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Gronk on ice skates? Bruins coach likes the thought

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Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy explains how he was looking forward to meeting (0:35)

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy explains how he was looking forward to meeting Bill Belichick after training camp practice, and how all the professional coaches in town have a mutual respect for each other. Video by Mike Reiss (0:35)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was a visitor at New England Patriots training camp on Monday morning, and in light-hearted fashion, he didn’t hesitate when asked who would be his first-round draft choice to lace up the skates.

“Gronk!” he said with a smile.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Rob Gronkowski would qualify as a power forward, no doubt. He’s been known to spike a puck or two as well.

But Cassidy said if Gronkowski wasn’t available, he’d happily consider others.

“One of those linemen. They’re big and just have them be your designated hitter. Or you take a guy like [Julian] Edelman, it would be interesting to see if he could be a goal scorer. It seems like he has the talent to play a lot of different positions. He competes hard in those dirty areas. He might have a little [Brad] Marchand in him.”

Meanwhile, Cassidy grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan, but he smiled while explaining that his allegiances have shifted.

“Growing up in Ottawa, we had upstate New York channels, so it was always the Giants and the Cowboys, going way back to Roger Staubach. I’ve always been a Patriots fan of the AFC and now I’ve become much more of a fan,” he said as his kids stood nearby in Tom Brady jerseys.

“The Cowboys haven’t given us much to cheer about until last year. I do have a soft spot for the Cowboys, but I love the Patriots and have for a long time. Steve Grogan, way back then.”

As for why he was attending Patriots training camp, where he was scheduled to meet with Bill Belichick, Cassidy said: “Why not? You’re learning from the best, and I’m a huge football fan. I enjoy watching the players execute, never mind taking away any sort of ideas of how to run practice, how to schedule practice, just being a fan.”