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Bruins by the Numbers: 53

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Last time Jeremy Reich wore Boston Bruins uniform he wore number-53. With  the Providence Bruins it was numeral 17. And although the scrappy veteran would love to permanently add 36 to that P-Bruins digit no matter which Southern New England capitol he represents Reich is happy that he will be wearing a Black & Gold.

"Yeah, for sure," said Reich of his re-signing with the B's. "I'm familiar with the talent on the team in Boston and Providence.

"It’s kind of a no-brainer on my part."

Asked what role he expects to play with the Bruins organization and Reich -- who has 99 NHL and 565 AHL games under his belt -- was pragmatic, but hopeful.

"I just wanted to make sure that I was going to try to sign with somebody that was going to give me a chance [to play in the NHL]," he said. "I'm going into camp trying to make the team obviously...[and] I want to be a guy that they know is capable of playing in the league if they have injuries or anything like that."

Injuries are part of the deal in hockey, but one that Reich hopes isn't part of his latest pact with the Bruins.

Last year, the injury bug bit the once and future B's winger -- hard.

"Yeah I broke my wrist in an exhibition game," said Reich who was then playing with the Islanders. "I went to down to Bridgeport until I rehabbed my wrist and got it better and I ended up coming back right at the beginning of December and played six games then I broke my collarbone.

"So I was out for another seven weeks."

2nd stint in Black & Gold
17 jersey number with P-Bruins and NY Islanders
39th overall pick in the '97 draft by the Blackhawks
53 sweater number with B's
95 AHL goals
99 NHL games
161 NHL PIM's
213 AHL points
363 career points
565 AHL games played
1357 AHL PIM's." Reich by the Numbers
This fall, Reich will return to New England looking for a new start by returning to an old haunt.

"I know the coaches in Boston and I know them in Providence," explained Reich. "That was my big thing ...when I signed with Boston  [and] if I didn’t end up making the team in Boston, I really enjoy playing for [P-Bruins head coach] Rob [Murray] and [Providence assistant] Butch [Cassidy] and I have respect for both of those guys.

"It's the best situation, for me and my family," added Rechi. "I was there for [parts of three] years...with Rob. We got along really well and that was one of the key factors.

"And I know most of the guys in Boston and the guys in the coaching stuff; Claude [Julien] and Doug [Houda] and  Geoff Ward.

"It was a pretty easy decision for me."

But it won't be an easy decision for Boston as the organization will have some hard choices when training camp ends and the NHL roster is set. But Reich isn't worried.

No matter what spoked consonant he wears on his sweater, he'll bring the same effort.

"I'm pretty high strung when I'm at the rink," said Reich. "I like to think of myself as a high-energy guy all the time when I'm playing hockey.

"It’s fun. I still enjoy it obviously, that’s why I'm still playing. I love the game, I've played it for I don’t know how long now. It’s kind of second nature.

"I don’t even think about it like that, I just go to the rink and enjoy doing it whether I'm in Boston or Providence."
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