Bruins: Jay Pandolfo

Ference, Jagr, Pandolfo won't be back

June, 26, 2013
6/26/13
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BOSTON -- Less than 48 hours after losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli already has informed defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Jaromir Jagr and Jay Pandolfo, all veteran free agents, that the team doesn’t intend to re-sign them.

Chiarelli also told free agents Tuukka Rask and top-line forward Nathan Horton that the team is interested in bringing them back. With the salary cap decreasing, Chiarelli needs to make salary cap space to bring Rask and Horton back on long-term deals.

The GM also said the team would not buy out any contracts.

The Bruins would like to have a new deal with Rask, who is a restricted free agent, by July 5, when the free-agency period begins and other teams are eligible to make him an offer. The Bruins would have to match another team’s offer in order to retain his services.

Horton, an unrestricted free agent, said he wants to remain in Boston, which would be just fine with Chiarelli.

“I’ve told him that I’d like him to come back,” Chiarelli said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Horton will have surgery this offseason to repair a separated shoulder. His performance was inconsistent during the regular season, but he was a force in the playoffs, along with linemates Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Chiarelli called that trio “the best line in hockey” and wants to keep it together.

“When you make a decision to try and bring back guys that are on the eve of free agency, you’d like to think that you can make the right decision before the last possible moment,” Chiarelli said. “Usually, that’s what I try and do. There are so many balls in the air this year, and then with the cap going down. I try to be proactive on stuff and I try to get ahead of stuff, and this year it was too hard. It’s not the ideal way, but I’m going to try to push through it now.”

Horton said he would rather not discuss his contract status, but would like to return to Boston.

“I have enjoyed my time here,” he said. “Two out of the three years I’ve been here we’ve been in the Stanley Cup and we won one time. I’ve said a million times the guys in the room are amazing and it’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoy every player on the team.”

Ference spent seven seasons with the Bruins and was a leader on and off the ice. He became very involved in the community, but he realizes the business side of the game and knows the Bruins can’t afford his services.

“With the current cap, Peter’s not going to be able to keep me,” Ference said. “I wish it wasn’t so, but that’s the way it is.

“Even working through the [lockout negotiations] in New York, we’re lucky we got the cap to where we did,” Ference said. “[Chiarelli] would have had even more of a nightmare on his hands with trying to keep this team together. Obviously, throughout the year you prepare yourself for not being here. You hope things can work out, but myself and my family, we were prepared for it, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

“With the team we’ve had the last few years, I’ve been around this sport long enough to know that six straight years of playoffs, and to do with a bunch of guys that get along, with a coach we’ve been able to work with for as long as we’ve had it, it’s been an absolute blessing. So the hockey side of it is as good as you can get.”

Chiarelli said his conversation with Ference was a tough one.

“I spoke with him and told him that we wouldn’t be re-signing him and we kind of rehashed our history with the Bruins,” the GM said. “If you can recall, we brought him in my first year. He’s been part of this, what we’ve built here. The warrior-type of attitude and playing style for his size; as Claude talked about, the leadership. He’s been through seven years, basically, and you can’t say enough about his leadership and what he’s brought to our organization.”

Landing spots for Ference could include Pittsburgh, Toronto and the New York Rangers.

Jagr, 41 and a future Hall of Famer, would like to continue playing in the NHL but it won’t be in Boston. While he admitted Wednesday that he did not play up to his expectations, the Bruins were pleased with his contributions after acquiring him from the Dallas Stars at the trade deadline.

“I thought it was really good. I don’t think Jaromir would say that because, you guys have talked to him, he always felt that he could have given us more,” Chiarelli said. “I told him today, I said, ‘Jaromir, what you did to wear the D down was very impressive.’ I said, ‘I know you didn’t score, but the plays that you made, the timely plays that you made, I thought were terrific.’ I thought he spread out our power play, which helped our power play. I was real happy with Jaromir. I thought he really helped that cause.”

On Wednesday, Jagr said he was still sad the team lost Game 6 and admitted he suffered a back injury in that game that forced him to miss the second period. But he says he has more hockey in him.

“I want do it, for sure,” he said. “I love this game so much and I don’t want to go back to Czech yet. I’ll tell you now, I don’t know where but I’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Peverley, Pandolfo expected to step up

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
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BOSTON -- Even though the Bruins will be without forward Chris Kelly for the foreseeable future because of the broken left tibia he suffered Monday at Ottawa, Boston is prepared to carry on without its assistant captain.

In the team’s first game without him, which resulted in a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Tuesday at Pittsburgh, Bruins coach Claude Julien had veteran forward Jay Pandolfo on the team’s third line along with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron.

Based on the Bruins’ morning skate in preparation to host the Florida Panthers tonight at TD Garden, Julien will use the same lineup. Still, Kelly will be missed.

“It’s unfortunate,” Pandolfo said. “He’s a huge part of our team and he’s a great leader in the room. All the little things he does on the ice, he’s a tough guy to replace, but when stuff like this happens, everyone as a group needs to step up and help out with some of the stuff he did.”

Peverley will serve as the line’s center, with Caron and Pandolfo on the wings. Kelly is the center on that line, but Peverley is versatile and very good at faceoffs, with a 62.2 percent rating (98-for-160).

“We’re lucky to have guys like Pevs, even [Tyler] Seguin, who have played center most of their career that can step in there and be comfortable in that position,” Julien said. “Pevs is going to have to fill some big shoes there with Kells being a real versatile center man that can do a lot of different things for our team.”

The Bruins’ decision to sign Pandolfo as a free agent on Feb. 12 has worked out.

"It did right from the get-go and that’s one of the reasons we signed him," said Julien. "We knew going through this grind the last two months we would need some players to step up, and some experienced guys would be pretty useful, so Pando comes in at a real good time.”

Pandolfo, 38, can kill penalties and is not a liability. Plus, his veteran presence helps both on and off the ice for the Bruins.

Julien likes to have those types of veteran players on his team because they’re so valuable. Late last season it was Brian Rolston, and for the previous three seasons it was Mark Recchi. Now Pandolfo fills that role.

“Besides the experience that we always talk about, they’ve been around the block a few times; it’s also the wisdom in the dressing room,” explained Julien. “When guys are panicking, they can settle them down. When guys are too settled, maybe they crank them up a bit. They seem to know what buttons to push in the dressing room.

"Coaches do a certain job, but you don’t underestimate what players can do in the dressing room just amongst themselves. Guys like that are pretty valuable, especially as you get deeper into the season.”

Pandolfo: 'Couldn't be a better situation'

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
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A month of practice paid off for Jay Pandolfo, who signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Bruins on Tuesday.

“I'm really excited. I've been here for a month now practicing with the team. I was hoping this day was going to come, and now it's here,” Pandolfo told the media during the Bruins' 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night. “So I'm really excited about being part of this organization."

Pandolfo said there were never any issues of wondering what his situation was with the Bruins over the last month and that the organization was very up front with him.

"They were really up front and honest with what was going on the whole time,” Pandolfo said. “When you have that type of communication, it's pretty easy. I'm living in the area, so I come to practice, and just to be a part of this organization, that was good enough to keep me around for sure. This team has a great chance of winning a Stanley Cup. I'm really glad to be a part of it."

Pandolfo's deal is worth $600,000 in the NHL and $350,000 in the minors. Pandolfo, 38, was placed on waivers Tuesday and must clear for the deal to go through.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Pandolfo has been practicing with the Bruins on a professional tryout since the beginning of training camp. The Burlington, Mass., native and former Boston University Terrier played 62 games for the Islanders last season.

Pandolfo said he doesn’t have any intentions of playing for another team should he be claimed.

"My main goal, obviously, was to sign here, and that's what happened,” the two-time Stanley Cup champion said. “I really didn't want to go anywhere else. My family's here. I'm from here. This couldn't be a better situation for me."

Bruins sign Jay Pandolfo

February, 12, 2013
2/12/13
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The Bruins have signed Jay Pandolfo to a one-year deal worth $600,000 in the NHL and $350,000 in the minors.

Pandolfo, 38, was placed on waivers Tuesday and must clear for the deal to go through.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Pandolfo has been practicing with the Bruins on a professional tryout since the beginning of training camp. The Burlington, Mass., native and former Boston University Terrier played 62 games for the Islanders last season.

Pandolfo not expecting to play at N.Y.

January, 22, 2013
1/22/13
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Forward Jay Pandolfo, on an extended tryout with the Bruins, is still without a contract and doesn't expect he'll be on the ice for Wednesday's game at the New York Rangers.

There was speculation Tuesday that Pandolfo may play at New York since he skated in place of Brad Marchand with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin during practice as Marchand had a maintenance day. But Pandolfo said he’s “99 percent sure” he wouldn’t be in the lineup or signing a contract just yet.

* Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was buzzing at practice over making his boxing debut Saturday -- sort of. Thornton will serve as the spit box holder in the corner of local light welterweight boxer Danny “Bhoy” O’Connor when he fights at TD Garden on Saturday night. But Thornton said he doesn’t envision a boxing career for himself and wouldn’t have fought if the lockout canceled the season. “Fighting isn’t my thing. Well, it’s my job but I don’t do it for fun,” Thornton said. “Sparring is one thing but a real boxing fight, I don’t think so.”

* Looking ahead, the Bruins will play the Islanders on Friday at TD Garden, then are off until Monday at Carolina. But that will be the first of a back-to-back as they host New Jersey on Tuesday.

Julien likens Pandolfo to Reggie Dunlop

January, 18, 2013
1/18/13
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The high intensity at practices during a frantic and compressed training camp didn't keep a 38-year-old student of the game with 881 games under his belt from making an impression on the Bruins coaching and management staffs.

Jay Pandolfo, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, will be on the Bruins roster Saturday when they open the 48-game season against the New York Rangers. After some off-ice workouts Friday, Pandolfo received some high praise from Bruins coach Claude Julien, who also compared him to Reggie Dunlop, the Paul Newman character in "Slapshot" who served as player-coach for the Charlestown Chiefs.

“He’s in between an older player and coaching staff,” Julien quipped. “He’s got some experience and, yeah, he’s like Reggie Dunlop. I’ve been impressed with his camp and at his age, he’s skating well and kept up with the pace. He’s another guy who hasn’t played so to see him keep up with the pace, for a 38-year-old that means he’s in pretty good shape.

“You also see his experience and he scores a goal the other night. He’s not necessarily known as a goal scorer in this league but he can score goals. I’ve always seen him as an extremely smart player that reads the play well. I like him a lot and our management liked him a lot so we’re keeping him here for the time being. We’ll have to make a decision on him at some point, but right now he certainly deserves to be here.”

Pandolfo, a Winchester, Mass., native, is just happy to still be playing, not to mention for the team he grew up cheering for.

“It’s a dream come true for me to even be practicing with the Bruins right now,” Pandolfo said. “It’s the ultimate dream to play for them and if that happens it would be great.”

Pandolfo doesn’t plan on approaching anything differently once the season begins and will just take things day-by-day until he knows for sure if he’s made the team.

“I’m going to just keep doing what I’ve been doing and wait to see what happens,” Pandolfo said. “It feels great to be here and hopefully it lasts as a long-term thing, but its wait and see right now. I’m happy with the situation and we’ll go from there.”

Pandolfo hopes to go out with Bruins

January, 14, 2013
1/14/13
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- As the recent NHL lockout wore on, forward Jay Pandolfo knew that if the 2012-13 season were canceled, he would have played his last game with the New York Islanders last April. While he has no regrets from 13-plus seasons in the NHL in which he was able to hoist the Stanley Cup twice (with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003), Pandolfo, 38, naturally wanted to go out on his own terms.

He now has the chance to do that with a professional tryout at Bruins training camp. The former Boston University star is relieved and grateful for the opportunity from the Bruins and is hoping to make the team and help them wherever they need him to.

“It definitely was scary,” Pandolfo said of the potential that the lockout would force his retirement. “I mean it comes to an end either way and I’m happy with the career I’ve had, but it was good to get this chance. It feels great to have this opportunity and see what happens. It’s a short season, but I am going to hopefully be able to play and make the best of it.”

Pandolfo, who is familiar with coach Claude Julien’s systems from playing for Julien in New Jersey, envisions a bottom-six and penalty-killing role with the Bruins should he make the team.

“I would imagine if I ever get the opportunity it will be to kill penalties and obviously a bottom-six forward role,” Pandolfo said. “I can also help out in the dressing room. This team has won already, but every little bit of experience helps so I hope I get the chance to do that.”

The Winchester native also is excited about the potential of ending his career by fulfilling a boyhood dream and playing for the Bruins.

“Obviously it was a dream growing up here,” Pandolfo said. “It would be an honor after growing up watching the Bruins and I’m excited to have this chance.”

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