BOSTON -- Bruins rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer was a teammate of Max Pacioretty’s at the University of Michigan during the 2007-2008 season. In fact, both players have the same agent, and Kampfer explained after the Bruins’ morning skate on Thursday that he contacted his agent the night of Zdeno Chara's hit to make sure his former teammate was OK.
“Knowing [Pacioretty] and knowing [Chara], I feel bad for both of them because of the whole situation,” Kampfer said. “From what I’ve heard, Max is doing well, better than anticipated, so I’m happy to hear that from him. At the same time, we’re trying to move as an organization here and we’re going to support Z.”
Ironically, Kampfer is currently sidelined with a concussion (the third of his career), and while he’s not comparing his situation to Pacioretty’s, Kampfer is calling it a difficult situation.
“You feel for Z and you feel for Max,” Kampfer said. “It’s a rough situation for everyone. You never want to see anyone get hurt, especially in a hockey game, especially to the severity that happened to Max. I’ve gone through it and I know what it feels like to have an injury like that.”
Kampfer explained that Pacioretty was a good teammate and leader on and off the ice while both played at Michigan.
“He’s a good kid and he means well,” Kampfer said. “He’s a character guy who everyone likes in the locker room. He’s someone who everybody wants to be around. You always, I guess, go out around the town with him. He’s a good-spirited kid. By reading comments that [Montreal players] have made, they feel the same way about him.”
Despite being collegiate teammates, Kampfer and Pacioretty were involved in a scrum during the Feb. 9 game at TD Garden, where both teams combined for 182 minutes in penalties. During that scrum, Chara stepped in to help his teammate.
“We talked about it before the game if we were ever in a situation like that, we’d go,” Kampfer explained. “I didn’t think he would horse-collar me to go. Once [a teammate] sees something like that obviously Z is going to jump in. At the same time, [Pacioretty] is a good player and he’s going to be a great player. Right now we all hope and pray he’s going to get better and slowly but surely he’ll get back on the ice.”