Ten years after becoming Stanley Cup champions together with the 2010-11 Boston Bruins team, former Bruins forward Chris Kelly and former Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid are teammates once again and hoping to continue the winning culture they helped build a decade ago.
This past Friday, the Boston Bruins announced that they had promoted Kelly to become an Assistant Coach on head coach and 2020 Jack Adams Award winner Bruce Cassidy’s staff. Kelly takes over for former Bruins Assistant Coach Jay Pandolfo who returned to his alma mater Boston University to become an Associate Head Coach. The Bruins also announced that they had hired McQuaid to become the team’s new Player Development Coordinator. On Monday, both Kelly and McQuaid met with the media via Zoom and both expressed a strong desire to help maintain the accountability and competitiveness that has permeated through the Boston Bruins organization since they were skating around Rogers Arena in Vancouver with the Stanley Cup on June 15, 2011.
Kelly admitted that as a Boston Bruins player, he realized he was blessed to play in a winning and professional environment as a Bruin. However, after returning to his original NHL team, the Ottawa Senators, for the 2016-17 season, and then finishing his career with the Anaheim Ducks in 2017-18, he was reminded just how lucky he was to be part of the Bruins’ culture.
“You hear about the Bruins culture throughout the league and I think maybe when you’re in it, you maybe don’t hear it as much, you kind of take it for granted,” Kelly said on Monday. “But when you go to other places and other organizations, they talk about it and it’s a thing throughout the league, how well the Bruins treat their players and the way the players treat each other. It’s a culture thing, that competitiveness and there are top-end players bringing it each and every day.”
For the last ten years, pretty much every veteran NHLer that the Boston Bruins have signed or acquired via the NHL trade market, have raved about how easy the Bruins’ veteran core of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and their supporting staff made their transition into a new dressing room. Kelly felt the same way when he was traded from the Senators to the Bruins at the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline.
“I saw it when I joined the organization,” Kelly said of the competitive culture that’s on display every day with the Bruins. “The development and how hard the top-end players compete every day and in games, helping those players learn how to be a pro day in and day out. I think Boston is extremely fortunate to have the players they have leading, not only the young players but the new players to come in because I was one of those players.”
Kelly, 40, even went as far as crediting the Bruins’ winning culture of accountability as a reason he was able to stay in the NHL until he was 37.
“I came in and I was fortunate enough to be part of that team that won and to see how hard they were already working the next summer after they won the Cup to come into camp for the next season,” Kelly recalled. “I think it helped me maybe carve out a few more extra years in the NHL because of the work ethic that they were able to instill in me as an older player. So to be able to come back and try to help with that on the other side is great.”
McQuaid is also thrilled to be part of the Bruins’ culture again and is looking forward to passing along all he learned during his nine seasons in Black and Gold.
“I think the Bruins are a first-class organization and have set kind of the gold standard for success and kind of the demands that the players bring each day and kind of hold each other accountable,” McQuaid said. “Having played there for a while, I got to see it first hand. I think I can communicate that to the younger guys what the expectations are to be a Boston Bruin. So, all of those things together make this opportunity really exciting.