By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It seems the more people talk about Charlie McAvoy's alleged tardiness, the less we truly know about it.
In a 'controversy' first sparked by Brad Marchand's commuter small-talk with NBC Sports Boston's Joe Haggerty, and seemingly confirmed by comments from David Backes on Toucher & Rich and then team president Cam Neely on Felger & Mazz, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy essentially put it all to bed following Monday's practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
“Never," Cassidy said when asked if the coaching staff has had any issues with McAvoy running late to things. "Nothing.
"It kind of surprised me this morning ‘cause Charlie, like in team functions, I don’t know if he’s ever been late to our stuff," Cassidy continued. "So I asked [Zdeno Chara] that. Sometimes they have organized workouts on the road if we have a day off, so maybe he came in late for one of those... I don’t know of Charlie ever being late on my watch here, honestly.”
Cassidy's comments come on the heels of McAvoy essentially admitting to the Boston Globe that he was indeed late to some team functions, mentioning that it was Marchand that helped him realize the importance of punctuality.
“I’m a young guy, and trying to adjust and learn all the right things,” McAvoy told the Globe. “We have the best group in the NHL as far as leaders go — these are guys that I idolize — and my ultimate goal for my career is to grow as a player, to be those guys, and take on leadership roles and be the kind of people they are on and off the ice."
So, who the hell really knows what's going on?
Cassidy did mention that the only issue he's ever had with McAvoy was being ready to go for practice earlier than the 90-minute practices he suspects McAvoy went through in the amateur ranks, and that those talks haven't come up this season.
The third-year B's coach also mentioned that he believes it's stressed on all young players, and by all teams, that it's better to be earlier than others, saying that it's better to show up earlier than 10:59 a.m. for an 11 a.m. meeting.
The good news: The 21-year-old McAvoy, who has missed the last five games with a lower-body injury, was on the ice early before the start of Monday's practice, and could practice with the team later this week.