Wilmington, MA- The 2007-08 Boston Bruins have begun their quest towards the Stanley Cup as training camp officially opened on Wednesday. While the rookies were taking care of all their physicals and final preparations to hit the ice, the veterans were on the ice enjoying their last day of the offseason. It appears that everyone on the roster is in Massachusetts, and aside from a few minor aches and pains, it looks like everyone is healthy and ready to go (knock on wood!). Even newcomer Petteri Nokelainen made an appearance on the ice during the morning.
At 1:30 Wednesday afternoon, the rookies took the ice under the tutelage of coaches Scott Gordon, Rob Murray, Paul Vincent, and Bob Essensa. For the most part, the first day of training camp was filled with drills, but don't think for a second that it was a routine skate around the rink. These guys are determined to show the Bruins organization what they're made of.
A few players to watch out of the group of rookies are: Tuukka Rask, Zach Hamill, Milan Lucic, Wacey Rabbit, and Brad Marchand. Rask is expected to be the starting netminder in Providence this season. Hamill was Boston's first pick in this summer's entry draft. After four seasons in Everett of the WHL, Hamill is hungry to prove that he possesses the qualities of a first round pick. Lucic and Rabbit are coming off a Memorial Cup Championship with the Vancouver Giants. Rabbit spent some time at Providence during the beginning of last season as well. He's small, but quick and has a decent amount of strength. After watching him play in the Memorial Cup, it wouldn't surprise me if Lucic earned his way onto Boston. He has size and skill, can score goals, and certainly isn't afraid to throw people around. Marchand is an interesting situation. At 19 years old, there are two options, NHL or Juniors. If he ends up going back to Juniors, he could end up improving a team quite a bit, assuming he gets dealt. He's gone to the President's Cup Final the past two seasons, and his current team Val-d'Or is in a rebuilding stage.
Looking ahead to Thursday, the veterans will have their physicals from 6-9. From 10-12, the rookies will take the ice for their second day of training camp in Wilmington. Also at 10, the big boys return to the ice for real, as the veterans have two optional practices in Boston from 10-11 and 11:30-12:30.
Looking at the veteran squad, Glen Metropolit may be on his way to Bruins training camp. A media source from Switzerland has reported that Metropolit is in talks with Boston on a contract. Glen has 80 points in 180 NHL games with the Capitals, Lightning, Thrashers, and Blues.