Ian Clark's On Hockey: Ex-Bruin Bodnarchuk fits in with Monarchs
A fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2006, Bodnarchuk spent the past four seasons in Providence before signing a one-year contract with Los Angeles this offseason.
';Once you start the hockey process, as far as being in the dressing room and being around the guys, you click pretty quick,'; Bodnarchuk said. ';It';s funny with hockey players how quickly you mingle into the group. It';s nice. It looks like a nice city and it feels like a nice fit so far.';
Bodnarchuk played 270 games with the P-Bruins (and five with Boston), scoring 12 goals and 58 assists while playing solid defense in his own end.
';I think our forwards would tell you he';s a really tough guy to play against,'; said Monarchs defenseman Thomas Hickey. ';He moves the puck well, he';s a good defender and we';re learning he';s a really good teammate, too. He';s going to be a huge addition for us.';
On a Monarchs team stacked with veteran defenders such as Hickey, Andrew Campbell and David Kolomatis, Bodnarchuk is expected to fit right in.
';He plays a steady, strong, sure-handed game. He seems to have a good understanding of how to defend and outlet pucks,'; said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. ';He';s a welcome addition on the blue line for sure.';
Bodnarchuk would have obviously preferred to see more action in the NHL, but has no regrets about his time in the Boston organization.
';It didn';t work out the way I would want it to as far as the opportunities I got up top but I have nothing but good things to say about the organization and the people there,'; Bodnarchuk said. ';That';s the team that drafted me so I went through countless camps and four years of playing pro and everyone I worked with along the way treated me great.';
Bodnarchuk will open the season against his former team on Friday at 7:05 in Providence.
';I kind of joked about it. The weirdness of it is going to be over once the puck drops,'; Bodnarchuk said. ';It';s going to be weird coming in the visitors'; door and staying in the visitors'; locker room and maybe the first time I get seated on that visitors'; bench but it';s kind of funny it worked out that way. But I';m really excited.';
- - - - - - - - -
THE MONARCHS released defenseman Mike Matczak from his tryout agreement on Tuesday. Matczak was the eighth blue-liner on the roster and most teams will carry seven (with six suiting up on game night).
Other transactions are likely before Friday';s opener, especially at goaltender where Manchester must decide whether to keep rookie J.F. Berube as Martin Jones'; backup or send him to Ontario of the ECHL where he will get more playing time. Veteran Peter Mannino is the third goalie on the roster.
- - - - - - - -
Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.