From Bobby Orr to Brad Park to Ray Bourque to Zdeno Chara, the torch has been passed on along the blue line for the Boston Bruins. With the departure of Chara prior to last season, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy accepted that torch and had another stellar season becoming the new No.1 blueliner for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy has also shown he’s ready to lead as he was rewarded for that and given the vacant A left behind by David Krejci for the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers this past Saturday.
“It was really special,” said McAvoy, who is entering his fifth full season with the Bruins. “I know it’s just preseason but to be in this group of guys…there’s been so many amazing leaders that have come through here. I don’t know if it’s something that’s permanent or not, not something I’m overly worried about. But to wear it was really special.”
Not only did those aforementioned Bruins legends maintain a tradition of excellence for the Bruins but they were just as great, if not better leaders, wearing either the captain’s C or the A as an alternate captain or in Bourque’s case, both. Regardless of whether or not that A becomes a permanent fixture on McAvoy’s chest, the 23-year-old rearguard is ready to lead even more this season and beyond for the Boston Bruins (that is of course if the Boston Bruins show him the money he’s earned and make him one of the highest-paid defensemen in the game before the 2022-23 season).
“I try to be a leader in whatever way I can, whether it’s being vocal at times or just trying to lead by example,” said McAvoy. “Whether you have a letter on your chest or not, I don’t think that really means anything with your standing and responsibility with the team in terms of trying to push the other guys or taking charge when you need to and feel like you should.”
A week ago, McAvoy showed that leadership off the ice when addressing his contract status.
“No, just playing hockey. That’s it. That’s it,” McAvoy replied recently when asked about contract negotiations distracting him as he prepares for the 2021-22 regular season. “You see all those D-men, I’m very happy for them. I know quite a few of them and I couldn’t be happier for them. They’re all very well deserved. But I’m excited about this year, excited about the group we have. Being back together, seeing everyone is always so awesome. I feel like we’ve had a good few days here to start, and I just want to keep building on it.”
His expected growth as a player and a leader this season will only increase that value not just on the market but also as a potential future captain for the Boston Bruins.