Source: Pandolfo may go to camp with Bruins

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Source: Pandolfo may go to camp with Bruins

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
Jay Pandolfo didnt play a single NHL game last season for the first time in 14 years, and it appeared that the Burlington, Mass. natives pro hockey career was winding down.

But, according to several sources, the 35-year-old veteran iis mulling a return to hockey this season.

Those same sources also indicated to CSNNE.com that Pandolfo is talking with the Bruins about coming to training camp in September for his hometown team as the Bs attempt to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

Pandolfo played 13 seasons for the Devils and totaled 223 points in 819 games while building a reputation as a dogged penalty killer, reliable bottom-six forward and playoff performer en route to New Jerseys multiple Stanley Cup championships. Pandolfo was a longtime leader in the Devils dressing room, and is also one of Claude Juliens favorite players from the Bs coachs turbulent tenure coaching in New Jersey under Lou Lamoriello.

In his last NHL season, while playing sparingly for the Devils in 2009-10 while the club was looking to get out from under his contract, Pandolfo totaled 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 52 games along with a minus-10 rating.

Pandolfo played 12 AHL games for the Springfield Falcons last season while totaling six points and a minus-2 last November, but was otherwise idle last season after getting bought out of the final year of his New Jersey contract last summer. Theres little doubt Pandolfo is attempting to write a better final chapter onto an otherwise outstanding hockey career at Burlington High School, Boston University and the New Jersey Devils and the gritty winger could also help fill some of the veteran leadership role vacated by Mark Recchis retirement at the end of last years NHL season.

A Bruins source said that it was uncertain whether Pandolfo would ultimately attend Bs camp when it officially begins on Sept. 16, but theres little downside to bringing in a motivated veteran like Pandolfo to compete with Benoit Pouliot, Daniel Paille,Jordan Caron and a host of youngsters for one of the final winger spots on an already cramped Bs roster.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Backes set to star in Animal Planet special this weekend

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Backes set to star in Animal Planet special this weekend

It’s only a coincidence that it will air the same week that the Boston Bruins went Hollywood with their annual three-game road trip through California, but David Backes and his wife Kelly are going to get some solid TV time this weekend. The animal-loving couple are going to be featured Saturday night in the all-new Animal Planet special "Stars to the Rescue," which highlights the Backes family’s excellent work to ensure every animal has a ‘furever’ home.

The lifelong animal lovers have adopted five rescue pets that all made the move from St. Louis to Boston this summer, and launched Athletes for Animals in 2013, a non-profit organization supporting professional athletes and animal advocacy efforts. The 32-year-old Backes chose a Boston animal shelter as his first setting to meet with the Boston media this summer after signing with the Bruins in free agency, and spoke glowingly about his inspiration for marrying two of his passions: helping animals and sports.

“The full story is that in college we wanted an animal or two, but it just wasn’t responsible because we were renting and the landlords didn’t approve," said Backes, the proud owner of four dogs (Maverick, Rosey, Marty and Bebe) and two cats (Sunny, Poly). "We just didn’t really have the time or resources to support them, so we volunteered at the local shelter for the three years I was in school.

“When my wife [Kelly] and I moved to St. Louis, we wanted to connect with the community, be a part and use our voice to influence social change to do our part making the world a little bit of a better place. So we said, ‘Why not connect with the animal welfare rescue community?’

“We absolutely love doing it: Walking dogs, scooping litter boxes and cleaning kennels. Let’s use our voice to kick this off and see what we can do, and it really just snowballed from that to then trying to tie other guys into it. It’s not limited to the animal stuff, but the animals that don’t have a voice, and the kids that don’t have a voice, really tug at our heart strings. We want to help them with this blessing of a great voice we’ve been given as professional athletes, and to really use that to give them some help.”

The “Stars to the Rescue” special premieres on Saturday night at 8 pm on Animal Planet where there will be a full segment on the Backes family, but here’s a clip where Backes talks about his well-publicized involvement with a number of stray dog rescues during his 2014 Olympic Hockey stint with Team USA in Sochi, Russia.

Backes isn’t the only Boston athlete featured during the Animal Planet special as it also chronicles the stories of other well-known athletes and celebrities and the dogs they can't live without: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley, Selma Blair, ESPN Correspondent Michelle Beadle, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and more. From training buddies to comforting companions, “Stars to the Rescue” shows first-hand how these celebrities first met their cute rescued canines and how their dogs have impacted and transformed their lives for the better.

What we learned in Bruins' 4-1 win over Kings: Back on track

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What we learned in Bruins' 4-1 win over Kings: Back on track

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