Bruins more than just hockey players – Boston Herald

The Bruins can do a lot more than just skate.

While most kids growing up dabbling in multiple sports, the ones who go on to play at the professional level often excel throughout the athletic realm. The Bruins are no different, with several of their United States-born having played other sports in thelr lives.

Hockey is a demanding sport for kids, and some players were required to make time for other things.

“I got to prep school, and they make you play three sports there,” Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk said. “So I played soccer and wasn’t very good, but I also did cross country and crew. I don’t know I was really good at that. Not being extremely tall, I wasn’t going to excel at that.”

Grzelcyk played at Belmont Hill as a part of the Independent School League, where they required athletes to take up three sports. Grzelcyk clearly didn’t do much with his soccer and crew experience, but his background as a lacrosse midfielder (“two-way middie,” he said) has come in handy.

“Hand-eye coordination for sure,” he said. “I liked to play offense and defense. It was nice to get on the offensive side in a sport.”

Kevan Miller grew up in Southern California but went to the Berkshire School, where he also starred in three sports: soccer, lacrosse and hockey.

Miller was a long pole defenseman in lacrosse and a blueliner in hockey, but soccer was his initial passion.

“I started playing soccer first. That was my first love,” Miller said. “Then hockey took over.”

Sean Kuraly played nearly everything under the sun growing up, from baseball to swimming to soccer, but he also was on the lacrosse bandwagon in high school as a midfielder.

“I played two years,” Kuraly said. “It was pretty popular, and a lot of my friends played it, so I just started with that.

One Bruins player who differed on spring sports is Noel Acciari. Growing up in Rhode Island, he pursued baseball along with hockey.

“The hand-eye, the footwork, being able to swing a bat and track balls, it’s kind of like tracking pucks,” he said. “It was good.”

Acciari played first base and right field at Bishop Hendricken High in Warwick.

Some of his current teammates find it hard to understand the fascination with baseball.

“It was so much slower than hockey,” Grzelcyk said.

No matter the sport, being able to do multiple things helped many of the American Bruins with learning new skills. Staying active was invaluable to their athletic experience before heading into hockey full-time.

“I’m a big believer that other sports translate into the sport you put your passion into,” Miller said. “With soccer, your feet, it works on the ice and how you move. Lacrosse and hockey are very similar other than the ice.”

Bobrovsky benched

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky dealt with a bizarre situation last week. He was asked to stay away from the team as it prepared for a game against the Nashville Predators because of an unspecified incident.

“I let my emotions get to me when I shouldn’t,” Bobrovsky said to reporters after Friday’s practice.”I pride myself on being a good teammate all the time. … We cleared the air and we’re ready to move on.”

League begins CBA meetings

The NHL and NHL Players Association will meet this week to discuss extended the collective bargaining agreement. The current 10-year deal expires after the 2021-22 season, but either side can choose to opt out in September

Per the Associated Press, the sides met on Thursday to discuss an extension that would also allow for the World Cup of Hockey in the fall of 2020.

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