Born December 27, 1974 (age 37) in Winchester, Massachusetts, USA
Left wing for the New York Islanders
I wanted to spotlight a guy from Massachusetts and, hey, even better to learn that Pandolfo played for Boston University! Pandolfo grew up in nearby Burlington and began playing hockey in school, playing for the Red Devils (also the mascot of my alma mater). After high school, he enrolled at BU and was taken by the New Jersey Devils 32nd overall in 1993. However, he decided to play college hockey for three more years and became a standout player for the Terriers, even getting the Hockey East Player of the Year in his last season. After college, it took him a little while to really break in with the Devils, but by 1998 he was firmly ensconced in Newark.
This means that Pandolfo was there for both New Jersey cup wins in 2000 and 2003. He decided to help coach a high school team back in Burlington during the lockout. (He also runs a hockey camp with Scott Gomez during the offseason.) Things changed for him following the work stoppage: he was a finalist for the Selke in 2006-07! The Devils had four alternate captains during that season and the one that followed: Pandolfo was one of them. His hat trick against Tampa Bay in a January 2007 game was actually the first one to occur at the Prudential Center. Also in 2007 he had a pretty good iron man streak going of 307 games, but it was broken when he took a pelvic injury (ouch!) from crashing into the boards. He kept going with the Devils, although just before the 2010 free agency period opened up, the team put him on waivers and bought out the rest of his contract.
Perhaps wanting to stay close to where he was already established, he took an invitation to go to the Islanders training camp in September 2011. The team signed him for a year in October and he notched his 100th goal in November. However, at the end of November he broke his foot and rested for all of December, returning at the beginning of January. His veteran presence might be a good thing for a team that’s working out the kinks right now. Plus, there’s this photo, which just so perfectly encapsulates fan-referee relations sometimes, doesn’t it?