Pandolfo leans toward retirement after season with B's

Pandolfo leans toward retirement after season with B's
June 27, 2013, 8:00 pm
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BOSTON – If Jay Pandolfo doesn’t play another game in the NHL, his final season will end up being a memorable one.

The Burlington, Mass., native got to live at home with his family while suiting up for the Bruins team he grew up adoring, and he hopped on the journey all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Black and Gold. The 38-year-old almost played in Game 6 at TD Garden against the Chicago Blackhawks, and took part in the warm-up when there were questions about Patrice Bergeron’s availability.

But Pandolfo also played in a career-low 18 games while failing to register a point along with a minus-2 rating, and said he’s going to take a few days to decide what his plans moving forward will be. It wouldn’t shock anyone if the former Burlington High, Boston University and New Jersey Devils standout calls it a career after 15 excellent seasons.

“[It’s] age. If you are going to try to continue to play, it’s a mental commitment more than just physical,” said Pandolfo, who will retire with 100 goals and 226 points in 899 career games and two Stanley Cup championships. “Right now, that’s why I haven’t 100 percent made a decision. That’s why I’m more leaning more towards retiring.

“To be able to finish here [in Boston] is pretty special for me. I’m not sure I’d really want to go play somewhere else at this point. I’m definitely probably leaning towards retiring.”

Pandolfo was offered a coaching/management position by Lou Lamoriello when he parted ways with the Devils after the 2009-10 season, and that direction may be something he’s now ready to pursue.

“You do this for so long. You do it your whole life. I enjoy being part of the game and I definitely don’t want to get too far away from it,” said Pandolfo. “We will kind of take my time and see kind of what things are out there and available.”

A lasting place in the game of hockey would be appropriate for Pandolfo, who showed his dedication while showing up every day during the lockout to run informal skates that kept guys such as Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand in some semblance of shape when the NHL season eventually started in January.