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Back to the Future?

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
VANCOUVER -- It felt like a bit of a time warp to see former (and future?) Boston defenseman Shane Hnidy don Bruins practice gear today in Pacific Coliseum.


Hnidy shoots the puck against the New York Rangers at the TD Banknorth Garden on April 4, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hnidy, who was again able to secure number-34 ("It's not a real popular number..." he said) joined the Bruins in Vancouver on Wednesday on a tryout basis.

By all accounts, that tryout is going well, thus far.

"I thought for his first day, he looked fine," said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "I didn’t mind what he brought to the practice today and when you look at our practice we had a pretty good pace going.

"I thought he handled it well."

Going forward, the veteran defenseman being familiar with the Bruins way of doing things certainly helps his cause.

"Yeah, there’s a guy who is familiar with our hockey club," said Julien. "And the coaching staff, we had him, and we’re familiar with him as a player and what he brings.

"He’s always been a good team guy and he obviously had an injury at the beginning of the year, which I guess forced him out of the competition for a job in the NHL. But we’ve got an opportunity here to look at him.

"We know what he brings on the ice, and we know what be brings off the ice," added Julien. "If things work out, we'd have no problem with making him an addition because he’s been a good team player."

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli gave an outline of the B's intentions Hnidy-wise.

"Well we’ll have a look at him over the next couple of days and see how he is and we’ll make a decision then," said Chiarelli, who added that Hnidy would help the B's with their depth on the blueline.

"He’s a guy we’re familiar with, and he’s been in here before. He suffered an injury...and he’s been rehabbing all year.

"He reached out a couple of times and we decided to bring him in for a look," explained Chiarelli.

Like so many players who have left Boston, for Hnidy, re-upping with the B's is a given.

"Definitely. It was a definitely an easy transition to come into this room, it’s such a great group of guys -- the guys that have been added, and the guys that are still here," said Shane.  "This is a team on top of the list for me and I’m just fortunate to be here."

However, Hnidy will have to pass a list of tests to make the B's roster.

"Well that’s kind of why we’re here," said Hnidy when asked if he were 100 percent healthy. "You know, obviously, I need to work on my legs, and I need to get up to the speed of the game.

"Everything has progressed really well so far."    

That said, Hnidy gave an honest assessment of his day on the ice.

"I was telling Rex [Mark Recchi], I felt like I have to go back 14 years to my first day of pro," he said. "A few shaky legs during the first ten minutes.

"But you know no matter how much you skate -- going out and playing at that pace, especially today was a good paced practice -- it was a good push for me," he said.
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