Three years away from the Boston Bruins was enough for Adam McQuaid, it appears.
The former Bruins defenseman returned to the organization last Friday as Boston's player development coordinator. He'll replace fellow ex-Bruin Chris Kelly, who is joining Bruce Cassidy's staff as an assistant coach.
McQuaid spent nine of his 10 NHL seasons in Boston as a dependable, hard-nosed defenseman. He was a key member of a tight-knit, veteran-laden group that won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and nearly added another in 2013.
In his new role, McQuaid will aim to find and develop the next generation of Bruins leaders.
"I’ll be spending a lot of time in Providence (Boston's AHL affiliate) with the guys there and then traveling all over to see the prospects and draft picks, wherever guys are at with different colleges and junior leagues, and maybe get over to Europe a little bit," McQuaid told reporters in a press conference Monday.
McQuaid won't have any trouble selling those prospects on the perks of playing professional hockey in Boston.
"I would obviously emphasize how awesome the city is and the organization and how embraced the Bruins are in Boston," McQuaid said, "and obviously the success that the team’s had, especially in the past decade and more.
"The Bruins are a first-class organization and have set the gold standard for success and the demands that the players bring each day and hold each other accountable.
"Having played there for a while, I got to see it firsthand and I think I can communicate that to the younger guys that are coming in, what the expectations are, hopefully help them eventually realize their goal of playing in the NHL and being a Boston Bruin."
Assigned to Providence in 2007, McQuaid worked his way to the NHL level in 2010 and carved out a solid career in Boston before leaving the team in 2018. The 34-year-old announced his NHL retirement in January, and it didn't take long before he got the itch to return to his NHL home.
"I still have a passion for the game and I want to be able to help out younger guys,” McQuaid said. “I know that at the junior and college level, there’s lots to figure out, lots to learn both on and off the ice.
"I felt like this would be a role that I could embrace and enjoy doing and obviously to be able to be back for the Bruins organization, I’m really excited about that."