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BLOG: Pardy ready to take on former team

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers

Adam Pardy has a bit of a chip on his shoulder when it comes to his former team, the Winnipeg Jets.

The 31-year-old enjoyed a couple of pretty successful seasons with the Jets, playing 60 games with six assists and a +4 rating in 2013-14, and following that up with nine assists and a +9 rating in 55 games last season, also appearing in two of Winnipeg’s playoff games against the Anaheim Ducks.

Pardy had high hopes of continuing to be a semi-regular on the blueline this season, but he was called upon for just 14 games before the Jets placed him on waivers on Sunday. The Oilers claimed the Bonavista, Nfld., native on Monday, immediately slotting him into the lineup Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

It’s not often a player gets to face his former team so soon after being let go, but Pardy will get that chance tomorrow when the Oilers visit the Jets to conclude their four-game road trip. He was asked on Friday how bad he’d like to put forth a strong personal performance and contribute to an Oilers victory.

“Really bad… really bad,” Pardy said. “It was a tough year, personally, for me with the way things went there.”

He admitted he’d be a bit leery facing his former team immediately after starting a new chapter, but he’s already found a groove with the Oilers. Pardy has played 20-plus minutes in all three games, chipping in with a pair of assists and posting a solid +3 rating during Edmonton’s 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

“It’s going to be a treat,” he said of facing Winnipeg. “I’m glad I get a chance to play them in my first week, especially getting a few games under my belt and getting comfortable here with the system, the players and the coaches. I’m excited for Sunday. I can’t wait to go out there.”

At 6-foot-4 and 227 pounds, physicality is a major aspect of Pardy’s game. He said it’ll be a bit odd attempting to force his will upon his former teammates, but that’s not to say he won’t enjoy it.

“It’s going to be a little bit weird,” he said. “You’ve been friends with these guys for three years, so it’s going to be a little tougher to try to hammer some of these guys. But it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be fun at the same time.”

As for his first impressions of his new team, Pardy can see the Oilers potential.

“I like this team,” he said. “We’ve got a good mix here. A lot of young guys, still a lot of things to learn… There’s no doubt there’s a lot of goal-scoring ability that’ll be here going forward for a long time. It’s just a matter of taking care of the defensive side of things and letting those guys play offence.”

Pardy will be one of those players tasked with taking care of the team’s defence for the rest of the season. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and he’s hoping he can make good on his audition over the next month.

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