NEW YORK – Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille were good buddies and binge TV partners on road trips during their long tenure as Bruins teammates, so the Bruins center is hoping the former B’s fourth-liner is okay after taking a vicious hit while playing in Europe.
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Paille, 33, is playing this season for Brynas IF in the Swedish Elite League and was matched up against German League powerhouse Mannheim on Monday when he was brutally blindsided by former Colgate University defenseman Thomas Larkin. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Larkin didn’t appear to be making any kind of a play on the puck in the closing minutes, and instead became a human missile aimed at blowing up a vulnerable, unsuspecting Paille without the puck.
Vicious interference in the CHL today as Adler Mannheim's Thomas Larkin laid out Brynäs' forward Daniel Paille with a brutal blindsided hit. pic.twitter.com/d3yDgELIM3— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) November 7, 2017
Paille didn’t move after getting hit and had to eventually be helped off the ice by trainers in the beginning of a Gong Show final couple of minutes in the Champions Hockey League game. Paille had some concussion issues toward the end of his run with the Bruins, so his former teammate and good friend was pretty concerned about him after viewing the video.
“I haven’t heard back from him yet, but I hope that he’s okay. It was really tough to watch seeing him get hit like that, and you just wonder what the thinking was [behind the hit],” said Bergeron, who had his own career almost derailed by a vicious head shot from Randy Jones back in the 2007-08 season. “It was tough to tell from the video whether it was a shoulder or it was all contact to the head, but you hate to see those things either way. I just hope Paill-sy is okay.”
Bergeron said he had texted Paille to see if he was okay but hadn’t heard back as of Tuesday morning following the Bruins morning skate at Madison Square Garden. Obviously, the hope is that the former Merlot Line member is okay and he can get back to a role with his Swedish League team that saw him post 17 goals and 35 points in 65 games last season after failing to hook on with an NHL team.