Things continue to return back to normal for Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.
The Bs defenseman, who is recovering from multiple blood clot surgeries on his arm, has been skating regularly with the rest of the local NHL players over the last few weeks with a trip home to Prince Edward Island for the holidays sandwiched in between.
On Thursday McQuaid was skating locally with NHL locals Shawn Thornton, Tuukka Rask, Keith Yandle, Ryan Whitney, Brian Boyle and Jay Pandalfo among other out-of-work hockey players.
Hes also graduated from skating on his own at one end of the rink to getting involved in games of shinny with the rest of the players and even snapping off a shot while the players are running through drills. Thats a long way from the multiple surgeries needed three months ago, and thats a very good thing.
Between those skating sessions and daily physical therapy McQuaid is feeling better every day, and getting more hopeful that hell be able to return at some point this season.
You just try something new every day and see how it feels, and so far its all been pretty good, said McQuaid. Its about working on my strength and getting my legs back because I was off the ice for so long. But things have been pretty good so far.
It doesnt appear that it will be when the NHL season is expected to open on Jan. 19 and it might not even be February when most normal people would be close to fully recovered from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. But McQuaid is off the blood thinner medication when it was originally thought he might be on it for a six-month period that would have kept him out of NHL action -- and building back up his upper body strength.
Its obvious that McQuaid is well down from his playing weight last season, and will need to keep building strength as his NHL game is based on being able to take hits and dole them out all at the same time.
In the meantime the Bruins will need to get along with new defenseman Aaron Johnson along with a host of hopefuls from Providence. None will be able to replace McQuaids intimidation factor in the interim, or his solid defensive capabilities in his own end.
But McQuaid is talking about when rather than if for a potential return to the lineup, and thats a very good thing.