De­fence­man Pardy a bub­ble boy

Con­stantly on verge of be­ing sent down

SundayXtra - - JETS TRAINING CAMP REPORT - By Paul Wiecek

Some­thing’s got to give in the next cou­ple weeks on a Win­nipeg Jets team that has nine de­fence­men on one-way NHL con­tracts, plus Ja­cob Trouba and, oh yeah, don’t for­get Josh Mor­ris­sey.

Adam Pardy is hop­ing the thing that gives isn’t him.

Pardy played a huge role in the Jets’ run to the play­offs last sea­son, step­ping into the lineup when a litany of in­juries dec­i­mated the team’s blue-line and prov­ing in his own quiet and work­man­like way he could play a valu­able role.

But Pardy has also been around long enough he knows no one gets to rest on their lau­rels in a league that is all about “What have you done for me lately?”

So what’s it like to go to work ev­ery sin­gle day won­der­ing if it might be your last?

“You learn go­ing through years of be­ing in dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions and sit­u­a­tions that you never take any­thing for granted. Things can change in a heart­beat in this league. And you have to be at your best all the time,” Pardy said Satur­day fol­low­ing prac­tice at the MTS Cen­tre.

“Usu­ally, what you’ve done in pre­vi­ous years doesn’t help you a whole lot when you’re com­pet­ing for a job. You think that it should give you a lit­tle lee­way. Ob­vi­ously, they know what type of guy I am and what I bring and things I can add through­out the course of a sea­son.

“But it’s still a chal­lenge,” Pardy con­tin­ued. “There’s a lot of pres­sure liv­ing this life and car­ry­ing on as a — let’s call it what it is — a bub­ble guy. You’re in and out of the lineup all the time and it’s very up and down in that sense. You don’t know which day you’re go­ing to be in a game. And then you don’t know if you’re go­ing to play well enough to stay and play in another game.

“It’s a lot of un­knowns and that can be tough to deal with men­tally. That day-to-day grind of not know­ing what to pre­dict and not know­ing if you’re go­ing to be in the lineup can be stress­ful. But it’s some­thing you learn to deal with over the years, just with ex­pe­ri­ence. You get a bit of wis­dom that way. You don’t let it get to you. You try to fo­cus on the things you do well and stay pos­i­tive — come to the rink with a smile and just be happy and en­joy it and em­brace the chal­lenge and the pres­sure.”

Com­pound­ing Pardy’s chal­lenges is he is also still re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing af­ter off­sea­son shoul­der surgery.

Jets head coach Paul Mau­rice says he knows and un­der­stands the sit­u­a­tion — and he hasn’t for­got­ten what Pardy did for the Jets last sea­son.

“(The surgery) prob­a­bly af­fects where he is with us right now more than any­thing,” said Mau­rice, “be­cause it’s a hard re­hab. So his game is not where it was at the end of the year.

“But I be­lieve in him as a player and I’ve seen what he can do. So we’ll have some pa­tience with that. But we have nine guys who played in the NHL last year and we can’t fit them all in. When our ros­ter comes down to 23, we’re go­ing to have to make a de­ci­sion.

“And what’s go­ing to make the de­ci­sion re­ally tough is the guys we’re go­ing to have to make a de­ci­sion on had a re­ally big im­pact (last year) — not just play­ing a bit part, they car­ried the mail...

“But the num­bers say you can’t carry nine D. It’s go­ing to make it tough.” [email protected]­ress.mb.ca

Twit­ter: @PaulWiecek

TREVOR HA­GAN / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Blue-liner Adam Pardy tries to deke Eric Com­rie dur­ing prac­tice.

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