Charlie McAvoy is at the heart of a new Bruins scandal, which I am dubbing Tardygate.
Yes, it seems the currently injured second year defenseman has admitted to Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe that he had been late to a couple of team things: a special teams meeting and being late getting on the team bus after a game and that team leadership straightened him out. Apparently, Brad let the cat out of the bag when talking to Haggs during that extended Nissan commercial the other week. And apparently a few other Bruins sources have confirmed this information.
However, Bruce Cassidy denies that Charlie has had lateness issues and points out that the Bruins are blessed to have such an excellent leadership group:
In a Globe story, McAvoy acknowledged he was late twice this season, to a special teams meeting and when boarding the team bus after a game. He said senior team leadership (Brad Marchand, in particular) set him straight on the responsibilities of being a pro. Team president Cam Neely said most of the team’s minor transgressions are handled inside the dressing room.
“We’re lucky,” Cassidy said. “Z [Zdeno Chara], Bergy [Patrice Bergeron], they’re detail-oriented guys. Go down the list. Tuukka [Rask] is here at 9 o’clock, going over stuff with Goalie Bob [Essensa]. We’re fortunate we have seasoned pros they can learn from. But I don’t know of Charlie ever being late on my watch, honestly.
“The only beef I ever had with him is starting practice a little quicker. Like a lot of young guys, they’re used to practicing for an hour and a half. Hey, we’re out here for 35 minutes. Let’s go right away. Talked to him once or twice about it last year, not even this year.”
Why is this such an issue? Is this coming up because the Boston media needs a story, a new narrative about this hockey team? Or is the team pushing a story to aid them in contract negotiations? McAvoy’s ELC is up at the end of the season and he is going to be an expensive RFA to sign. It wouldn’t be the first time a Boston team pushed a narrative about a player to justify their actions.
Maybe frustration is the driver of this story. Fans are disappointed that Charlie McAvoy can’t stay on the ice at this point in his young career; he’s only appeared in 17 games this season due to his concussion and lower body injury, both obtained in game. Maybe the media would rather write about his play, rather than wait through this injury. Maybe the team shouldn’t be talking to the media about an internal frustration.
This shouldn’t be a story. If he’s had team infractions, that should be kept private and dealt with accordingly. Charlie doesn’t need more drama and neither do we.