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Bruins invite veteran Teddy Purcell to camp on PTO

Ty Anderson
September 14, 2017 - 2:36 pm

Veteran forward Teddy Purcell, invited to Bruins training camp on a professional tryout, has his share of his connections to New England.

A one-year standout at the University of Maine, developed with the Manchester Monarchs (the then-AHL affiliate of the Kings) from 2007 to 2009, and a rival of the Bruins during his five-season run with the Lightning and a near point-per-game player in an 18-game playoff run that the Bruins ended in Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, Purcell clearly knows the area, and knows it well. But none of those connections directly link him back to the Bruins.

In fact, his lone connection to the region's lone NHL team (rest in peace, Whalers and your weird mall arena) was actually developed earlier this week when he successfully got Torey Krug’s cell phone number from ex-Bruin Milan Lucic.

So, why Boston?

"Just from looking at the roster, and kind of the right side and kind of wherever they wanna put me, I felt comfortable here,” Purcell, who had camp invites from other NHL teams and contract offers from some of the European leagues, said. “And you sometimes you just have to go with your gut, and that’s what I did.”

A 32-year-old that’s bounced between the Oilers, Panthers, and Kings over the last two seasons, Purcell clearly believes that he can provide the boost needed in the event that the Bruins’ rookies fail to grab the countless NHL roster spots in front of them.

“I didn’t know I was coming here until a couple of days ago, and as an older guy you don’t really know a whole lot about the younger guys coming up,” Purcell noted. “But from what I’ve heard, there’s a lot of good players there, and they’re going to be hungry coming in for spots, and management probably knows them better than they know me.

"But as an older guy, you just gotta come in with confidence," he continued. "I’ve played on teams where I’ve played with a lot of good players, I’ve played up and down the lineup, and there’s a lot of good players here. It’s not going to be too new.”

A point-per-game presence in the minors last season (10 goals and 38 points in 38 AHL games for the Ontario Reign), but limited to just 12 NHL games a season ago, Purcell had some obvious regrets regarding his decision to return to the Kings, and also touched on a downward trend that’s found it difficult for him to stick with a team despite scoring 14 goals and 45 points in 88 NHL games over the last two seasons.

“There’s a lot of things you can blame, but you just want to be better yourself as a player,” Purcell admitted. “You can always say you can work harder or hindsight and make different decisions for where you sign, but when it comes down to it, you just gotta be better as a player.”

Five years removed from his best days as a 24-goal, 61-point scorer with the Lightning, Purcell certainly has his work cut out for him competing against Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn, Danton Heinen, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson just to name a few, but remains confident that he can be more than a warm body to push kids harder through training camp, and knows his game can fit what the B’s need if given the chance.

Concluded Purcell: “I know [the Bruins] have needed some depth and they’re looking for younger guys to step up and fill that role, but I just felt confident in myself that if I come in and play my game, they’ll wanna keep me around.”

Purcell is now the fourth NHL veteran invited to camp on a tryout during Don Sweeney’s tenure as general manager, and the B’s have either signed or attempted to sign all three of the prior camp invites, beginning with Jonas Gustavsson in 2015 and Peter Mueller (signed to an AHL deal) and Christian Ehrhoff (offered an NHL contract but declined) last fall.

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