NHL Notebook: Bruins say farewell to pull-ups, other traditional conditioning drills as focus shifts to ‘injury prevention,’ ‘power output’

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jake DeBrusk was at a loss for words when he stepped into the Bruins training facility at Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday.

The first day of Bruins training camp usually keeps all of the players off the ice, with most of the schedule centered around the baseline conditioning tests that everyone on the roster must undergo before a new season gets underway.

Looking back on his days of junior hockey up in Saskatchewan, DeBrusk recalled many  “conditioning days” spent trying to best his teammates in the usual gamut of competitions. 

“We did pull-ups, beep tests, three different sprint tests,” DeBrusk said of the workout regimen. “Some lateral things like that. Some bench, push-ups and sit-ups. It was actually pretty intense in junior. But you’re competing on your scores that you got last year.”

This year, DeBrusk wasn't looking to pace the pack in the pull-up competition, given some of the other individuals in the room. But, after practicing all summer, he was ready to make a statement on the first official day of the 2019-20 campaign. 

“I was aiming for around 20, maybe 15 (chin-ups),” DeBrusk said. “It’s a respectable number. Thirty is like Zee (Zdeno Chara) level. Maybe one day.”

But much to his dismay, when the time came to head over to the chin-up bars, DeBrusk got the bad news.