Bruins

Pierre McGuire explains how Zdeno Chara embraces role as mentor for young Bruins

Pierre McGuire explains how Zdeno Chara embraces role as mentor for young Bruins

Zdeno Chara may be on the tail end of his career, but his presence on the Bruins remains an integral part of the team's success.

NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined the latest Michael Holley Podcast and explained just how important the 42-year-old B's captain is to the team and how he's embraced his role as a mentor to the young guns.

"He's adapted to his role," McGuire said. "Less minutes, better performance. He's been a tremendous mentor for those young defensemen. That's where I think he's really grown a lot. I think he really relishes being a mentor.

"So I see the development of, you know, Charlie McAvoy, I see the development of Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo. I watched them today in practice. At the end of practice, it's just he and Brandon Carlo. I wish I could've heard the conversation, but Carlo was listening and Zdeno was talking. And it was really good because it was eyeball to eyeball, and Carlo's one of the few Bruins that can actually look him in the eye without having to look up. So it was pretty neat, and so I really think he relishes the role of being a mentor."

Chara looks to take home his second Stanley Cup after leading the Bruins to their 2011 title.

Listen to Holley's full conversation with McGuire below (McGuire on Chara begins at the 8:13 mark):

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Nathan MacKinnon gives perfect description of training with Brad Marchand

Nathan MacKinnon gives perfect description of training with Brad Marchand

If you closed your eyes and pictured what it would be like training with Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the offseason, Nathan MacKinnon's description is probably what would come to mind.

The Colorado Avalanche center, who tallied a career-high 99 points last season, recently detailed the experience of training with Marchand over the summer.

“Marchy is like exactly how you think,” MacKinnon said on Barstool Sports' "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast. “The whole time he’s just chirping everybody on the ice, like just carving everybody. If you lose the puck, he’s all over you. If he snipes, he’s showing everybody. But he’s an awesome guy, I love being around Marchy, he’s an awesome guy.”

Sounds like the Marchand who Bruins fans know well.

Marchand is one of the NHL's best trash talkers and an expert at getting under opponents' skin. He's also one of the most talented players in the world. Marchand posted a career-high 100 points (36 goals, 64 assists) last season -- his third straight year scoring above a point-per-game rate.

The veteran left winger should enter the 2019-20 campaign with plenty of motivation after how the Bruins' 2019 Stanley Cup playoff run ended in June. 

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Report: Bruins, Bruce Cassidy are discussing contract extension

Report: Bruins, Bruce Cassidy are discussing contract extension

"I don’t anticipate us having any problems with Butch."

That's what Bruins president Cam Neely had to say about Bruce Cassidy's contract situation when he sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Boston's Joe Haggerty earlier this month.

Now the team is reportedly doing something about it. According to The Athletic's Joe McDonald, the Bruins have begun contract negotations with their head coach, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Locking Cassidy up is a no-brainer for the Bruins, as the 54-year-old has led the team to a 117-52-22 record in two-plus seasons behind the bench. He needed just 166 games to win 100 games with the Bruins, the second-fastest coach in team history to reach that mark, behind only Tom Johnson's 138 games.

Cassidy has also taken the Bruins deeper into the postseason in each successive year, losing in the first round in 2017, the second round in 2018, and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final this past season. And despite coming within one game of hoisting the Cup in June, Neely has said that the playoffs are a growth opportunity for Cassidy.

"Coming in when he did and getting us to the playoffs and then almost having two back-to-back, 50-win seasons is pretty impressive," Neely said in June. "You know, learn from our playoff losses and how to maybe coach a little bit differently in the playoffs. You know, it’s kind of a tale of two seasons, to get into the playoffs, and then once you’re in the playoffs, how do you adjust for a seven-game series. I think Butch [Cassidy] has done a really good job in managing the regular season and learning from playoff hockey."

The Bruins' roster hasn't changed much since last season, so Cassidy will once again be very familiar with his players this coming season. While Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari departed in free agency, the team added other lower-impact free agents like Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm.

The biggest item on Boston's to-do list before the season begins (outside of Cassidy's contract) is locking down defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, both of whom are restricted free agents. If the team can figure out deals for McAvoy, Carlo, and Cassidy, it would be a good first step in trying to get back to the Stanley Cup Final and winning one more game this time around.

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