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.”