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P-Bruins turn to Carey for leadership

Photo: Alan Sullivan

by Christopher Krenn | AHL On The Beat

After trading for Paul Carey on January 11, 2019, the Boston Bruins organization quickly realized they had acquired a very strong asset, both on the ice and in the locker room.

Carey skated in 30 games with the AHL’s Providence Bruins during the 2018-19 season, scoring 22 goals and adding 11 assists for 33 points. He also earned a call-up to the NHL and appeared in two games with Boston.

The Weymouth, Massachusetts, native is close to where he grew up and feels as comfortable as he’s ever felt in his career. Carey grew up playing hockey in the New England area and also went on to play four years of college hockey at Boston College. During his time at BC, Carey skated in 147 games, scoring 45 goals and adding 41 assists for 86 points. He also served as an alternate captain during his senior season.

With his play on the ice doing plenty of talking, Carey’s lead-by-example attitude and strong work ethic made him an easy choice as captain for Providence head coach Jay Leach.

“Ever since he’s been here, he’s been that guy for us,” said Leach. “He comes in, he scores 22 goals in 30 games. He’s great on the power play and great with the kids – you name it. It was a no-brainer for us right from the start and it continues to be to this day.”

Carey certainly hasn’t let the responsibility of being captain distract him from performing on the ice. He leads the team with seven goals and is tied for the team lead in points with 13. Throughout the entirety of his AHL career, Carey has played in 363 games, scoring 113 goals and adding 142 assists for 255 points.

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“I try not to think too much about my personal performances,” said Carey. “I just want to do my best to go out there every game and work as hard as I can to help the team win. For me, it’s about leading by example and taking it one game at a time while making sure I give it everything I have when I’m out on the ice.”

So far, Carey has led by example both on the ice and in the dressing room and he hopes his teammates follow that example. There’s a lot more to being a successful hockey player than simply showing up on game nights and Carey knows that.

“You’ve got to really dial in on everything. You can’t take any days off where you’re just moping around the rink or just don’t have the energy,” said Carey. “You’ve got to show up and you’ve got to be ready to go. By doing that, I think I get to help teach these young guys. I’m learning, too, so every day I’m trying to get a little bit better. I’m helping them and helping myself.

“I’m still trying to be the best player I can be and try to help these young guys. I mean, it’s a challenge and there’s definitely a lot more responsibility that comes with wearing the letter, but I think I’m ready for it and I think that added responsibility will be good for me and good for the other guys.”

As the season continues to roll along, Carey hopes his leadership continues to provide a positive impact on the team. In fact, he’s learned a lot about leadership from some of the players up in Boston, like Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and others.

“They’re just really good guys, good leaders,” said Carey. “They work hard and they show up every day. They help out the young guys and really help kids move along.”

As the 25th captain in P-Bruins history, Carey is ready to embrace the challenge and help the team grow throughout the year.

“It’s an honor,” said Carey. “There’s been a lot of good captains that have come here before me, so it’s going to be a tough sweater to fill, but I’m excited for the job. We have a good group and it’s pretty important to me.”