( Photo Credit: Tessa McAndrews / Providence Bruins )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter / X @BlackAndGold277

Adam McQuaid, an iconic figure in Boston, Massachusetts, made a name for himself as a formidable defenseman who spent 11 years (AHL/NHL) in the Boston Bruins organization and currently serves as the team’s Player Development Coordinator. This article explores the possibility of the 37-year-old McQuaid transitioning into a future coaching role in the National Hockey League.

Born in the Canadian Maritimes on October 12th, 1986, McQuaid took a grasp of his hockey future when the big, rugged blueliner joined the Sudbury Wolves via the 2003 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. Adam spent four seasons in Sudbury, posting 18-58-76 numbers in 246 career games. His journey to the NHL began when the Columbus Blue Jackets drafted him in the second round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft held that summer at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

McQuaid would never appear in an official regular season game for the Columbus organization, as he was traded to Boston for a fifth-round pick in 2007. The Bluejackets would later move Boston’s fifth-round pick to the Dallas Stars, where they selected forward Jamie Benn. Adam spent nine seasons with the NHL Bruins, posting 13-53-66 numbers, averaging 16 minutes of ice time as one of the team’s highly regarded enforcers. McQuaid played in 462 career games in Boston, accruing 652 penalty minutes in that timeframe, and was a member of the 2011 Bruins team that helped capture the organization’s sixth Stanley Cup championship.

After retiring from professional play, McQuaid transitioned into an off-ice role with the Bruins, taking on the mantle of Player Development Coordinator, a title he’s held for the past three seasons. In this capacity, he’s been instrumental in mentoring young players and helping them navigate the challenges of professional hockey. Adam has also been an instrumental figure in the organization’s developmental system to lend knowledge of the physical side of the game. Not only will McQuaid lend advice for when players drop the gloves but also on how players give hits and how to prepare for contact in a game that is seemingly getting faster year by year.

“I’ll be spending a lot of time in Providence 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 revealed. “Pretty fortunate in Boston with some of the prospects [that] are local playing at BU, BC, and PC. And a lot of teams come in and out of there, so that’ll be kind of traveling around a bit and learning the ins and outs of the different leagues. And I’m enjoying looking forward to enjoying getting to know the players, too.”

McQuaid’s tenure as a Player Development Coordinator has given him valuable experiences guiding and nurturing young talent. His deep understanding of defensive structure, combined with his firsthand experience in the dirty areas of pro hockey, could make him an excellent member of any NHL bench.

Moreover, his interest in assuming a coaching role would be a key factor. Coaching requires a significant time commitment and a different skill set compared to player development. McQuaid has recently been seen behind the American Hockey League Providence Bruins bench, as seen in the above leading image and X post from Mark Divver. He also spends significant time with the NHL Bruins top minor-pro affiliate, so his involvement and upward potential in the Boston organization is no secret.

“I think I would obviously emphasize how awesome the city is and the organization and how embraced the Bruins are in Boston and obviously the success that the team’s had, especially [in] the past decade and more,” McQuaid said of his message to the Black and Gold’s next wave in this new role. “I think it’s one of those things that you show up and you compete and bring small things to the table and there’s obviously little details of the game that get you to the next level and keep you there. So I think it’s just getting your mind right. The mental side of the game is a huge part of the game. And I’m just hoping that I can be of help to guys however they need it.”

Massachusetts native and former NHL player/head coach Joe Sacco has been an assistant for the Bruins organization for the last several seasons and currently holds the title of defensive coach while lending a hand on special teams, coordinating with fellow assistant Chris Kelly. Sacco, a former head coach in the NHL, most recently with the Colorado Avalance, has been rumored heavily over the past two or three seasons to be on the coaching fraternity list of a possible return as an NHL bench boss. Suppose Sacco has expressed interest in finding a higher role in the NHL elsewhere with Jim Montgomery at the helm of this B’s team for the foreseeable future. In that case, this might be a continued grooming process for McQuaid to prepare for a possible assistant coach’s departure.

In an NHL quickly transitioning into an offensive juggernaut with increased creativity, the physical aspect of the game may be tailing off as the sport evolves. McQuaid is the perfect person to slot in behind a coach like Monty to not only help with defensive zone structure but also an effort to keep the team’s hard-nosed identity intact.

“I still have a passion for the game and I want to be able to help out younger guys,” McQuaid, who talked to Kelly about the role before officially signing on with the team, 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. And 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.”

Adam McQuaid’s journey from being a respected defenseman to a Player Development Coordinator has been marked by dedication, hard work, and a deep love for the game and the city of Boston. If he chooses to pursue a career in coaching, there’s little doubt that he would bring these same qualities to the role. The NHL could potentially see another defenseman-turned-coach making significant contributions to the sport.

Adam McQuaid’s quotes above were shared via the 98.5 The Sports Hub website article by writer Ty Anderson on August 17th, 2021. Stats are credited to NHL.com, EliteProspects.com, and Hockey-Reference.com