Andrew Bodnarchuk appears primed to join Zach Hamill as the P-Bruins’ only returning holdovers from newly-elevated head coach Bruce Cassidy’s first day as Rob Murray’s assistant in 2008-09.
As such, Bodnarchuk will add on to that unique group of 22 players who have seen substantial action with the P-Bruins in four consecutive regular seasons. And if he has enough iron, he should easily surpass Zdenek Kutlak as the franchise’s all-time games-played leader among defensemen.
· Career-best 15 assists and 16 points on the year.
· Assisted on two of team’s four goals in a Feb. 25 road win over Abbotsford.
· Was on the ice for four of the team’s six goals, including each of the first three, in a 6-2 home win over Bridgeport Nov. 5.
· Plus/minus reached a season-worst minus-20 during a 7-0 road loss to Portland Feb. 16.
· Went through his first 73 games of the season without scoring a goal.
· Was on the ice for five opposing goals, including a shorthanded strike, in an 8-2 loss at Springfield Feb. 12.
Only one defenseman in Cassidy’s dressing room has ever entered the same room and pulled on the Spoked-P for a Calder Cup playoff game.
The fact that Bodnarchuk has the distinction of living through all of the lows of the last two years as well as the highs of a run to the 2009 Eastern Conference finals just might have factored into his recent one-year contract extension.
He should use that familiarity wisely and step it up in the coming year. With his repertoire and this lineup, Bodnarchuk personifies the P-Bruins’ state of having a lot to lose as they try to get back above the AHL’s playoff poverty line.