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Julien: No better time for guys to step up

3/20/2010

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins vice president Cam Neely spoke his mind Friday during a radio interview on WEEI’s “The Big Show” where he said he was disappointed with the team’s lack of emotion.

The biggest complaint the former Bruin and Hall of Famer had with the team was the lack of leadership, criticizing the team’s veterans.

After Saturday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked his thoughts on Neely’s comments.

“I think it’s probably normal when you lose guys like [P.J.] Axelsson and [Stephane] Yelle and [Shane] Hnidy, guys who have been around for a long time certainly solidifies your room, but there’s a time where, again, what the NHL is all about and salary caps and certain things have to get done.

“At the same time you’ve got some young players that you want to groom into being those leaders because those guys became [leaders] along the way and you need your players to step up and try to replace those guys. Right now, as we speak, I don’t think there’s a better time than right now to have our guys step up and show there’s some leadership and there’s some character in that room. There are 12 games for us to show that.”

Neely did not attend practice.