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Multi-impact signing: Growlers add NHL experience, another Newfoundlander and potential captain in Adam Pardy

File photo Milwaukee Admirals — Adam Pardy spent most of ther 2016-17 American Hockey League season with the AHL’s Milkwaukee Admirals, the farm team of the NHL’s Nashville Predators. After becoming a free agent in the summer, the 33-year-old Pardy didn’t play during the first part of the current season, but has signed a contract with Frolunda in Sweden’s top league.
In this file photo from the 201617 AHL season, Adam Pardy (6) is shown playing with the Milkwaukee Admirals, the farm team of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, in a game against the Chicago Wolves. The 34-year-old Bonavista native has signed a contract with the ECHL's Newfoundland Growlers. - Milwaukee Admirals photo/Jeffrey Hanisch

Defenceman and Bonavista native has appeared in 350 big-league games

Given how much we Newfoundlanders make of our own, a great deal will be made of the Bonavista birth certificate of the Newfoundland Growlers’ latest signing.
However, it’s the hockey history of the Growlers’ new acquisition that might be the most telling part of this story.
The ECHL team announced this afternoon that they’ve come to terms with defenceman Adam Pardy, the 34-year-old Bonavista native and former NHLer.
It’s not exactly unknown for veteran players to appear in the ECHL, but 34-year-olds are not that common. For example, of the 45 players who suited up in 2017-18 for the Orlando Solar Bears, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ ECHL affiliate before an off-season move to the expansion Growlers, only three were 30 or older, and only one —31-year-old rearguard Sean Zimmerman — appeared in more than half of Orlando’s games.
However, players with as much National Hockey League experience as Pardy are extremely rare in the ECHL. He’s played in 350 big-league games with the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators, his most recent NHL appearances coming in four games with Nashville in 2016-17.
That Pardy is signing on to play in the ECHL, where the average salary for players is about US$650 a week (details of his Growlers contract have not been released), is probably a good indication of a) his desire to finish out his career at home; he maintains a residence in St. John’s and b) his hopes to transition into some sort of post-playing role in hockey.
The announcement of Pardy’s signing doesn’t mention him taking on any official player/coaching role, but he certainly will be doing so in an unofficial capacity. And it’s a pretty good bet the well-spoken blueliner will be the Growlers’ first captain.
The 6-4, 225-pound Pardy has played in the ECHL before, but that was back in 2005-06, his rookie pro season, when he saw action in 41 games with the now-defunct Las Vegas Wranglers.
Since then, in addition to his NHL experience (which saw him register four goals and 48 assists overall), Pardy also played in 214 AHL games and 11 with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League. The Swedish stint came during the second half of last season.
Pardy is the fifth player signed directly by the Growlers, and the third Newfoundlander, joining a sub-set that also includes defenceman James Melindy and forward Marcus Power, both of St. John’s.
There are just three weeks until the start of the Growlers’ training camp, and with ECHL teams having 20-player rosters, it might seem as if the team has a lot of work to do between now and then. However, the vast majority of theNewfoundland  lineup will be supplied in trickle-down fashion by players signed to contracts by the Maple Leafs or Marlies, Toronto’s AHL farm team.

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