Noel Acciari is on his way to the Sunshine State after spending much of his hockey career in New England.
Acciari played at Providence College before signing with Boston prior to the 2015-16 season. He spent three years with the Black and Gold, and proved to be a force during his team’s Stanley Cup run that ended in heartbreaking fashion with a Game 7 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
But despite being one win away from Lord Stanley, Acciari agreed to sign a three-year deal with the Florida Panthers on Monday. The 27-year-old joined NHL Network to explain his decision, calling it “tough” to leave behind his teammates of the past three seasons.
“We had some options,” he said. “But I thought for myself personally, going down to Florida, seeing what they had planned and who they were bringing in, wanting to bring in, they had me as a good fit and I felt like I made the right choice.
… “(The) Boston organization was nothing but great to me and my family and I want to thank them for everything they’ve done for me. And it was tough parting with those guys. We were a family up here. But for me and my family we felt the next opportunity presented itself and to be part of a great organization and be able to build a winning team down there made us excited and we wanted to be a part of it.”
Acciari and the Panthers won’t have to wait too long go head-to-head, as the B’s will welcome Florida to TD Garden on Nov. 12.