BOSTON -- After a month of skating and practicing with the team without a contract, the Bruins signed Jay Pandolfo to a one-year deal this week worth 600,000 according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Eyebrows were raised when Pandolfo traveled to Buffalo for his first road trip with the team last weekend, and it appeared something was imminent this week.
The 38-year-old former New Jersey Devils forward had been practicing with the Bruins on a professional tryout agreement since training camp, but things have progressed a bit since the Tim Thomas trade to the New York Islanders at the end of last week.
This has been the perfect situation for me. Im at home with my family and able to stay in shape while skating with the team, said Pandolfo, a Burlington native who lives in Winchester with his wife and kids. I wouldnt have done this if it were any other situation besides the one in Boston. The organization has been very up front with me about everything, and hopefully that leads to good things soon.
The Thomas deal freed up a contract for the Bruins, who will stand at 49 player contracts with the Pandolfo signing. (Each NHL team is held to a ceiling of 50 individual player contracts.)
The Bruins were hesitant to give up their organizational flexibility by signing Pandolfo to the organizations 50th player contract, but that was no longer an issue after jettisoning Thomas. Its unknown if Pandolfo will head down to Providence to play in a few AHL games if he clears waivers. He was placed on waivers Tuesday.
Pandolfo had three points in 62 games for the New York Islanders last season, and represents ideal forward depth. He's a player capable of playing a bottom-six role and killing penalties while also providing the leadership that comes along with winning a pair of Stanley Cup titles in Jersey.
BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.
The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.
“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”
McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”
That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.