After being invited to training camp, Glen Metropolit has quickly made himself into an important piece of the early season puzzle that is the 2007-08 Boston Bruins.
The guy fitting the pieces together, Coach Claude Julien, has a great deal of respect for the versatile veteran forward -- especially after super sniper Marc Savard
went down in the Phoenix game and Metropolit needed to take some shifts on the top line and the power play.
"There are a lot of guys who really stepped it up tonight," said Julien. "Metropolit stepped in for Savvy.
"He did a really nice job.
"I think that's one of the reasons we signed him when we had the opportunity, because he is a guy who is capable of that kind of job," he said.
For Julien, Metropolit's ability to play anywhere, in any situation, makes him invaluable.
"He can play center. He can play on the wing. He can play on your top line; he kills penalties, and plays on power plays," said the coach. "You can't ask for anything more from a player."
All praise aside, Metropolit is just happy to be a Boston Bruin and has frequently, and gratefully, acknowledged the opportunity he has been given by the organization. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Glen is just a little taken aback to be in Boston.
"It feels awesome," said "Metro" before the road trip. "It's a team that I watched as a kid growing up and I still have to pinch myself.
"It's great being a Bruin."
Beyond his versatility, Metropolit feels like he can bring a lot to the B's.
"I came into camp in great shape and I am feeling good about playing with the guys," said the forward during camp. "Being an older guy now (I know) you have to make the simple plays.
"It comes down to inches at this level and any mistakes that you make, these teams will make you pay for it.
"So I just try to keep things simple and be an energy guy," he said.
But it's not simple to have to play anywhere, and at any given time.
"I just try and play my game," said Glen after Tuesday's practice before the Anaheim game -- a game in which he might be counted on to do much more than anyone expected thanks to Savard's questionable status. "If you are on the fourth line, you just have to keep it really simple, you know what I mean? That's an energy line.
"And that's not to say that I have to change my game if I am on the first line, but you're expected to produce offensively (on the top lines), so it's somewhat of a different role.
"But at the same time you are (still) trying to have fun. Hockey is fun. So you work hard and hopefully get rewarded," he said.
Thus far, the veteran forward has been rewarded with a training camp invite, a contract and playing time. But for Metro, being a Boston Bruin is not a reward, it's a gift.
"When you just think of it -- I'm a Boston Bruin -- who doesn't know that Bruin symbol around the (hockey) world," said Metropolit the morning he was signed by the Black & Gold. "It's special and you have to play like it's special, too."
Glen Metropolit is certainly holding up his end of the bargain.