Boston Bruins Bear Tracks Part 1: Halifax and Charlottetown

The Bear Tracks tour of eastern Canada is well under way now and John Bishop has checked in on two different Boston Bruins on typical offseason days in their hometowns. As he has a day’s drive to Quebec now, here’s a recap of the trip so far.

After crossing the border into Canada, the first stop was in the capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax, to visit Brad Marchand, who begins his day with an intense workout. His workout was followed by a refueling meal in the city and his repeated eagerness for next season. Halifax is also home to a historic citadel, guarded by guards who are dressed somewhat like the famous Beefeaters in London, so it was a perfect opening for a photo op. The citadel provides a scenic view of many of Halifax’s landmarks–including Halifax Metro Centre arena–and the waterfront, which is busy right now. The city is hosting Tall Ships 2012, a festival featuring the titular tall ships making their way across the province and docking at various stops for food, fun and Nova Scotian culture.

The trip then moved to Prince Edward Island for a visit to Adam McQuaid‘s hometown in Cornwall and the nearby capital of Charlottetown. Back in Boston, it was being announced that McQuaid is fully cleared for contact to begin at the start of training camp. But meanwhile in PEI, McQuaid was going through an offseason day of training. The first picture from the day, of McQuaid at the track, revealed something different about his appearance–the famous mullet is gone! In fact, he said he needs to get a haircut soon. He also did some weight lifting and got in some skating time at the hometown rink, part of a pretty intense offseason routine he has. Though it was raining that day, that didn’t dampen the trip, and his mom even fixed a nice dinner for the out-of-town guests. Plus, there is some gorgeous scenery in PEI. McQuaid also answered some fan questions from home.

On the drive to Quebec, there is an arena in Fredericton, New Brunswick that is named for Willie O’Ree. It features two regulation NHL-size rinks, community use rooms, an indoor track, a wellness center operated with the local YMCA, a youth center and an indoor skate park.  A stop was made there upon recommendation from a Twitter follower. Fredericton also has a provincial sports hall of fame with displays about O’Ree and Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney.

Tomorrow, Bear Tracks will be in la belle province to see Patrice Bergeron and Jordan Caron. Here’s hoping this travelogue becomes a standard thing for future offseasons–that is, if a tour of every player’s hometown thanks to a Stanley Cup championship is unavailable.

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