Defenseman Shane Hnidy said several of his teammates are well known quantities and Boston's newest addition certainly looks forward to joining them in the Black & Gold -- maybe as early as Thursday night versus the Washington Capitals.
"(It's nice) to run into a few guys that you have had the opportunity to play with before," said a very cheerful Hnidy via telephone Wednesday afternoon. "Hopefully that makes the transition a little easier."
The name of former Senator Zdeno Chara
certainly strikes a loud bell with the new Bruin, who punched into the NHL with Chara's Ottawa squad.
"I may have had a few shifts with (Zdeno Chara
), but he was mainly with Chris Phillips when he was in Ottawa," said Hnidy. "But I've had the opportunity to play with him so I know what he brings to the table."
Hnidy, who is also familiar with Peter Schaefer (also from his time in Ottawa), Marc Savard
(from Atlanta) and Glen Metropolit (Atlanta), explained that he was also very familiar with his new GM, Peter Chiarelli and the strides Boston has made this season.
"Obviously I made my start in Ottawa," he said. "I know what that team brought (to the ice), and the success we had there.
"I think that is a great team there (in Boston) -- but they've had some unfortunate injuries.
"(Chiarelli and the Bruins) want a team that is going to be intense, that comes out ready to play and compete every night," Hnidy said.
As far as his own game goes, Hnidy knows what is needed and what he can bring to the TD Banknorth Garden.
"I have to take care of my own end and be responsible defensively," he said. "I have to finish my hits, play physical and, with the way the game is now, be ready to jump into the play.
"Hopefully, I can provide some offensive spark when needed without compromising myself defensively. In a perfect world I would like to bring all of that."
And, like most new Bruins, the allure of the Black & Gold and the Original Six sends personal anticipation through the roof. Hnidy actually made his NHL debut in Boston and has a strong childhood connection to the Bruins.
"I was a Ray Bourque fan growing up, and Cam Neely, too," said Hnidy. "I think a lot of kids were, just by the way they played the game.
"It's great to come to a hockey town. I am excited to get playing and get on the ice
"Obviously (the goal) is to make the playoffs and go from there, (because) once you get into the playoffs anything can happen," he said.
No stranger of intense play, Hnidy learned about Bruins-level intensity from one of the most intense, and more beloved, of Boston's boys, P.J. Stock.
Shane once fought Stock twice in one evening.
"We had a couple of good battles," said Hnidy with a laugh. "P.J. was a feisty player, and a competitive player, who brought an aggressive style to the ice.
"We were both at that point in our career where (fighting) was part of our game.
"It was just two guys going at it and…it was a couple of good fights," he said.
Just by talking to him on the phone, there's no doubt that there is plenty of fight coming east in the newest member of the Boston Bruins.