BOSTON — He was a helpful piece to the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup championship last season and tonight he faces many of his old Atlanta Thrashers teammates (6 p.m. CT, CBC, TSN 1290).
Bruins’ centre Rich Peverley also has ties to the current Winnipeg Jets. He played in the AHL in Milwaukee for current Jets coach Claude Noel.
"He’s the one who gave me a real opportunity in the American League when I got called up from the ECHL (in 2005)," Peverley said this morning at TD Garden after the Bruins’ game-day skate. "I was really thankful to him for that. He played an important part in my career, helped me out a lot.
"He’s a really smart coach, very passionate about the game and he doesn’t like to lose. He brings a good, winning mentality over there. I congratulated him on getting a chance. I think he deserves it."
Peverley was hounded with questions again today about last February’s trade that saw him dealt for current Jets Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler.
"I was traded in February," Peverley said. "I don’t look back. I’m enjoying my time here.
"I was coming from a team that wasn’t in a playoff spot to a team that had a chance to win it. I was really lucky to be given this opportunity and when you win, it’s the best feeling ever."
An interesting take on the trade was formulated in one question to Peverley this morning, that by being traded, he "dodged a bullet."
"That organization gave me a great opportunity, took me off waivers, and I was able to play with some great players over there," Peverley responded. "It was a big part of my career. There are a lot of guys over there I have great friendships with. It’ll be nice to see them on the ice."
Noel said this morning that he rather liked Peverley as a player, even advised the Columbus Blue Jackets, when he was an assistant coach there in 2008, to put in a waiver claim when Nashville had offered him. Atlanta got him and Noel said he believed there were as many as five claims for Peverley.
"I got him in Milwaukee (in 2005) and from the ECHL, so he’s come a long way," Noel said. "He was really good, showed a lot of skill, same skill set he has now, only he’s matured.
"I’m really happy to see he’s turned into a key player."