The Boston Bruins have just one hole to fill during the upcoming training camp. That spot is on the third line, next to Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg. There's been speculation this offseason as to who might fill that void. Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight, and Jordan Caron seem to be the popular choices to win the spot.
But now Daniel Paille has thrown his hat into the competition.
"I want to continue the trend that I had last year and build off that," Paille said. "If an opportunity comes up where I'm able to take advantage of the situation where I could play on that third line spot, I definitely will. I'm not quite sure what the circumstances will be at this point. I'm not going to go in there with too many expectations. I'm going to go into training camp and see what the position will be. I definitely have no problem with Thorty (Shawn Thornton) and Soupy (Gregory Campbell) because we've done very well in the past."
Paille definitely has a shot at playing on the third line this season. He's always had an offensive touch, albeit inconsistently, and his speed could really do some damage playing with Kelly and Soderberg. He scored 10 goals and 17 points during the regular season and could score more with more offensively talented players.
He showed that he can play on the third line when he played with Tyler Seguin and Kelly during the Stanley Cup Finals. Paille finished the postseason with four goals and nine points, including the game-winning goal in Game 2 of the finals.
The downside of elevating Paille to the third line is it would break up arguably the best fourth line in the league. Since being put together, Paille, Campbell, and Thornton have consistently brought energy and some offense to the ice. They rarely have a bad shift and their value was seen when Campbell went out with a broken leg during the playoffs last season.
It will be interesting to watch the competition during camp to see who can win that spot on the third line.
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