BOSTON (CBS) – Everyone here in Boston is ripping the trade of the Bruins for Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros, but Toucher & Rich got the Philadelphia perspective from someone who covered him for four years.
Tim Panaccio works for CSNPhilly and is “A better man’s Joe Haggerty” according to Fred Toucher.
Panaccio hopped on with T&R Friday morning to discuss the acquisition and gave Bruins fans a glimpse of what they can expect from the 28-year-old blueliner.
“You’re getting a player that’s pretty inspired to prove a lot of people wrong,” said Panaccio. “I’ve actually felt that he’s played much better this season. This is his first healthy year he’s had in three seasons, but he’s still had that inconsistency to his play which is why he was in and out of the lineup. To him, the irony was that, ‘Hey I’ve been healthy. There’s no legitimate reason why I’m not playing every night.'”
The Slovak, who was not in the lineup Thursday night after being traded here, will perhaps get to play alongside countryman Zdeno Chara, which Panaccio predicts will help his game.
“I think Chara is going to make him a better player. I think he’s going to watch Chara and say, ‘Look at what this guy’s doing. I gotta live up to that.'”
Panaccio notes that Meszaros fell out of favor with Flyers coach Craig Berube and lost playing time because he wasn’t playing the way a 6’ 2″ 220 pound defenseman should play.
Despite his falling out with Berube, he didn’t complain once and has always been a “tremendous, easygoing guy” according to Panaccio.
When asked how much playing time Meszaros will see on this Bruins team, the Flyers insider said more than what Bruins fans may be thinking.
“I look at your roster and you’re down to three really experienced veteran defensemen. I think you’re looking at [Meszaros] playing more than 20 minutes a night – you’re going to have to if you want to rely on somebody that’s been around, has played in the playoffs, knows what it’s like to go deep in the playoffs and play in the Stanley Cup Finals.
“I think he’s going to perform a lot better in Boston than he was in Philadelphia. People forget that this is a guy who won the Barry Ashbee Trophy (awarded each season to the best defenseman for the Flyers) when he first got here and then he just had a series of terrible injuries, one of which I thought his career was done.”
Meszaros, who will be a free agent at season’s end, is not only motivated to prove people wrong, but to also get that next contract. And as we know, money can be a powerful motivator.
Listen below for the full interview: