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Trevor Daley adjusting to life as a spectator for Stanley Cup Final

PITTSBURGH – Game 7 was tense for every Pittsburgh Penguins player, including those who weren’t involved. 

Trevor Daley was one of those players. He hadn’t watched a game of the series since breaking his ankle in Game 4, but with the season on the line the defenseman was inside the Penguins’ trainer’s room watching his teammates beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Six days earlier, Daley’s season came to an end after a collision with Ryan Callahan along the boards while retrieving a puck.

“I knew it was bad. I was just hoping to get back to the front of the net and I knew that the whistle wasn’t going to be blown until we had the puck,” Daley said during Stanley Cup Final Media Day on Sunday. “I don’t know what I was gonna do, but maybe I was going to help the goalie or something, I don’t know.”

This postseason was only the second time Daley, a veteran of 838 NHL games, had ever advanced beyond the first round. In 2008, his Dallas Stars reached the conference final only to lose to the eventual Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, who beat the Penguins in six games. Watching, rather than playing, won’t be easy for the 32-year-old blue liner.

“You do feel sorry for yourself, but I try to control what I can control and I can’t control this situation,” he said. “I’m going to have to try to make the best of it.”

While the Penguins don’t expect him back, Daley said that he hasn’t ruled himself out of making a surprise return in the series. “That’s keeping me going,” he said.

In the meantime, it won’t just be buckets of popcorn for Daley wherever he decides to watch the series from. He’ll be around, and if needed, he’ll provide feedback to his teammates and coaching staff from what he’s seeing in his position.

“They ain’t gonna keep me away, I’m going to be around,” he joked. “If they tell me I’ve got to stay away I’m going to find a way to get in there.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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