Marty Turco’s Wild First Day with Bruins Includes Sweating Out Waiver Deadline, Practicing Within Minutes of Going Unclaimed

Marty Turco's Wild First Day with Bruins Includes Sweating Out Waiver Deadline, Practicing Within Minutes of Going UnclaimedWILMINGTON, Mass. – Marty Turco has seen a lot in 14 professional seasons.

He began playing in a league that doesn't even exist anymore, skating for the Michigan K-Wings of the now-defunct International Hockey League and most recently was biding his time with EC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria.

Maybe it was that kind of experience that allowed Turco to take the unique circumstances of his first day with the Bruins in stride on Wednesday.

Turco was signed Monday after the Bruins lost goalie Tuukka Rask to an abdominal/groin injury for 4-6 weeks. With Anton Khudobin, their top option in Providence, also sidelined with a wrist injury, the Bruins had to get creative in finding someone to help ease the burden on Tim Thomas, and reached a deal with Turco to bring the veteran back to North America.

But Turco had to clear waivers before he could join the Bruins. He would not be eligible to play for another team if claimed, but any of Boston's rivals could put in a claim to block Turco from playing with the Bruins and keep the team scrambling to fill the void in net.

The waiver period ended at noon on Wednesday, the exact same time the Bruins were scheduled to take the ice for practice at Ristuccia Arena. So Turco donned his pads and a uniform he knew he may not ever get to wear officially, and patiently waited to see if he could actually join the Bruins on the ice.

"It's just another chapter in the book," Turco said. "You get dressed, prepare to practice, but you do have to adhere to the rules and wait for the nod. So you sit there in the bullpen. It felt like I was 15 years old again waiting to practice with the big boys."

Turco, who actually turned 36 last August, eventually got the go-ahead, with Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli delivering the good news that Turco had gone unclaimed and was clear to begin his stint as a Bruin.

"It was even a better feeling when I got the thumbs up from Pete," Turco said. "So I got out there with some excitement in the blood."

Bruins coach Claude Julien shared in the excitement, happy to have another experienced option in goal once again.

"We wanted him here and he wanted to be here, so you hope it was going to work out," Julien said. "To be able to get a guy like him is certainly a bonus, so I think we were all happy once noon came around and he was still with us."

Turco took the ice looking a little strange with a red mask and light brown pads clashing with his black and white Bruins practice jersey, but some mismatched equipment was nothing compared to the surreal experience of waiting in full gear to learn if another team would claim him not to play and dash his hopes of an NHL comeback.

"It is crazy how things work out," Turco said. "But I'm kind of the guy who looks forward, not behind. As appreciative as I am, in my eyes the work is just beginning."

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

Photo via Facebook/Marty Turco

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