VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Shane Hnidy, in town on a tryout basis, completed his first practice at Pacific Coliseum with what he hopes will be his future teammates.
“It was definitely an easy transition to come into this room,” said the well-liked former Bruin. “It’s an incredible group of guys — the guys that have been at it and the guys that are still here. It’s part of the reason why this was a team atop the list for me. Just fortunate to be here.”
Hnidy started the season with Phoenix on a tryout basis. Toward the end of training camp, before he signed a deal, Hnidy suffered a rotator cuff injury. He has been rehabilitating the injury since then in Winnipeg. It could be a month or more before Hnidy is ready for game action.
“We’ll have a look at him over the next couple days and see how he is,” said GM Peter Chiarelli. “We’ll make a decision then.”
The Bruins are in need of bolstering their depth along the blue line, especially after wheeling Mark Stuart to the Thrashers as part of the deal that brought Rich Peverley to Boston.
Hnidy, best known for pummeling Matt Niskanen to a pulp in 2008-09, was a bottom-pairing defenseman, often paired with ex-Bruin Mark Stuart.
If the Bruins deem Hnidy fit to play, he will sign for what most likely will be the league minimum.
“I need to work on my legs,” Hnidy said. “I need to get up to the speed of the game. Everything’s progressed real well so far.
Hnidy, 35, left the Bruins after the ’08-09 season and signed as a free agent with the Wild.
* At the conclusion of practice, Vancouver homeboy Milan Lucic was given an order by Claude Julien. Lucic, skating at his old barn where he played with the Vancouver Giants, was told to take a victory lap. As Lucic made his way slowly around the ice, his teammates slammed their sticks on the ice and chanted, “MVP! MVP!” In 2006-07, Lucic won the Memorial Cup MVP when he helped lead the Giants to the CHL crown. “It was fun,” Lucic said. “It was a good little laugh.” Lucic will be honored on Friday, when his No. 27 will enter the Ring of Honor before the Giants’ game. Lucic will drop the first puck. The first 500 fans also will receive a Milan Lucic bobblehead doll. Upon examination, Lucic acknowledged the doll’s nose was far too small.