- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins veterans and prospects participated in the final day of captain’s practice and rookie camp Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena as the organization prepares for the first official day of training camp on Wednesday at TD Garden.
On Tuesday, the players were talking about NESN’s new all-access series “Behind the B” that aired the first of 13 episodes Monday night. It was an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at many daily aspects of the Bruins, including why management decided to trade forward Tyler Seguin, how it felt when Nathan Horton decided to sign elsewhere and the feeling in the locker room at the team’s Game 6 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup. It also introduced newcomers Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson.
“I was on the edge of my seat,” said Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. “For the fans, it’s definitely an inside look at something they should take advantage of because we don’t even get to see that stuff. It’s definitely a lot of fun and I can’t wait to watch the next episode.”
Krug’s emergence from a non-drafted player to his significant contributions during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs was also featured in the first episode. Basically, the organization knew it would lose veteran defenseman Andrew Ference due to the decreased salary cap, but many in the hockey operations department felt Krug could have a similar impact in Boston as Ference did.
“That’s something that definitely hits home for me,” Krug said. “Growing up, character was something my dad always preached and Andrew Ference was a guy who was a perfect role model for that. To hear words like that come out of their mouth definitely hits home for me and it’s something I try to do and bring to the table. It’s always something you can keep working on.”
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and his staff were candid and honest in their discussions about Seguin and Krug was asked his thoughts about those closed-door conversations being made public.
“You’re always wondering in the back of your head what they’re thinking and obviously all you can do is put your best foot forward and try to impress them and earn your spot in the lineup and help the team win,” Krug said. “That’s all you think about as a player and then to hear what actually goes on behind the scenes, and to hear what they say makes you realize there’s a lot more that goes into it and makes you realize it’s a business. It’s impressive. They make a lot of hard decisions and I give them a lot of credit. Obviously, you see the way Mr. Chiarelli handles it, and the leadership in him is impressive as well. It was great to watch. I can’t wait to watch more.”
Bruins fans were also introduced to the team’s strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. He’s been with the Bruins for 11 seasons and the players -- both past and present -- sing his praises, but also know he’s a no-nonsense guy.
During episode 1, Whitesides has the most entertaining segment while he’s pounding the organization’s rookies into submission during development camp last July. Whitesides dropped plenty of F-bombs during his speeches to the rookies.
“That was the most entertaining part,” Krug said. “He’s awesome. He definitely brings energy any time he walks into the room. He’s great. I’m glad we have him on our side because he makes sure nobody’s sleeping when they’re walking into the rink.”
At one point, he punishes goaltender Malcolm Subban for being late. After Tuesday’s on-ice workout, Subban said he did not see the first episode but he heard all about it on Twitter. When asked what his impressions are of Whitesides, Subban smiled.
“He’s good. He means well,” Subban said. “He’s a good guy and he just wants to make sure everyone is focused here and he doesn’t want anyone to make the mistakes of coming in and missing out on anything. He makes sure everyone is aware of what’s happening and I think it’s really good.”
The team has not yet released the schedule for the remaining 12 episodes, with each running 30 minutes in length.
8dJoe McDonald and Kyle Brasseur
44dKyle Brasseur, Special to ESPNBoston.com