Neely, Chiarelli Ready to Go
B's brass excited for team to hit the ice & season to get under way
BostonBruins.com – With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA complete, the Bruins brass and the Boston faithful can look forward to a fast and furious 2012-13 season.
And that’s just what was in order Sunday morning at TD Garden, as B’s President Cam Neely and General Manager Peter Chiarelli held a press conference at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the upcoming season, various fan benefits to kick off the campaign, and the Bruins roster heading into the first day of Training Camp.
“First of all, again, I would like to apologize to all our fans, season ticket holders, and premium clients for the lengthy lockout,” said Neely in his opening statement. “Certainly, I don’t know if any of us expected it to go this long, but fortunately, we can start talking about hockey and hockey games.”
“It’s been a painful journey up to this point for all of us,” added Chiarelli in his own opening remarks. “Mostly for our fans, for our stakeholders, but I’m glad the parties came to an agreement, and we’re able to ice our team now.
Along with an open Training Camp practice for fans, Neely announced a number of initiatives that fans will have access to. Among the benefits, fans will receive free concession vouchers and a 25-percent discount on merchandise at all B’s home games in January. To kick off Opening Night presented by TD Bank, every fan in attendance will receive a #BruinsAreBack t-shirt (check out our recent #BruinsAreBack video here).
But fans are not the only ones ready to get the season under way. And both Neely and Chiarelli – and the entire B’s organization - have been anxiously waiting to jumpstart the campaign, which will run from January 19 – April 27, with 48 games in 96 days.
“For the three months or so we haven’t been playing hockey, we have been prepared and preparing to drop the puck,” said Neely. “A lot of stops and starts, but everybody is certainly well prepared.
“We’re ready to go and, obviously, very excited about it.”
With players returning to Boston over the course of the past week, Chiarelli knows that the B’s are just as excited to get to work.
“Anything can happen. It’s a sprint, and let’s get going. It’s more that the longer they’ve been out no, the more motivated they are to get going,” said the Bruins GM, referencing the enthusiasm of his roster.
“You’re going to see pretty much what you’ve seen before,” he added, on the B’s core group returning from last season. “And everyone is healthy, and we’re very excited.”
“You’re going to see a good team, and you’re going to see a team… you’re going to see a team that’s highly, highly motivated.”
The same confidence in the Black & Gold was mirrored by Neely, who stressed that the key to a quick adjustment to the shortened season will be sticking to the what’s worked in the past.
“They just have to play their game,” he said. “They know how they need to play to be successful and how to help our team be successful - that’s not going to change.”