Daniel Paille

Bruins happy to see Daniel Paille sign with Rangers

DJ Bean
January 22, 2016 - 8:29 am
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WILMINGTON -- Patrice Bergeron spent this past summer skating with Daniel Paille. He spent the previous six seasons with Paille as his teammate. At the end of the summer, Bergeron went to Bruins training camp as usual, while Paille'€™s routine changed rather drastically. Unsigned over the summer as a free agent, the 31-year-old Paille went to the Blackhawks'€™ training camp, where he was cut before eventually signing an AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago'€™s minor-league squad. Thirty-one AHL games and a Spengler Cup appearance with Team Canada later, Paille finally returned to the NHL this week when he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Rangers worth $575,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL. "I'€™ll be honest. I'€™m surprised that it took so long, but I'€™m happy," Bergeron said Friday. "He was in Rockford for most of the time, he went to the Spengler Cup and did well there and won. I'€™m happy for him. Hopefully he gets a good shot at it and he can show what he can do." Paille'€™s inability to find work was a product of teams opting to give chances to players on entry-level deals rather than signing veterans, even if the veterans'€™ immediate impact might have been higher. Other players who spent the summer unsigned included Lee Stempniak, David Schlemko and Marek Zidlicky. It'€™s a trend that might hurt current Bruins Chris Kelly and Max Talbot once their contracts expire at season'€™s end. "To me, it seems like the cap situation for most of the teams and the fact that they want to see their young players and see how they react to the league kind of pushed the older guys away a little bit, and it was unfortunate," Bergeron said. "It was definitely the worst I'€™ve seen in the summer, with older guys not getting jobs and stuff like that." Paille is best-known in Boston for rounding out the Bruins'€™ Merlot Line in their Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 season after Brad Marchand moved up to Patrice Bergeron'€™s line. He also scored in overtime of Game 2 of the 2013 Cup Final to tie the series in Chicago. "He brought us some good years," Claude Julien said. "He was part of that Stanley Cup run that we had, so absolutely. When you see a player like that get an opportunity somewhere, you'€™re happy for him." After scoring 10 goals as a fourth-liner and penalty killer in the aforementioned lockout-shortened 2013 season, the performance of both Paille and the Bruins'€™ fourth line trended downward. The Bruins notified Paille at the end of last season, which saw him spend time as a healthy scratch, that they would not be retaining him. Despite how long it took to get back to the NHL, Paille is still and NHL caliber player in Bergeron'€™s eyes. "I skated with him all summer, or most of the summer anyways, and he still looks like the Piesy we all know," Bergeron said. "He skates well and is very good on the penalty kill. He'€™s a smart player, so I'€™m sure he can still do the job."

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