Hnidy back in Boston as Jets analyst

BOSTON -- The Sheriff is back in town.

Former Boston Bruins defenseman Shane Hnidy is in the midst of transitioning from professional hockey player to broadcast analyst. He retired after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in June, and then the Winnipeg Jets hired him as their radio color analyst. Since the Bruins host the Jets on Saturday night at TD Garden, Hnidy is back in the building.

"It's great to come back to Boston and see the guys," he said. "I've always said that if you win a Cup you're forever bonded with that city, those guys and it's a real special feeling every time I come back to Boston and see the guys. It's a memory that will last forever.

"I think about it every day because it was a special moment. The opportunity to win, and to end your career on that note was another great moment and it's something I'll cherish."

The Bruins signed the then-35-year-old blueliner as a free agent on Feb. 26 to a one-year contract. Prior to signing with the Bruins he had not played the entire season after suffering a shoulder injury while attending training camp with the Phoenix Coyotes in September 2010.

Last season was his second stint with the Bruins and he played only three games. He played a total of 108 games from 2007 to 2009. He then played 70 games for the Minnesota Wild during the 2009-2010 season.

During his NHL career he also played for the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers and the Anaheim Ducks. But Boston is a special place to play as far as Hnidy is concerned.

"When I put on that jersey it felt right," he said. "When you put on a Bruins jersey you're proud to wear it and there's something special about it. To be able to come back and raise that Cup wearing a Bruins jersey was another moment I'll remember forever and I'll always be a Bruin."

A true leader both on and off the ice, Hnidy said he's becoming comfortable with his new gig as an analyst and hasn't found it difficult to criticize a player during the broadcast.

"I never had a problem doing it as a player," admitted Hnidy. "If a guy makes a mistake, he makes a mistake, so it's just a matter of trying to translate and it's a learning process. I've got some good people teaching me along the way. It's a new career path and like everything else you have to work at it."