By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Adam McQuaid, a rugged defenseman who spent nine of his 10 NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, has formally announced his retirement from the National Hockey League.
“I guess technically I would say today is probably the first time that I would say that I’m done, publicly,” McQuaid told CBC. “But I guess I’ve known for awhile now that I wouldn’t be playing again.”
McQuaid sat out all of season (though he skated with the Bruins in some captains’ practices before the start of the season), and hasn’t played since suffering what turned out to be a herniated disc in his neck in March 2019. It could have been just another blow in a long list of injuries over the course of what was a brutal, take-no-prisoners 500-plus game NHL career for the bruising defender.
But for McQuaid, a Blue Jacket at the time of the injury, it was the final blow his body could take.
“It got to a point where I felt like I really kind of tapped out my body,” McQuaid said.
With the Bruins from 2009 and up to his trade to N.Y. prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, McQuaid carved out one hell of a role for himself for the B’s, serving as the team’s third-pairing muscle throughout their strongest 21st-century run of championship-level hockey, with a Cup win in 2011 and another appearance in 2013.
McQuaid played a key role on those squads, too, from his pinch-in that led to Nathan Horton’s overtime goal in Game 7 of their 2011 first-round series against the Canadiens to the East-clinching goal in a 1-0 win over the Penguins in Game 4 of 2013 Eastern Conference Finals.
“Those Stanley Cup runs, the atmosphere, coming to the rink and that’ll be something no matter what I do I’ll never be able to replicate the energy and the intensity of those games and those moments and those experiences,” said McQuaid. “I’ve got a smile on my face right now thinking about having got to experience those.”
McQuaid, who lives in Boston full-time, retires having played the 20th-most games by any defenseman in Bruins history, and with his 68 playoff games standing as the 36th-most in the club’s illustrious history.
His retirement also makes him the latest member of the 2011 team to retire, following Johnny Boychuk’s lead, leaving us with just seven players from that team still skating as active NHL players. That list includes the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Tuukka Rask along with the Flames’ Milan Lucic, Stars center Tyler Seguin, and Washington’s Zdeno Chara.