Pardy is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and with the Sabres going in a different, younger direction, the soon to be 29 year old will likely be elsewhere. He knows he’s on display, “Every night you play there’s always somebody watching whether it’s the two teams that are playing or the scouts in the building or somebody’s at home watching it on TV so you just can’t take nights off, but even if you’re in the minors, there’s always somebody watching so there are opportunities here. Even to play a little more ice time and I’ve gotten the opportunity to play minutes and to play PK minutes, four on four situations and overtime situations which is something I haven’t gotten in the last year so it’s definitely helps building a better base to being a player and to get back to being a regular NHL guy.” Pardy’s ice time lately has been way up. Last night he played 22:08. Before that, it was 18:13, 16:12, 16:57, 21:40, 17:56, 16:17 and 18:15.
It’s not easy for any player to constantly be going between the AHL and the NHL. Pardy said now that he knows he’s here, it’s helped him relax and just play, “It does, I can’t lie to you, it’s always tough not knowing if you make one mistake or a bad pass or a bad turnover that you’re probably going to get sent down or taken out of the lineup. It always plays in the back of your mind, but you’ve got to find a way to be prepared enough not to let that affect your game much so when you’re in situations like this where you know you’re definitely going to be in the lineup it makes things calm and a little more comfortable where you can just go out and play your game and when you do make a mistake, you’ve just got to respond to it.”
Pardy had been paired with 21 year old 2010 first round pick Mark Pysyk lately. It’s a pair that never played together in Rochester. Pardy said, “We’ve been pretty good here, we’ve done a lot of talking off the ice, especially before games. Its little things, like making sure we’re making little plays coming out of our zone. Teams forecheck so well these days, it’s hard when you get two guys barreling down on you and you don’t know where to go with the puck, you’ve got a D man that you’ve been talking to that you can just pop the puck over and get the puck out quick and it makes things a little easier.”