Lee Stempniak knows what it takes to play for the Boston Bruins.
The 35-year-old was signed to a professional tryout, but with Boston’s young stars in Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork, it doesn’t seem likely Stempniak will make the squad when the season begins for the Black and Gold on Oct. 3.
However, the forward briefly spent time with the Bruins during the 2015-16 season, so he feels he’s in a good spot with training camp underway.
“I was here a couple of years ago (as a deadline acquisition) and skating with a lot of guys for the last month or so. I know them, I know management and feel pretty comfortable here,” Stempniak said, via the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. “I was on a tryout a few years ago with New Jersey and I know how it works and what to expect. It feels good.”
Despite being sidelined by a clavicle injury last season, Stempniak said he’s good to go and feels healthy.
“It’s probably the best I’ve felt in three or four years. I want to come out and prove that I’m healthy and that I can contribute,” he said.
And although Boston is stacked with young talent, Stempniak believes his versatility would make him a good fit for the B’s on the ice. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to play for a Stanley Cup contender.
“I saw how the Bruins were last year. They’re great team and that’s what makes it appealing to come here, to try and be on a team that’s capable of winning a Stanley Cup,” Stempniak said. “I think I’m a versatile player that can fill a lot of different roles and can contribute in a lot of different ways.”
The 12-year-veteran said he’s just “looking for the right opportunity” to showcase he’s still got some gas left in the tank. While there’s no guarantee on Stempniak’s future with the Bruins, it certainly sounds like he’s willing to give it his all to try to earn his roster spot.
Thumbnail photo via James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports Images