Greg Zanon and Peter Chiarelli had crossed paths before.
Chiarelli was with Ottawa in 2000 when the Senators drafted Zanon, a left-shot defenseman, in the fifth round of the NHL Draft.
But Zanon chose college instead. It was not until Monday, with the Bruins in need of depth on defense for the postseason push, that Chiarelli and Zanon finally became a team.
The Bruins acquired Zanon from Minnesota for Steve Kampfer. Zanon will make his Bruins debut tonight against the Devils at TD Garden.
“I seen a lot of him,” Chiarelli said. “I saw him when he was in Nebraska- Omaha, I saw him, of course, when he was in Ottawa for summer development camps and I’ve been following him ever since. You look back and I can recall we were off a little bit on the signing bonus and we decided to walk [away], and he probably said, ‘Screw you,’ and he’s had a good career, so I give him credit. He’s a gritty guy.”
Zanon shows that grit with his propensity for shot-blocking, an attribute the Bruins coveted.
“Just being myself, playing physical, trying to move the puck as quick as I can,” Zanon said of his style. “You know, solid on the [penalty kill], doing whatever I can to prevent the puck from going in our net. I’ll do anything to try to prevent a goal and just do anything that the team needs me to do. You know, obviously, they’ll let me know what my role is going to be when I get there, but the only thing I can do is come and just play the way I’ve played my whole career and hopefully it takes care of itself.”
Although not an offensive force, Zanon joins the team during a bit of a scoring crisis. The Bruins were shut out for the fifth time in the month of February on Tuesday night.
“Obviously, I haven’t been here, but it’s been .500 hockey right now and [head coach Claude Julien] wants to get this thing going,” Zanon said. “We just have to put our best foot forward to give it everything we got these last 21 games.”