September 20, 2013

2013-14 Bruins Player Preview: Adam McQuaid

By Jesse Connolly


As the lockout loomed last fall, Adam McQuaid had bigger concerns after developing a life-threatening blood clot. But the dependable defenseman overcame that to have a solid year for the Bruins. (Above: Sharon Bradley/New England Hockey Journal; Below: Getty Images)

ADAM MCQUAID | #54 | Defense

HEIGHT: 6-foot-4 WEIGHT: 197 SHOOTS: Right

BORN: Oct. 12, 1986 – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

DRAFT: 2005 – 2nd round (55th overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets

CONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2014-15 ($1.56 million cap hit)

2012-13 STATISTICS: 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, even in 32 games

LOOKING BACK ON 2013

While the hockey world was bracing for the doom-and-gloom scenario of yet another NHL lockout taking effect last September, Adam McQuaid was facing a far scarier scenario.

The now-26-year-old defenseman underwent two surgeries after a life-threatening blood clot developed under his collarbone. The steady, stay-at-home blueliner was expected to be sidelined into February and possibly beyond but, miraculously, McQuaid was healed and fit for duty in Boston’s season opener on Jan. 19 – just four months after having a rib and part of his neck muscle removed.

A solid campaign for No. 54 was interrupted in March, as McQuaid suffered a shoulder strain in a game against Winnipeg that kept him out of action for a little over three weeks. But after a rocky final two weeks of the regular season, McQuaid was a model of consistency in the playoffs. He posted 2-2-4 totals and a plus-9 rating, and scored the series-clinchinggoal in Game 4 of the conference finals against the Penguins.

FIVE FACTS

1. Among 2005 draftees, McQuaid ranks ninth with 276 career penalty minutes.

2. McQuaid was acquired in a 2007 for a fifth-round pick that eventually found its way to Dallas. The Stars selected first-line forward Jamie Benn.

3. Only Zdeno Chara (plus-33) had a better plus-minus rating than McQuaid (plus-30) in 2010-11 among Bruins. That plus-30 rating put McQuaid in a tie for fifth in the league that season.

4. McQuaid has played in 54 NHL playoff games to date. Fifty-four, of course, is also his jersey number.

5. McQuaid, who missed the 2012 postseason due to injury, was a combined plus-17 in Boston’s 2011 and 2013 Cup runs.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2013-14

Like nearly all of the players that have been a part of this group for the last three-plus seasons, McQuaid enters the year with his role essentially carved in stone. You can bank on the Prince Edward Island native slotting in as the No. 6 defenseman.

The only questions surrounding the 6-foot-4 rearguard are who he’ll partner up with and if he can remain healthy from start to finish.

McQuaid really clicked with offensive-minded youngster Torey Krug during the 2013 playoffs, with No. 54 serving as the perfect stay-at-home partner. From the way things are shaping up, don’t be surprised if the two are together again on opening night.

As for the health concerns, McQuaid has missed chunks of time in each of his three full seasons in Boston. If he can avoid his umpteenth awkward collision with the boards this season, he might make it through unscathed.

PREDICTION FOR 2013-14

One has to assume McQuaid will be more productive than he was a year ago, even if you’re only basing that on his presence on the ice with a player like Krug. And don’t lose sight of the fact that McQuaid is a smart player in the offensive zone, especially when it comes to timely pinches. If he takes a little more initiative, as he’s proven capable of in Boston’s last two playoff runs, he could be in for a nice little statistical leap.

PREDICTION: 4 goals, 14 assists, 18 points, plus-20 in 72 games

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com