By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
The Bruins ended the suspense on Thursday after their first morning skate of the season, and both Chris Kelly and Andrew Ference were named co-alternate captains for the upcoming hockey season. The A will be alternated with Ference donning it on his sweater during home games and Kelly on road games, and then the pair will switch homeroad duties halfway through the season.
We wanted to get some stability with it, said Claude Julien. We didnt feel like wed be getting the same impact if we just moved the letter around all the time. But our leadership group remains bigger than the letters, and were going to take advantage of that inside the dressing room.
Zdeno Chara will still obviously wear the C on his sweater and Patrice Bergeron gets the permanent alternate captaincy, and Claude Julien decided that a KellyFerence combination gave the Bs everything they needed in terms of symbolic leadership.
Those guys have the personality that gives them the respect in the room, and they also have that personality that shows the right kind of leadership within the room both on and off the ice, said Julien. Theyre highly respected in the dressing room, so there didnt seem to be any second thoughts on if they were the right choices. It was pretty unanimous.
I know Chris came in late in the season last year, but he was known as a great leader in Ottawa. But he kind of felt his way through before he started really showing his leadership to the extremes. It was pretty obvious during the playoffs what kind of leader he was, and our coaching staff recognized that.
While the letter move is clearly a nod to the leadership status of Kelly and Ference within the Bruins leadership hierarchy, the Bs coach also assured everyone that the strong leadership by committee group within the Bs dressing room would remain intact. Bruins personalities like Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Shawn Thornton, Dennis Seidenberg and Nathan Horton are key components of the teams personality and Julien expected them all to lead whether or not there was a letter stitched on their jersey.
Given the level of quality and consensus within the Bs dressing room the group approach doesnt seem like a stretch at all.