'Just in Time' isn't just a manufacturing technique, it's how many professional sports figures make a living. Returning from playing for Austria's EC Red Bull Salzburg this season, and off the ice since March 1, 2012, Marty Turco re-enters the NHL far north of his former home of Dallas, Texas.
Marty Turco hasn't played in the NHL since finishing the 2010-2011 season with the Chicago Blackhawks. Now that he's passed waivers, he's been picked up by the Boston Bruins, however, the acquistion is bittersweet, because even should the Bruins make the playoffs, he won't be eligble to play. Turco signed after the trade deadine.
Timing is everything, but it's doubtful Turco is complaining. The 36-year-old Turco signed a one-year contract of $900,000, to finish the remaining 17 regular season games with the Bruins.
"When the deadline came and went, and I was playing in Austria, I assumed, not only my playoff status was done, I assumed I was over with, period," Turco told Joe McDonald at ESPNBoston.com. "I was playing for another team in the middle of the playoffs and that's where my heart and my head where at. Unfortunately, we lost over there. On the bright side, it gave me an opportunity for this to happen. It is crazy how things work out, but I'm the kind of guy who looks forward and not behind."
The Boston Bruins announced Monday, March 5, 2012, that their backup goalie who came up to the NHL in the 2009-2010 season, Tuukka Rask, would be unable to play for 4 to 6 weeks with a lower abdomen/groin strain. This leaves the Bruins with Tim Thomas, while an exceptional goalie with or without his mustache, will need an occasional break while Rask mends and they march their way to the playoffs. Ergo, Marty Turco providing the much-needed backup goalie support, much like the Stars' Richard Bachman relieves Kari Lethtonen.
"We just got him on the ice for the first day and if he's ready to go soon, we'll see him soon," Bruins coach Julien said of Turco. "If he needs a little bit of time, we'll have to give him some time. I'd say, at this point, we have to play it by ear."
With the Stars and the Blackhawks, Turco amassed 538 regular season games with a 273-165-43 and a .910 save percentage with a 2.35 GAA and 41 shutouts.
Wednesday, Marty Turco suited up for practice and at 12:02 pm, Joe McDonald at ESPNBoston.com reported that "Turco'sb lades hit the ice."
Bruin coach Julien said, "...to be able to get a guy like [Turco] is certainly a bonus. We were all happy when noon came around and he was still with us."
Not one to shirk opportunities, Turco work long after regular practice finished Wednesday, making good use of Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa.
How long will it take Turco to get up to NHL speed?
"I really don't think long at all," he said. "It's more of getting back in the flow and the adjustment won't really take much, in terms of speed and shots. As far as the play, the ice is a little smaller and things happen a little quicker and they are better players with the utmost confidence. There's a big reason why they're in the NHL."
Turco is excited to play alongside his collegiate, minor league, and NHL goalie opponent Tim Thomas. He said that's one of the reasons he wanted to sign wtih the Bruins.
"It's pretty exciting," Turco said. "Just think of what he's accomplished and the hurdles he's overcome his whole career. His position, he's at the top of the goalie world in hockey for the work ethic he has and the expectations he has of himself. Those are things, as fellow goalies, you admire most."
While we won't get to see a lot of Turco, assuming Thomas stays healthy while Rask heals, Stars fans are excited to see their old goalie back in the game in the States. It might even give the fans a reason to cheer on the Bruins, to an extent.
The Bruins are (at this writing) first in the Northeast Division, and second in the Eastern Conference under the New York Rangers, while the Stars have scrambled to being first in their Pacific Division and number three under first place St. Louis and second place Vancouver in the Western Conference.
So if things continue as is, we're likely to see the Bruins in the playoffs, sans Turco, but even that can be a good thing. Regular season is almost over and teams are looking at next season as well as the playoffs.
"Act like a winner and things usually take care of themselves," Turco said.
No wonder Canadian hockey personality Don Cherry named Turco: "the smartest goalie in the NHL."
Turcophiles, see "Post-practice Interview: Marty Turco." The newest Bruin, Marty Turco, spoke to the press after he skated with the team for the first practice in Wilmington.
The Dallas Stars play the San Jose Sharks tonight at 7:30 puck drop on FSSW Plus. The pre-game show begins at 7:00. Fans in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can find Fox Sports Southwest Plus on the following channels:
AT&T U-Verse - Ch. 756 (1756 HD)
Charter Cable - Ch. 300
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Time Warner Cable - Ch. 960 (requires digital cable box)
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