Hamilton appreciates fans embracing him

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Hamilton appreciates fans embracing him

DOUG-IE! DOUG-IE!

What was going through 19-year-old Dougie Hamilton's head when the Garden crowd was chanting his name against the Islanders?

"I don't know." chuckled Hamilton. "Just trying not to fumble the puck when I was going back there for it."

After getting a few NHL games under his belt, Hamilton is still still excited to be on the NHL roster.

"I don't know if it has really sunk in that I'm playing in the NHL." continued Hamilton. "It feels so weird being out there instead of being a kid watching, and dreaming about it."

Stafford on return to Bruins: 'I would definitely be into it'

Stafford on return to Bruins: 'I would definitely be into it'

BRIGHTON, Mass – It was a pretty eventful time in Boston for Drew Stafford even if it only amounted to less than two months when it was all said and done.

The 31-year-old Stafford was traded to the Bruins from the Winnipeg Jets at the end of February for a conditional draft pick, and became an affordable, useful trade deadline acquisition for Bruins GM Don Sweeney with four goals and eight points in 19 games for the B’s. Stafford played up and down the lines in the forward group and played both on the left and the right side during his time in Boston, and also popped in a couple of goals during the six-game playoff series against the Ottawa Senators as well.

“The goal when I got here was to try to help the team get into the playoffs any way that I could, and I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Stafford. “But everybody was really welcoming and I felt like I was put in a position right away where I could find my way a little bit. Overall this was an extremely positive experience and there are a lot of great people here throughout the organization.

Off the ice, Stafford and his wife Hali also had twins born during his B’s stint as well, and the veteran forward had been away from his wife and newborn baby when they stayed behind in his home state of Minnesota given the situation.

So it was clearly a situation that worked out for both the team and the player with Stafford providing a veteran winger that could score a little bit, and Boston giving up next-to-nothing for the rental player. Now that it’s over, however, Stafford said he loved his time in Boston and would welcome any chance to return before hitting the open free agent market on July 1.

“Absolutely. If there’s any kind of a chance [to return to Boston], I would definitely be into it. I know my wife wasn’t able to make it out here, but we had talked about it a little bit as a possibility,” said Stafford. “If they feel like it could be a good fit then we’ll cross that bridge moving forward. The business side of it kind of works itself out, but personally I loved my experience here and it would be great. We’ll see what happens.”

Stafford is coming off a two-year, $8.7 million contract he signed with the Winnipeg Jets a couple of years ago, but clearly will be getting less this time around coming off a combined eight goals and 21 points in 58 games this season for the B’s and Jets. The Bruins will obviously be setting their sights a little higher than Stafford looking for a natural left wing to pair with David Krejci next season, but perhaps he becomes an affordable free agent veteran option down the line once Sweeney implements his offseason plan. 

McAvoy added to Team USA roster, wants to make ‘big impact’ with Bruins next season

McAvoy added to Team USA roster, wants to make ‘big impact’ with Bruins next season

Since he wasn’t eligible to return to the AHL and join the playoff run for the Providence Bruins, 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy will instead don the Red, White and Blue and play for Team USA in next month’s World Championships in Germany and France.

It will be the fourth time that the Bruins defenseman has represented his country in a world championship event, but the first time that McAvoy will be skating for the men’s national team after crossing over into the pro ranks this spring. 

MORE BRUINS

The B’s 2016 first-round pick just finished a six-game stint in the playoffs with the Black and Gold where he totaled three assists and a minus-2 rating in while averaging a whopping 26:12 of ice time. McAvoy made all of those comparisons to Drew Doughty seem appropriate, rather than far-fetched, in his playoff performance while logging huge minutes, moving the puck, defending well enough and flashing the physical skills to be a do-it-all No. 1 NHL defenseman in the near future.

It’s fair to say he was just scratching the surface of what he can do while getting dropped into a trial-by-fire debut in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but some experience at the world championships will be another nice step toward getting him ready for full-time NHL duty next season.

“I’ve played in a couple of different jerseys this year, and I just feel so very fortunate to have been able to put on every single one of them. Each experience had its own lesson to help me grow and improve as a hockey player,” said McAvoy, who has played for Boston University, Team USA in the World Juniors, the Providence Bruins, the Boston Bruins and now Team USA in the world championships within this calendar year. “I have a quiet confidence about myself, but before you experience something like the [Stanley Cup playoffs] you don’t know how you’re going to fare. It was a credit to my teammates and a guy like Zdeno Chara that me in a position to succeed every time I was out on the ice.

“I still think there’s a lot I can learn, and I lot I can grow into. I’ve had just a small sample size of experience, but I feel like I can have a big impact on this [Bruins] team. It’s something I’ll have to work on all offseason to put myself in the best position to come in and have immediate success, but it’s something I’m committed to.”

McAvoy said at Tuesday’s break-up day that he was ineligible to return to Providence in the AHL playoffs once Boston was eliminated last weekend, and it looks like Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari will be the only Bruins players hopping on board for the P-Bruins playoff run.

In an added bonus, McAvoy might even be able to convince fellow Bruins prospect and Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork to sign with the Black and Gold as he’ll also be on the Team USA roster looking to medal in the world championships.