RALEIGH, N.C. — In Daniel Paille’s case, familiarity certainly doesn’t breed contempt.
After his first morning skate as a Ranger Friday, wearing a No. 12 jersey, Paille reeled off a list of current Blueshirts that he knows besides Dan Girardi, a childhood chum from Welland, Ontario.
“I played with Kevin Klein in Guelph (Ontario),” said Paille, 31, a former Bruin who reached an agreement with the Blackhawks to release him from his contract to sign with New York. “I know (Keith) Yandle from Boston, playing in the summers; I’ve seen (Chris) Kreider and (Kevin) Hayes there, too. I played with Dom Moore in Buffalo, I know (Marc) Staal through Dan a little bit, and played with (Rick) Nash on an Under-17 team. It almost feels like I know a majority of this team, so it should be an easy transition.”
The left wing, who played with the Bruins for six seasons, started on the fourth line Friday with Moore and Tanner Glass, and on a penalty-killing duo with Viktor Stalberg. Penalty-killing, which he discussed with coach Alain Vigneault and general manager Jeff Gorton, “is definitely one of my focuses . . . (management) has been pretty clear with me: Carry my speed along, that’s the No. 1 thing,” he said. “And I bring a certain type of grit, take the body. Play the style I play, and need to play.”
Kreider, whose neck remains sore after a collision with Vancouver’s Radim Vrbata in overtime on Wednesday, was scratched, but should be ready to play in Ottawa Sunday, Vigneault said . . . With Paille’s arrival, Jayson Megna was returned to the Hartford Wolf Pack. The right wing played five games, with a goal and an assist in his Rangers debut against Dallas on Jan. 5 . . . D Dylan McIlrath was a healthy scratch for the ninth time in the last 11 games.