BOSTON - Loui Eriksson arrived for work at the TD Garden without much fanfare Wednesday morning in his first day with the Boston Bruins.
Instead, the 27-year-old Eriksson tended to his own business, passed all of the fitness testing thrown his way by strenght and conditioning coach John Whitesides and merged himself right into the group of 51 players invited to NHL training camp. The quiet, efficient manner is one of the big reasons that Eriksson is such an underrated commodity coming out of Dallas, and the Texas hockey market is certainly among the factors.
Still, it will be different once they get on the ice Thursday, of course, with Eriksson paired off in a practice group with projected linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
On or off the ice, it feels like a long way from Dallas for a winger that’s averaged 30 goals and 70 points over his last four full seasons. Both of those marks would lead the balanced Bruins roster in a typical season under Claude Julien.
“[Dallas] hadn’t been to the playoffs in many years, and they’d been trying to get back for the last couple of years,” said Eriksson. “It feels nice to get here and get to a team that’s been playing at a good level, and that’s been making the playoffs every year.
“There is always pressure no matter where you’re playing. I’m ready to go out there and show the guys – and the organization – that I’m a good player. It will be fun to get started, play some games and get to know everybody on the team.”
Things will get started for the 6-foot-2, 196-pound Eriksson when he forms that two-way offense/defense line with Bergeron and Marchand. That may not happen on the first day of camp, as the Bruins coaching staff rotates 51 players in and out of their line combinations in camp sessions, but Eriksson will work into his spot sooner rather than later.
He’ll do it in his typically understated way, but there’s a chance Eriksson won’t be underrated much longer now that he’s playing in a Boston hockey market where little things tend to garner big notice.