|Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas watches as Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Miroslav Satan, of Slovakia, shoots on goal during the first period, for the first goal of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
Forward Miroslav Satan suited up with his new teammates yesterday for his first practice as a Boston Bruin. The 35-year old forward was signed to a one-year contract earlier in the day, after spending several months on the free agent market.
“Boston called and said they would have an interest so it came up pretty quickly I guess,” said Satan. “I think it makes sense for the team and it makes sense for me also, so it’s a good situation.”
The 6’3” 192-pound Slovakia native has 1012 NHL games under his belt with 354 goals with 367 assists in his 13-season NHL career.
The B’s hope that the winger, who has a reputation for his play-making abilities, will add the depth the team needs to increase goal scoring as they enter the second half of the season.
“Obviously he’s a skilled guy who’s been in the league a long time and we just felt we needed to increase our depth at forward, and our skill,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “He can make plays and he can shoot and he’s always been in tremendous shape.”
The former Oiler, Sabre, Islander, and Penguin last played in the final game of 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, helping the Pens to victory. Since then he’s been at home in New York, skating several times a week to stay in shape. His work will pay off soon, as he is expected to be in game shape in roughly a week.
“He needs some time to practice at this pace and we’ve got a healthy team right now,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “I don’t think we need to throw him in and rush him right now.”
During his career with Pittsburgh Penguins he registered 1-5-6 totals in 17 postseason games to go along with 17-19-36 totals in 65 regular season games. Drafted originally by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round of the NHL entry draft in 1993, Satan has scored 20-plus goals 10 times, including a career high 40 in 1998-99. His best season statistically came in 2002-03 when he tallied 75 points on 26 goals and a career best 49 assists.
As the Bruins gear up for their road trip this week, Satan anticipates using that time to get to know the team.
“I’ve got a lot of things to catch up with, all the systems the teams play and how the team works, said Satan. “But I’m looking forward to it.”
One teammate he won’t have to get to know is his longtime friend, B’s captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara
. Satan said Chara’s presence in Boston is just a perk of an already attractive deal.
“I’ve known Zee for a long time,” said Satan. “We’ve been friends for maybe 10 years so it definitely gave me one extra reason to come here and gives me one extra reason to enjoy my time being here.”
The two will play alongside each other not only for Boston, but also for Slovakia’s Olympic team come February. For now though, Satan looks forward to getting up to speed and getting comfortable with a new organization in the New Year.
Satan said, “I think this is a team which will have a chance to go deep into the playoffs and I think it’s a great team to build, it could use a player like me.”