Halifax Braces for Bruins
Canadian city to host part of Boston's training camp
Thursday, 08.14.2008 / 8:22 AM / Features
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
|Claude Julien in Halifax.
“I know from past experience that the guys really enjoy it here,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien recently to a crowd of media in Nova Scotia. “I know, having played here for a few years, what the city of Halifax is all about, and it is a great opportunity.
“We spend most of the year in Boston, so being able to get out of the city and spend some time in a training camp with 40 or 50 players is a good thing for a hockey club.
“It will certainly keep the focus on what we need to do to prepare for a good start,” he said.
That focus will be necessary to keep any positive momentum, garnered from the club’s exciting seven game playoff series against Montreal last spring, going into the 2008-09 regular season. The B’s first game of the new campaign, and the first of two preseason tilts against the Canadiens (Sept. 22), might just put those efforts over the top.
“We have some pretty good teams that will be playing here, like Montreal,” said Julien. “That will be our next game, so we can qualify that as Game 8 of the series.
“And then obviously, who could ask for a better team to face than the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings (Sept. 25).”
In between those two contests, the Bruins will travel to Moncton, New Brunswick to face former Providence Bruins head coach Scott Gordon and his New York Islanders (Sept. 23).
“We will be spending a few days in Boston to start our training camp, and then we will be heading here…with 40 to 50 players,” added the B’s bench boss. “(Halifax) will not only have the chance to see our main team, but also the depth in our organization.
“I am sure it will be a success, not only for our organization, but for the city of Halifax and all our fans here in the Maritimes.”
Some of Boston’s budding stars, and the Black & Gold’s biggest free agency pickup, will be on display for many of their biggest fans.
“We have some players such as (Andrew) Bodnarchuk and (Brad) Marchand who are locals, (Adam) McQuaid who is from Prince Edward Island and obviously, Michael Ryder, that we just acquired as a free agent,” said Julien. “I am sure that the people here will get an opportunity to see these young athletes in action.
“And we plan on having our practices open for the public; we want to make sure that we give everyone the opportunity to get a good look at a professional hockey team, how things are being done, how training camp is basically run.
“We really want to make this a good experience not just for our team, but for Halifax and its fans,” he said.
“(The Bruins) are a class organization and a great bunch of people, and there is no exception with Claude Julien, who is in his second year as head coach of the Boston Bruins,” said Edgar Goguen of Power Promotional Concepts, the firm partnering with the Bruins to bring them north. “We are very happy to be associated with them.
“They are going to hold a good part of their training camp in Halifax, including the Metro Centre and Cole Harbour Place.
“It is exciting news for the city of Halifax and to our organization here and to all hockey fans,” he said.
“We are happy…that Boston has picked Halifax to do their training camp,” said Halifax councillor Russel Walker. “We have had close ties to Boston for a long time, especially in sports, in hockey and in baseball.
“You can remember last fall, that we brought the (Red Sox) World Series trophy to Halifax for the first time, so we have very close ties.
“I have no fear that Boston will set the standard for this year in the race for the Stanley Cup and I hope that this is the first of many, many years that they are here in Halifax, so, welcome Boston!”