For the last five seasons, Daniel Paille has been a member of the Boston Bruins. Since he came over in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres, the thirty year old winger had brought impressive speed and remarkable durability in his role as part of the Merlot Line. Throughout the season, Paille was promoted up to the third line to provide additional speed and assistance to the Bruins special teams.
Daniel Paille, like his fellow Merlot Man Gregory Campbell had a decent season. He put up eighteen points (nine goals) for the Black and Gold, making this season his second best overall performance as a member of the Bruins. If you factor in the games he was out due to concussions and injuries, it’s probably his best year as a Bruin. He led the fourth line with a plus/minus of +9. His speed and skill on special teams helped him big a solid factor in the Bruins penalty kill. “Paille with a breakaway!” became a common sentence uttered by local media due to his ability to kick in the afterburners when needed.
While many people acknowledge Paille’s speed as his greatest asset, I have to disagree with them. In my opinion, Paille’s best skill is his ability to play a clean hockey game. He always plays on an even keel, and compared to his fellow Merlot Men (Campbell and pugilist extraordinaire Shawn Thornton) he’s positively serene. Paille accrued only six minutes in penalties the entire season. Many of his teammates blew past that total in a single game.
Daniel Paille should have no trouble staying with the Boston Bruins. The former first round draft pick will likely see himself moving up a line when the likely disbandment of the Merlot Men occurs at the beginning of next season. Paille’s speed and solid game play should find him on the third line playing wing for the new “How Swede It Is” line, centered by Carl Soderberg. His cap hit is marginal, and he has (in my opinion) exceeded expectations of what his role was to be these last couple of seasons.