Morning Free Association: Notes from Bruins Fan Fest

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Good morning everyone! Been a while since I’ve done some writing, so lets have some fun! Em & I were lucky enough to get the day off together, so we went down to Manchester to see Bruins Fan Fest! It was a fun little event, emphasis on the little though. It was very kid orientated, with a shootout challenge, goalie training, and lots of equipment fittings through Bruins Academy. Lots of giveaways plus a few Q&A sessions with a couple of players and management. All in all a good time, however, maybe next year the event will have a larger foot space as it was cramped.

The highlight of the event for the adults in the crowd were the Q&A sessions. We were there from 12-3, listening to three interviews. Em suggested that I take some notes thinking that you would all enjoy it. Here are some of the highlights from all three Q&A sessions with Andy Brickley.

First up was Pride of New Hampshire™ Tim Schaller:
The first few questions from Brick were about being a New Hampshire local and what it meant about playing for the Bruins. “It was a dream come true being signed in Boston. Growing up I had several idols from Ray Bourque, to PJ Stock, Samsonov (yay). I think my first ever jersey was a Cam Neely.” Next question was about the upcoming season, and what to expect to see from Schaller: “I want to play harder on the forecheck, put more pucks on goal. I’m excited for camp, knowing there’s a lot of competition coming into training camp, it’s going to be a lot of fun.” As the interview went on, Schaller made note to say he truly believed that last years team if they didn’t lose a couple of key players (the defense) they could have made it all the way to the Cup Final. Brick then handed the mic over to the fans for a few questions, which sparked a few laughs.

“What do you think of the Timmy heads?”
“At first it was awkward, now it’s just funny, and the guys in the locker room are jealous”

“Do you have a favorite goal celebration?”
“I’m working on a new one, called the Timmy Shimmy, hopefully you’ll get to see it on opening night”.

Up next was Brandon Carlo.
Brick continued a similar question pattern to Schaller, which made note taking much easier. When asked, “What was it like being able to throw on the Spoked B for the first time?” Carlo answered with,  “A dream come true”. Ever since lacing up his first pair of skates at the age of five, it was his dream to play in the NHL.The first game against Columbus was a night he’ll never forget. Continuing on with the playing in the NHL theme, Carlo remarked that the hardest part about playing in the NHL being the mental game, [the NHL season] being a grueling schedule, the need to be focused as possible and to not dwell on mistakes, and that it was easier with a coach who would roll him out, no matter the mistakes. When asked about Claude, Carlo had nothing but praise, however, he did remark that the coaching change for him, personally, was a good thing. After turning it over to the fans, there were a couple of specific questions about Carlo continuing to play with Chara:

“How important was it for your development to play with Chara, and do you think you’ll continue that pairing next year?”
“It was very important for me, and helped me tremendously, but going into next season, we know pairings will shuffle, and I expect McAvoy to get a lot of those minutes with him.”

“Just how much of a mentor is Chara, and how did his presence impact you?”
“Chara is a guy who you can talk to anything about, whether it’s on the ice or off it. I’ve talked finance with him, travel, real estate, anything.”  I then wanted to follow up with if he’d buy a house from him.)

“How do you deal with the trade rumors and the distractions the media can bring up?”
“It’s hard these days with social media, sports talk radio, blogs. It’s easy to get caught up in them, but I learned from Chara to tune it out, which can be easy for him. I bet Z doesn’t even know how to Facebook.

Being an excellent MC, Brick let a young boy ask a question, which brought some laughs from the crowd.

“What’s your favorite locker-room nickname and who’s your best friend on the team?”
“Tiny-Tim” and “Timmy,” was the official answer from Carlo, however, the look on his face read that those weren’t the correct answers, that the best locker-room nickname was quite not safe for work.

The last interview we got to see was with general manager, Don Sweeney.

The interview with Sweeney was different than I expected. Don was very candid which lead to me not taking as many notes as I was more interested in listening.

When asked about the importance of the AHL, Don quipped that it is possibly the hardest league in all sports in that players needed to develop on their own in a team environment. You cannot win without the man beside you but it is the ultimate goal to play in the NHL.

Sweeney mentioned about it taking around 95 points to get into the playoffs again this season, saying the division will be very tight and the Bruins need to get off to a good start rather than play chasing uphill. He was very proud of the way the Bruins last season dug in  and worked together to get back into the post-season.

In response to the Pastrnak situation: “It might take some time to get Pastrnak signed, but we’re committed to our younger talent to win with the Boston Bruins.”

On the coaching change: “We took a lot of input from the players regarding this, one of the bigger components was Brad. He’d never been coached by anyone else in his NHL career, so we wanted to hear from him about it, and as you can see, he and the rest of the team all bought in under Cassidy”.


About carvinbass18

I can forgive you if you don’t like Rask. I can’t forgive you if you think he’s garbage. You’re wrong

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