Even after 15 seasons and over 1000 games as a pro Trent Whitfield’s passion for the game still burns bright.

“I want to keep playing until they tell me I can’t. As long as they say they want me to play I’m going to play” he said on Thursday morning after a workout with Toby O’Brien’s Ocean State Hockey at the Rhode Island Sports Center in North Smithfield.

Ten days after signing a one-year contract with Bolzano HC the 36-year-old Whitfield flew to Italy on Sunday night to launch the next chapter in his career. His family — wife Colleen and children Colton and Alstyn — will join him later.

Whitfield who was not re-signed by the Bruins after four seasons with Providence is excited about continuing his career in Europe.
“It’s a new opportunity a new adventure to go over there and play a different style of hockey” he said.

Whitfield Providence’s captain was hampered by injuries while with the Bruins and was limited to 45 50 and 48 games during the last three regular seasons.

The season is considerably shorter in the European pro leagues and there are no three-games-in-three-nights weekends. “Hopefully it’s a little easier on the body” he said.

Whitfield enjoyed his time in the Bruins organization. Accompanying Boston as an extra player during the Stanley Cup run in 2011 was a highlight. “That was a lot of fun in a lot of different ways” he said.

“Boston was really good to me. We had some ups and downs (in Providence). Last year obviously we had a great season and it was a little disappointing in the playoffs. We’ve got a great group of young guys here. I look forward to seeing how they do this year. Some of the younger guys are going to have to step up in different roles. I think they’ve got the group to do it” he said.