Bruins fans love to love players like Chris Wagner.
He’s a hard-nosed player who “hits everything that moves,” as head coach Bruce Cassidy put it after a first glance at the 27-year-old forward during training camp, making him the perfect player to jump in alongside Noel Acciari on a fourth line that has been a key to the team’s success and ultimate postseason runs in recent seasons.
Wagner’s addition to the club on a two-year, $2.5 million contract this offseason is made even sweeter by the fact that he has deep local roots, calling Walpole, Mass., home.
“It’s been cool to see how much support I’ve gotten from the people around here, but you’ve got to back up the opportunity,” said Wagner, who hadn’t had the luxury of moving into an apartment that his mother set up — which happened while he was on the overseas traveling squad for the O.R.G. China Games in September — over the first four seasons of his NHL career. Before returning home to join the Bruins, his 174 career games were played with the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders.
“Just being able to go home instead of making the call from six hours away (is awesome),” he said. “The family’s definitely a big part, so that’s probably the coolest thing.”