A press conference originally convened to discuss the multi-year extension of coach Claude Julien‘s contract with the Boston Bruins also includes another spot of good news about two players who missed time this past season due to concussions.
General manager Peter Chiarelli said that Nathan Horton has been cleared for contact and is ready to go for training camp.
Adam McQuaid is also 100 percent ready for contact.
Both of these things are great to hear. Horton missed much of the season’s second half after a hit by Tom Sestito of the Philadelphia Flyers in January (which went completely unpunished, even after the concussion was diagnosed). Without him in the lineup, the Bruins did suffer. Consider the month of February, when the Bruins were shut out five times, once by a score of 6-0, and won five of the 13 games in the shortest month of the year, two of them by shootouts. For much of March, the team struggled to put three wins in a row, finally doing so at the end of the month. Horton wanted to return for the playoffs, but instead was given more time to rest and recuperate, which was surely in his best interests.
McQuaid missed some April regular-season games and the entire playoffs with what was revealed during exit interviews to be a concussion.
But now, the two of them are back and ready to go for training camp and the preseason games.
McQuaid is the focus of today’s stop on John Bishop’s Bear Tracks tour. He has not yet commented on the news, but he might.