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.