BOLTON – With five key players and a head coach currently away for the World Cup of Hockey, the Boston Bruins group that teed off on Monday at the International for the Boston Bruins Foundation certainly felt like less than whole. Claude Julien has routinely met with reporters at the annual golf tournament to give his first address prior to the start of training camp, but instead this time it was Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
With those impactful individuals missing and (sort of) new faces in assistant coaches Bruce Cassidy and Jay Pandolfo added to the B’s coaching staff, there might have been a chance for a bit of chaos when camp kicks off in a couple of weeks. But Sweeney assured on Monday that the famously fastidious Julien had been holding meetings with his coaching staff prior to leaving for his duties with Team Canada, and made certain the B’s practice schedule was comprehensively mapped out in his absence.
“Claude was way out in front of that meeting with his staff, and organizing practices down to the [last] minute of each day,” said Sweeney of Julien, who is one of the assistants on Mike Babcock’s Team Canada staff. “The staff worked hard in that regard. The challenge is that you wanted to mix some players with some older players early on in camp especially, and in exhibition games.
“We may not have that benefit with some players still being away [at World Cup], but we’ll have to move forward. I look at it like it’s a pretty unique opportunity for other guys to get primary [reps] be it power play or situational things you can get exposed to early on, and get a benefit from.”
Bruins rookie camp gets going in earnest on Thursday this week prior to the young B’s squad heading off to Buffalo for the bulk of their camp, and then main camp kicks off a week later with many of those World Cup participants still playing in Toronto.