Boston Bruins

Sep 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing A.J. Greer (10) shouts to the official during the second period against the New York Rangers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

  • The team’s first signing of what was a five-signing day, Don Sweeney and the Bruins made the unheralded A.J. Greer a priority on the first day of free agency this past summer.

    So perhaps it’s only fitting that Greer is rewarding that investment with an effort that’s put him above the bubble when it comes to making the 2022-23 Bruins.

    “We got another ten days still until we start, but he’s done a great job and if we’re starting tomorrow, he’s playing,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said of Greer following Tuesday’s win at TD Garden.

  • On the board with two goals, including the overtime winner, in the 3-2 final, Greer is effectively two-for-two this preseason when it comes to making an impression on the coaching staff following a physical showing last Saturday in Philadelphia.

    “What I like is we see a young man that’s looking to make the starting lineup,” Montgomery said. “He’s doing everything he can to impress. He’s fighting. He’s hitting. He’s shooting. He gets energy in the building. He gets energy on our bench. So he’s doing a lot of good things.”

    The energy factor has been a big one, too.

    Credited with 10 hits in 22:51 of action this preseason, there hasn’t been a brouhaha that Greer hasn’t wanted to join. It’s made the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder a near must-watch whenever on the ice, and it’s apparently already endeared him to the B’s fans Greer was exposed to last night.

    “Every time I hit someone it was like, ‘Oh, let’s go!'” Greer said of his first on-ice experience with the Bruins. “Then I got in the penalty box, I got people hollering at me, ‘Nice goal, nice hits, keep going,'”

    “You know, Boston’s such a great city. Like I went to Boston University, so I’m not new to the city. I’m currently finishing up my degree here, so I should be graduating next summer. But I think Boston people are awesome. They have such an intense energy.”

  • And despite his Montreal roots, Greer’s embrace of everything Boston and Bruins goes beyond this two-game sample, and even his two-year tenure on Comm Ave at Boston University.

    “Putting that [Bruins] jersey on is something special,” the 25-year-old Greer said. “You know, growing up in Montreal, you see a lot of Bruins and it’s always been an exciting team. And I think I’ve always kind of seen myself playing the type of hockey that the Bruins play.”

    One Bruin who made a major impact on Greer during that era of hockey-watching was ex-Bruins power forward Milan Lucic. In fact, it’s exactly who Greer wants to model his game after.

    (I mean, talk about knowing how to win over a crowd.)

  • Sep 24, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins left wing A.J. Greer (10) and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Hayden Hodgson (42) fight during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 24, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins left wing A.J. Greer (10) and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Hayden Hodgson (42) fight during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

  • But there’s no ‘act’ at play here with the 2015 second-round pick.

    This is who he is, and who he has been since the start of his first training camp with the team.

    “You talk about the impressions you make and the opportunities that are given to you aren’t always going to be provided again, but you want it to come from within,” Montgomery said. “I mean, you can’t paint tiger stripes to make a tiger. And right now, A.J. Greer is a tiger and the stripes are already on him.”

    A point-per-game player in the AHL last year, but with just two goals and eight points in 47 games between the Avalanche and Devils, the Bruins are hoping that Greer is your classic late bloomer. While Greer is trying to make sure that that ‘quiet first move of free agency’ was anything but.

    “They trusted me with the contract that they gave me, and I want to make sure that they made the right decision because I know what I’m capable of,” Greer offered. “Just to be given the opportunities, I cherish that and I’m going to give back to the game and give 100% and do everything that I can to put myself in that position to succeed.

    “To be here is a dream come true and I’m fortunate every day to be in the position I am.”