training camp just one month away.
The Bruins defenseman spent roughly two hours moving swiftly through the exercises that emphasized plyometrics, muscle activation and explosive movements, put forth by trainer Ben Brownsberger.
MARGATE CITY, NJ - For seven and a half months, Dennis Seidenberg hasn't played a game in a Bruins' uniform.
Since his season-ending ACL/MCL injury at the end of December, the defenseman has been working to get his right knee - now etched with a scar below his kneecap - back to full strength.
He spent nearly five of those months on the sidelines in Boston, watching every game and forced to not be able to take part.
The next two and a half months have been spent in Margate City, New Jersey, the place where he and his family call 'home' in the offseason.
It's where the BostonBruins.com crew took the latest #BearTracks trip, to check in with the defenseman about his offseason and his knee's progress.
BostonBruins.com - Three weeks ago, #BearTracks offered a glimpse into defenseman Kevan Miller's offseason training and his life growing up in Southern California.
Once again, BostonBruins.com is hitting the road to visit another Bruins' blueliner. This time, it only requires a drive down the East Coast to New Jersey.
Next up: Dennis Seidenberg.
While the defenseman calls Germany home, he spends his summers training and relaxing with his family in New Jersey, where his wife is from. The #BearTracks crew will be checking in with him this coming Monday and Tuesday, August 18-19.
With training camp just over one month away, Seidenberg no doubt has his sights set on being ready to go for 2014-15, after recovering from the ACL/MCL tear in his right knee that he suffered in late December. It has now been seven and a half months since the injury.
BOSTON - Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask played goalie on Wednesday, though it was only for a few minutes, and not in his usual place of work.
A young patient at the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston took a mini-stick and fired a shot on Rask in the hallway outside his room.
Rask, back in Boston and beginning to gear up for the upcoming season, spent the afternoon visiting patients at the clinic, signing autographs and passing out goodie bags with mini sticks, pucks, coloring books and Bruins' gear to the kids.
"Yeah, he got it by me. He just grabbed the stick and started doing slapshots," laughed Rask, who was happy the young boy had picked up the sport so quickly. "So maybe there's a future Bruins' draft pick there."
Rask visited the Jimmy Fund Clinic in advance of the 13th Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon taking place on August 19 and 20.
The 36-hour broadcast event features compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses, as well as celebrity guests and athletes, inspiring contributions to Dana-Farber.
BOSTON - While the ice is still months away from being a fixture at TD Garden, the voice of Bruins' radio play-by-play announcer Dave Goucher boomed from inside the arena on Tuesday afternoon.
Instead of calling out passes, goals and hits, though, he was bringing life to a backpack stuffing competition on the arena floor.
Bruins Principal Charlie Jacobs and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh were helping each other fill new backpacks with notebooks, pencils, other school supplies and notes of encouragement for young Boston students, all with a timer on the clock, in the spirit of competition.
"Oh, we have a fumble!" Goucher jokingly called out, as an errant pencil fell to the floor amidst the challenge. "Colored pencils, don't forget the colored pencils!"
The challenge helped kick off the Backpack Stuff-A-Thon at TD Garden, which saw volunteers pack more than 4,000 new backpacks with school supplies for Boston-area students in need.
The backpacks will be distributed at the 3rd Annual Back-to-School Celebration later this August, an event organized by Garden Neighborhood Charities - the philanthropic arm of TD Garden - The Salvation Army and the City of Boston.
Jacobs and the Mayor teamed up against TD Garden President Amy Latimer and Major Ivan Rock from The Salvation Army for the competition.
BostonBruins.com - When Gregory Campbell accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping social media last Friday, he voiced support for Pete Frates and ALS awareness, then doused himself with a large bucket of ice water.
Campbell then naturally passed the challenge on to his Bruins' teammate, Brad Marchand, giving him 24 hours to complete the challenge. Marchand then challenged Torey Krug, who kept it going, and it's still making its way through the team and beyond.
The #IceBucketChallenge has been spreading on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and across the Internet to help raise awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Pete Frates, a Beverly, Mass. native and former captain of the Boston College baseball team, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. There is currently no cure for the disease.
Since then, along with family, friends and supporters, Frates has made it his mission to help raise awareness and fight for a cure.
While it appears that ice bucket challenges have been implemented in a variety of ways for various charities (pro golfers like Rickie Fowler began doing the challenge in late June, daring others to accept the challenge or donate $100 to their charities), the one honoring Frates is to inspire others to learn more about ALS and make donations to aid in the fight to find a cure for ALS.