BOSTON -- It's not hard to imagine Shean Donovan making friends easily.
The former Flames fan favourite was also popular with his teammates and the media because of his persistent smile and approachability.
Seems he's off to a good start in Boston, too, after joining the Bruins as a free agent this summer.
Donovan, whose club downed the Flames 3-2 last night, says his new team is good at getting together for lunches and hanging out away from the rink. It helps there are so many new faces in black and yellow.
"Two years is kind of the most guys have been together here," said Donovan of the team that brought in fellow free agents Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard, another ex-Flame.
"Sometimes you go into some teams and you're the only guy that comes in. You're kinda the lone duckling and it's been a tight group for five years."
There are no lone ducklings in Beantown but Donovan has taken a rookie under his wing.
"Boston's kind of tough with traffic and stuff but Phil Kessel, the young kid, he lives close to me so, we've been hanging out," Donovan said.
"I'm teaching him what it's like to have kids."
Barely 19, Kessel is a kid himself.
"He just got his first car yesterday, so he's all excited. Drove me to the rink today," said Donovan after the Bruins skated at the TD Banknorth Garden for the first time this season after starting the year on a five-game road trip and practising in nearby Wilmington.
"I remember the first day he got his meal money and he's like, 'Oh my god, we got $800 for meal money,' " Donovan continued, his voice rising in pitch as he recalled the story while exposing his gap-toothed smile. "And then he was mad after the first cheque. 'What's going on, they took half my cheque away.' I was like, 'Yeah, that's the government. It'll happen every cheque.' "
The fifth-overall pick in the 2006 draft has yet to score while racking up a pair of helpers in five games but Donovan has faith Kessel will live up to expectations.
"He's just a young guy but he's gonna be a good player," said Donovan.
"He already is a good player. The stronger he gets, the better he's gonna be. He's really fast. He can fly around, makes it look easy gliding around. He's put pressure on himself to score goals but he's getting chances. It's just a matter of time."
Donovan readily admits he still cheers on the Flames, when they're not playing against him, of course.
So, the 31-year-old was happy to give his new club a scouting report.
"It is funny," admitted Donovan. "But ... I do have some insight into their team."