After winning two Stanley Cups and amassing 899 regular season and 131 postseason games during 15 NHL seasons, forward Jay Pandolfo told CSNNE.com that he decided to retire.
Pandolfo, 38, will be remembered by most as a hard-worker for the New Jersey Devils. He won that pair of championships and played 13 of his 15 seasons with the Devils.
He played for the New York Islanders in 2011-12 and the Boston Bruins last season. Being along for the ride to one last Stanley Cup Final series proved to be a worthy send-off for Pandolfo, as he told CSNNE.com.
“I was 100 percent satisfied. I knew it was time to call it a career. I didn’t even know it was coming, but to get the opportunity to play that last year with the Bruins was really a bonus,” Pandolfo said. “It was a nice way to go out, but I kind of knew all the time that was going to be it.
“It was definitely fun to be a part of it. It would have obviously been great to win a couple more games, but just to go through that, seeing up close how passionate the fans, and seeing how good the Bruins players really are was a great experience. I really respect the players on that team, and the way that coaching staff and management handles things. They’ve really turned it around in the last six or seven years, and all of the other teams in the league are looking around and trying to match what they do.”
Former Devils and current Bruins head coach Claude Julien felt like John Madden received much of the acclaim for the Devils’ penalty killing during Pandolfo’s heyday, when both actually deserved more of a share.
“I thought he was the most underrated as a player [when he was in New Jersey] as far as what he brought to our team,” Julien said. “Everybody would talk about John Madden killing penalties, but [Pandolfo] was Madden’s partner on the PK. There were a lot of times I saw him being ‘the guy’ on that penalty kill, and making it all work. If you want to be successful at that then you really need to take pride in your job, and that’s something Jay always did.”
Ultimately, Julien praised Pandolfo as a player who “just wanted to win.” He had plenty of success doing just that.