By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Everyone understands why the Bruins would move on from Adam McQuaid, but that doesn’t make it any easier for Boston to say farewell.

Obviously, McQuaid won’t be remembered as an all-time great, or anything of the sort. He was a solid, physical presence on the blue line who could deliver punishing hits, drop the gloves when needed, and serve as the ultimate team guy. Every dressing room needs players like that.

Alas, McQuaid’s tenure in Boston is no more, after he was dealt to the Rangers on Tuesday. With a glut of defensemen on the roster and a hefty salary owed to McQuaid, GM Don Sweeney felt compelled to make the move as camp gets underway.

But before moving on completely, it’s worth taking a few moments to at least recall some of McQuaid’s most memorable moments from his nine-year career wearing the Spoked B.

Game 7 Setup

Not known for his offense, McQuaid acted on a split-second urge to pinch down the wall during overtime of Game 7 against the Canadiens in 2011. It worked out for the best, as his relentless puck battle helped get the puck to Milan Lucic, who softly fed Nathan Horton to set up what proved to be a momentous goal in Bruins history.

Standing Up For Friends

Raffi Torres is liable to let his elbow fly around from time to time. He’s also liable to not always consider the health and well being of opponents. Everyone in the NHL knew this. And so when Torres caught Andrew Ference with an intentional shoulder to the jaw, McQuaid did what McQuaid is capable of doing by making a bee-line for Torres and ruining his evening.

Don’t mess with Adam McQuaid’s friends.

Answering For Himself

Laying big hits on star rookies is not always met with much acceptance from the opposing team. Understandably. So after McQuaid thumped Auston Matthews into the end boards, Matt Martin hopped over the boards looking to make McQuaid answer for his misdeed.

Martin probably wished he had not.

A Heavyweight Bout

This particular fight may not be particularly memorable, but man oh man, it involved a couple of big boys willing to throw their weight around.

All-Out Effort

This play won’t be remembered for decades or anything. It came in a regular-season game this past spring. But it is indicative of the type of effort McQuaid’s been known to give on just about every shift he’s ever taken.

Mind you, McQuaid is a player with an extensive injury history. He’s also a player who’s gone face-first into the end boards. Twice. He still didn’t hesitate in leaving his feet to break up this pass and save a goal.

What In The … ??

What’s going on here?!

The fella looked like a natural goal scorer out there.

One Tough Hombre
“I don’t think a lot of guys know how tough Adam McQuaid is. He’s heavy-duty.”

This was, of course, the moment that McQuaid will be remembered for the most. That has to do with the timing and setting for it — the Stanley Cup Final vs. Vancouver in 2011 — but also because of … well, just how cool it looked. Being a big, scary guy is something most hockey fans don’t get to actually experience. So when Adam McQuaid glides over looking like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, mullet and all? Well, it’s just pretty awesome. Sometimes, life is that simple.

Well, unless you’re Christian Ehrhoff. If you’re Christian Ehrhoff, you’re better off just ducking for cover and living to see another day.

People can downplay the significance of players who may not fill up the scoresheet, but anybody watching that series knows just what kind of impact was made by the duo of McQuaid and Shawn Thornton on a Canucks team that proved it could be intimidated right out of a Stanley Cup Final.

That’s one tough hombre.


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