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Nick Bonino healthy for Game 1, recalls odd Sharks past

PITTSBURGH – Nick Bonino used to be a member of the San Jose Sharks. 

Well, “member” might be pushing it. Perhaps “property” is more appropriate, as Bonino was drafted on the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 173rd overall, while attending Boston University.

“It was cool to be drafted. I thank them for drafting me. But I only went to one or two of their development camps. Good organization,” said Bonino, who is over his Game 7 leg injury and ready to draw in for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.

Bonino was traded by the Sharks to the Anaheim Ducks on March 4, 2009, in a package for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins.

“I was in school. In a class. I couldn’t really concentrate because I heard I was going to be traded,” he said. "So I went to a 3 p.m. practice and I hadn’t been traded yet. And then when I got back to the room, I had a bunch of calls and texts.”

Fast forward seven years later, and Bonino is facing the Sharks for the Cup.

“They’re a physical team. When you play out West, you have to be,” said Bonino, who had played in the Western Conference with Anaheim and Vancouver before heading East.

Bonino, part of the fabled HBK Line with Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, said puck possession will be key in the Final.

“We got burned against Tampa a lot,” said Bonino. “They have so many skilled guys on the Sharks, that if we turn the puck over they’re going to hurt us.”

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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