Greg Zanon Hopes to Find Success with Bruins, Even If He Can’t Find His Way Around Boston

Greg Zanon Hopes to Find Success with Bruins, Even If He Can't Find His Way Around BostonWILMINGTON, Mass. — Greg Zanon knows his way around the defensive zone.

Finding his way in a new city is another matter.

The physical blueliner arrived in Boston on Tuesday after being acquired from Minnesota just before Monday's trade deadline, but a stroll through the North End's winding streets nearly had the Bruins needing to search for another defenseman.

"I was on Hanover [Street] and I started walking around and had lunch," Zanon said after his first practice with his new club on Wednesday. "And I was like, 'Oh, let's go down this street' rather than just retracing my steps and ended up — I have no idea, just some side street. There's that rink [Steriti Memorial Rink] down there and I remembered passing it when I went to the hotel, so I was able to find my way back."

Zanon has spent his entire career in the Western Conference with Nashville and Minnesota, playing in Boston just twice in six seasons in the NHL. So his lack of familiarity with his new surroundings is understandable.

"I think twice, once with Nashville and once with Minnesota," Zanon said of the games he's played in Boston. "So I'm not really familiar with the Garden, but I think now I've played in every Eastern Conference building, so that's a positive. At least I know somewhat about the buildings."

Now if he could just get those winding streets down. As Zanon sees it, that's much harder than getting used to new teammates and playing a new system.

"I think that was the thing that scared me the most, the city," Zanon said. "I've played pretty much my whole career in the Midwest, where it's a little more open, not so cramped. I went on a walk yesterday for an hour and got lost. I was able to find my bearings and figure out where the hotel was, but …

"Coming into a team and stuff like that, I don't think it's hard," Zanon continued. "I've done it enough. You switch teams, not that I've been traded before, but in juniors and stuff like that. When you're in the room, everyone's a family. Everyone's easy to get along with. The city will take care of itself."

Zanon will have some help if he needs it. He's already familiar with a number of his new teammates, having played with Benoit Pouliot in Minnesota and Rich Peverley in Nashville and the Predators' AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. He also attended Ottawa camps with Chris Kelly and Zdeno Chara after being drafted by the Senators and has skated in the offseason with Milan Lucic in Vancouver.

"Obviously guys will help me out," Zanon said, noting the hotel he's staying at is near where Chara and Peverley live. "I know Peverley real well from our Milwaukee days and Nashville days. He'll show me around, and I'm a little bit of a wanderer. I'm not afraid to go out and see what's out there and find my own things. Obviously you don't want to just lay in your bed all day in the hotel, so you get a chance to take a walk is good. But I haven't obviously spent time in this city, but we'll figure it out."

Zanon's excursion added a little excitement to his first day in town, and the North End did evoke some memories of a place he hasn't actually visited.

"My parents went to Italy two years ago and I've seen a bunch of pictures," Zanon said. "And I'm like, 'Oh my god, this is exactly the same.' You're looking down and there's holes in the building and I'm like, 'Oh boy, I don't know where I am now.' But it's nice, everybody is really friendly. I had a nice little walk."

And despite getting lost on his first try, Zanon has no plans to stop exploring his new surroundings.

"That's just the way you find your way around the city," Zanon said. "You get lost and find your way back."

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