Pandolfo excited to see first game action

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Pandolfo excited to see first game action

WINNIPEG -- Jay Pandolfo grew up as a Bruins fan while blossoming into a bona fide Massachusetts hockey stud playing for Burlington High School and Boston University.

So its a special kind of pride for the 38-year-old local product as he makes his Boston Bruins debut Sunday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre in place of Milan Lucic.

I havent played a game in a while so Ill be a little anxious. But once you settle down it will be fine, said Pandolfo. Anytime you grow up somewhere watching a team your whole life its special when you get a chance to play for themyou take a little extra pride in it. Im appreciative that I have this chance and Im looking forward to it.

The former New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders winger hasnt played an NHL game in roughly nine months, and wasnt sure if this day would come again coming out of the lockout. He skated with the Bruins for over a month on a professional tryout agreement before signing a one-year deal with Boston earlier this week, and will get his opportunity after Lucic had to leave the team for personal reasons.

Pandolfo will skate on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton while Daniel Paille moves up in the lineup. Nobody should expect much offensively from a guy that totaled three points in 60 plus games for the Isles last season, and his coach expects him to keep things simple as a longtime veteran would in this particular situation.

It goes without saying that youll keep an eye on him, but hes been through this enough times that hell know how to handle his shifts, said Claude Julien, who previously coached Pandolfo in New Jersey. Hell keep things short, and hes a smart player thats been in this league a long time. So I dont think youll see anythingstupid, if I can use that termcoming out of his game.

He never gave up. We certainly never guaranteed him anything. We thought he could be a possibility, but he kept a great attitude and he slipped in there easily with his teammates. Hes a guy that gives us some really reliable depth.

Pandolfo may get some penalty killing time, but otherwise probably wont play much more than five or six minutes in his Boston debut. But thats more than enough for the two-time Stanley Cup that wondered openly if his NHL career was over when he didnt have a roster spot guaranteed coming out of the lockout.

Instead he found the perfect situation with the Bruins after patiently waiting for it to materialize, and that era in his career begins Sunday in Winnipeg.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.