- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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Dressed and ready for practice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday, Turco had to wait for official word from Bruins manager Peter Chiarelli that he had cleared waivers to be eligible to practice. The word came at at 12:02 p.m. ET.
"It felt like I was 15 years old again, waiting to practice with the big boys. It was an even better feeling when I got the thumbs-up from Pete, so I got out there with some excitement in the blood," Turco said after practice.
"It's good to be back on the ice with some bright lights, NHL players, and never mind it's the Boston Bruins," Turco said. "It was a great day for the family and I."
Bruins coach Claude Julien held a quick and efficient 35-minute practice, and when it was done, Turco remained on the ice for another 30 minutes for some extra work.
"It was his first day of practice and he hasn't been on the ice in a while, but his intensity and enthusiasm was there," Julien said. "He was working hard at feeling that puck and getting his timing, which is exactly what we would expect a goaltender who is practicing for the first time in a while.
"The shots he's taken in Europe and the shots he's taken here are a little bit different. We know how good a goaltender he's been in this league, that's not an issue, it's giving him an opportunity," Julien said.
The Bruins signed Turco, 36, to a one-year prorated contract worth $600,000 on Monday, after backup goalie Tuukka Rask suffered a groin/abdominal injury on Saturday.
But even if another team had claimed Turco, he would have been ineligible to play. When Boston signed Turco, Chiarelli placed him on the team's reserve list. Players who are transferred from one reserve list to another after the trade deadline are ineligible to play for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
All players who are added to a reserve list from outside the league (not property of any other NHL team) after the trade deadline are eligible to play only in the regular season and not the playoffs.
Turco most recently played this season for EC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria's top league. He last appeared in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, going 11-11-3 in 29 games with a 3.02 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.
"Last year being a Blackhawk was a special feeling. They were also the defending champs and an Original Six with some great history. The same goes for this club," Turco said of his new team.
"But the difference is they had a lot of change in Chicago, but this team doesn't and is intact from last year and that sets them apart, which you can tell by the way they play, act and talk. There's a togetherness and you can feel that when you walk in the room instantly.
"This team is competitive. They're together and they're in it to win as a whole. They've faced adversity and they're going through some at the moment. From the onset, it's a special feeling for me and I couldn't have picked a better team to come to."