Turco clears waivers, joins Bruins, attends practice

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Turns out Peter Chiarelli’s concerns were for nothing.

A day after saying his team’s odds of landing Marty Turco were 50/50, Chiarelli learned Turco cleared waivers and became a Boston Bruin.

The news, first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, probably elicited a huge sigh of relief within the Bruins organization. Backup netminder Tuukka Rask is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a groin/abdomen injury and with starter Tim Thomas nearing his 38th birthday, a capable replacement was in high demand.

The Bruins had been rolling with AHL Providence call-up Michael Hutchinson, but he’s only 22 years old with no NHL experience to speak of, splitting the last two years between Providence and ECHL Reading.

Turco, 36, does bring a wealth of experience…but also a fair bit of rust. His 2011-12 campaign consists of 10 appearances for Salzburg EC of the Austrian League, and we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of his last NHL contest (Mar. 17, 2011 — a relief appearance in a 5-0 loss to Dallas.)

While other teams were given the opportunity to claim Turco, he wouldn’t have been eligible to play with any team other than Boston. Ergo, it was no surprise he cleared waivers or that he was on the ice for Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena today, according to Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog.

(Note: Because he joined the Bruins after the trade deadline, Turco is ineligible to participate in the playoffs.)