BOSTON (CBS) — Claude Julien, during his decade at the helm of the Bruins, had a penchant for making young players earn their ice time. No matter the level of offensive skill, no matter the draft position, Julien demanded that his players understand their responsibilities in all three zones before getting serious minutes on the ice.
No player learned this lesson quite like Ryan Spooner.
The 45th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Spooner got limited opportunities to play in the NHL to start his career. He played in just 56 of a possible 212 games from 2013-15. Spooner has since acclimated to more of a full-time role on the team, but when he spoke on Tuesday about his recent success under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, he made it clear that he’s still not happy with his time playing for Julien.
“It felt like the last coach, he just didn’t really trust me,” Spooner said without referencing Julien by name. “It might have been kind of on me, just not playing to the potential that I have. At the same time, too, though, I just don’t really think that he liked me as a player.”
That’s a marked change from Spooner’s comments shortly after Julien was fired, when Spooner said that Julien “just wanted me to be the best player that I can be, and that’s fine.”
Perhaps sensing he had made a headline-grabbing comment on Tuesday, Spooner was quick to end the discussion.
“That’s kind of in the past now, and … yeah,” he said.
Spooner has 10 goals and 23 assists on the year after posting 13-36-49 totals last season. He has two goals and four assists in the seven games since Cassidy took over behind the bench, with the Bruins going 6-1-0 in that span.