For the first time since he left Boston University for the QMJHL’s Saint John Seadogs in January 2012, Charlie Coyle doesn’t have to come home for the summer.
He’s already home.
Coyle, a veteran of seven seasons in the NHL, just completed an exciting run in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Boston Bruins, the team he grew up watching. He’s still trying to comprehend the dream he fulfilled and everything that’s happened since
the Minnesota Wild shipped him to his hometown team in a trade deadline deal on February 20.
“I don’t know if I’ve fully processed playing for the Bruins - and what we just went through,” Coyle said to the media before the Bruins broke up for the summer. “I just feel really fortunate to be in this position. Just being at home, playing here, it has been really special.”
For most players in the NHL, the end-of-season process begins with a bit of planning before taking some well-earned rest and relaxation. For Coyle, a native of Weymouth, MA, his offseason doesn’t require a lot of logistics.
“You get your things, you make your travel arrangements, and then you fly home,” Coyle noted. It’s different always being here...but that’s what’s nice about playing here.”
Before leaving BU to begin his professional career in 2012, Coyle’s playing career crossed through a number of programs across the Greater Boston Area. During his youth-playing days, Coyle skated for the Boston Jr. Terriers, a proud member of the EHF. Coyle’s time with the Jr. Terriers included an appearance in the Quebec Pee Wee Tournament.
Coyle’s high school career began at Weymouth High School before transferring to Thayer Academy for two seasons. In addition to his high school teams, Coyle would also spend some time with the Cape Cod Whalers.
In the 2009-10 season, Coyle would join the South Shore Kings, a team that has helped to develop fellow Bruins teammates Chris Wagner&Noel Acciari. In 41 regular season games with South Shore, Coyle recorded 63 points, enough to earn him EJHL Rookie of the Year. Following the season, Coyle would be selected by the San Jose Sharks with the No. 28 pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.
Now, after almost a decade away from home, Coyle now dons the Black & Gold in pursuit of another dream: winning the Stanley Cup. That dream was almost accomplished as the Bruins found themselves in the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in eight years; but it would be the St. Louis Blues that would hoist the Cup on the ice of TD Garden, as the Bruins were defeated in a thrilling seven-game series.
Though the loss remains on the minds of him and his teammates, Coyle is extremely grateful for the experience and knows it will only help them going forward.
“You’ve got to take it as a positive,” said Coyle. “Sometimes you lose, but it’s how you come back, be resilient, and just have the mindset to want it even more after what happened.”
With the Bruins’ leadership getting older, key restricted and unrestricted free agents - including Coyle next summer as an unrestricted free agent - he remains optimistic that the team’s window of winning a Stanley Cup is far from closed.
“I know this group is capable of [returning to the Stanley Cup Final] and that will be our mindset. It is there for us if we want to do it again,” Coyle added.
“There is no question why we were in this position, and how far we got. There is a lot of good in this locker room: the depth we have, the leadership [on the team]. This [experience] can only help you, going through the hard times. I think it’s going through that adversity, you learn from it and that’s what you’ve got to take.”