It didnt get very warm and fuzzy when Brian Rolston talked of squaring off against the team that traded him to the Bruins the New York Islanders as Boston travels to Long Island for a Saturday tilt at Nassau Coliseum.
It wasnt anger or contempt in Rolstons voice or eyes when he spoke about his Isles experience, however.
It was more like an emotional disconnect that Long Island never really registered all that high with the 39-year-old. That probably makes sense given the Isles place in the NHLs lower rung of hockey clubs as something significantly less than an ideal hockey destination.Rolston played exactly 45 games for the Islanders with a lowly nine points. There was a liberal mixture of injuries and healthy scratches to go around for the highly respected veteran that reduced his playing time, and ultimately caused New York to go in a different direction.
Being placed on waivers by Garth Snow and the Isles must have stung a bit for a highly decorated NHL veteran like Rolston, but versatile forward has changed teams enough to temper some of the potentially strong emotional pull. In other words he wont be breathing fire on the ice when he suits up against the Islanders.
When youre younger and you play a former team it might be a little nerve-wracking, but in this situation not so much, said Rolston. Ive been around a long time. Its about trying to well yourself as an individual and play well as a team.
Its a whole new life that I have here in Boston, and you kind of put it behind you.It would be natural if Rolstons chest were puffed out a little bit more rolling into the Island with 13 points in 16 games during the month of March, and a key third line role on a team thats destined for the postseason. Rolston used the phrase bad fit as a way to describe his experience with the Islanders after arriving in Boston, but was steering clear of that kind of talk Friday after an optional team practice.
Things go through your mind. Im 39 and Ive played a lot of years, so it definitely goes through your mind wondering whether youre going to get lost in the fold there, said Rolston, alluding to when things started to go awry during his Islanders experience. But then when you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it and its been a good fit for me here in Boston.
Sweet revenge, or whatever Rolston would prefer to call it, would be celebrating a victory that clinches a playoff spot on the Nassau Coliseum ice where things might have ended for him without a trade. But anything more would have meant the experienced higher on Rolstons emotional Richter scale and that doesnt seem to be the case.