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Chiarelli maintains Segiun and Hall are neck-and-neck

06.04.10 at 3:38 pm ET
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What you’re about to read may come as earth-shattering news, so you might want to sit down as you read this: The Boston Bruins like both Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin a lot and claim to not prefer one by a large margin. Deep breaths.

“I’ve been quoted as saying they’re really close and I’ll contnue to say that because that’s what they are for us,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday in a conference call with the media. “They were both very good interviews up in Toronto [at the NHL Scouting Combine] and I had a good meeting with the Seguins in Brampton and I certainly would anticipate the same with the Halls in Kingston.”

Chiarelli is planning to visit Hall’s parents in the next two weeks, but a source told WEEI.com this week that Hall will be with the Bruins this weekend meeting with Chiarelli and other front office members. Seguin will also visit Boston, a place he spoke highly of recently with WEEI.com, though it is unknown when he will make the trip.

The Bruins, who also choose 15th overall and have two selections in the second round, have been putting in more work than simply getting caught up in the Taylor/Tyler craze. There are plenty of players, whether they be Hall’s Windsor teammates in defenseman Cam Fowler and forward Austin Watson or whomever, who could fill serious needs with Boston.

“The fact that we have four picks in the first round and a half, you know, we always pay attention to these things but you’ve really got to focus in on your target guys and the guys that you want and where they should be slotted,” Chiarelli said.

“This is a deep draft, and I know you may hear that on a yearly basis but I’m more in touch with it this year because we have so many high picks. We’ll continue to bring some kids in and we’ll probably finish doing that halfway through next week.”

As for the Big Bad Board (had to make it less football-sounding somehow), are the Bruins set in stone on who they want with the second, or even 15th or 32nd picks for that matter? In a word, no.

“You tweak a little bit,” Chiarelli said. “You put the list up, you generate the list and then you reserve the right to change it based on testing interviews and then your smaller group gets together  and you talk about the issues on certain players. It’s not firm until the morning of.”

Read More: Peter Chiarelli, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin,

Thornton: ‘I wanted to be a Bruin as long as possible’

06.04.10 at 2:37 pm ET
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Speaking with the media Friday afternoon in a conference call, newly re-upped Bruins forward Shawn Thornton and general manager Peter Chiarelli hit on what led to the tough winger’s two-year extension.

“I wanted to be a Bruin as long as possible,” Thornton said. I love the city, I love being here and I’m still here so I’m really happy to be back and I’m glad we could make it happen.”

With the team just three weeks away from adding a wunderkind prospect in the NHL draft, Chiarelli spoke of what it means to retain a key veteran when seeing an influx of youth.

“It’s important to have any good veteran to help out with the younger guys,” Chiarelli said. “Shawn’s career path has not been the easiest and he commands a level of respect for that reason. … He’s put in his time and he’s put in his work and he’s been rewarded for it.”

Chiarelli also spoke of the team’s ongoing plan of adding players that are “tough to play against.” He once again mentioned the trade market as a means for continuing to build such a squad but also maintained that Thornton, who he referred to as “a terrific soldier” who is “always among the leaders in fisticuffs,” fits the bill.
When asked whether the disappointing second-round exit in seven games to the Flyers has added any determination entering next season, Thornton was a bit slow to answer, almost confused by the notion.
“I like to think I’m always kind of starving,” Thornton said. “[The series] left a bad taste in my mouth but I try to come in and prepare the same way every year.”
Thornton finished fifth in the NHL this past season with 21 fighting majors. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and Chiarelli and the Bruins felt confident all along that a deal would be reached before he could hit the market.
“It was something that we wanted to do and we’ve talked about it for a while with Shawn and his group,” Chiarelli said, later adding, “We knew we would get it done beforehand.

“It was a good decision that we made, it was a relatively easy decision that we made and we’re happy to have him back.”

Read More: Peter Chiarelli, Shawn Thornton,

Thornton gets two-year extension

06.04.10 at 10:49 am ET
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The Bruins have signed winger Shawn Thornton, set to become a free agent on July 1, to a two-year extension that will run through 2012, according to a Bruins press release.

Thornton has racked up 338 regular season penalty minutes in his three years as a Bruin, with 141 of them coming last season. He has totaled 28 regular season points in his tenure in Boston. The 2009-2010 season saw him record a career-high nine assists while finishing fifth in the NHL with 21 fighting majors.

While financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the Boston Globe is reporting that the deal is worth $1.625 million. Thornton and GM Peter Chiarelli will speak with the media this afternoon, so check back here throughout the day.

Read More: Shawn Thornton,

NHL execs say Hall goes No. 1

06.03.10 at 2:31 pm ET
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To those who voted overwhelmingly in favor of Taylor Hall in our recent poll regarding which OHL star would be best for the Bruins, NHL.com has bad news for you. Adam Kimelman asked personnel executives from both an Eastern Conference team and a Western Conference team and both said that the Windsor left wing will be selected first overall by the Oilers, with Plymouth center Tyler Seguin falling to the Bruins at pick No. 2.

Writes Kimelman:

“Our scout from the East said Hall in Edmonton would evoke memories of the 1980s dynasty teams, while our scout in the West said Hall was just too good to pass on.

With Hall going first, both pegged Seguin going No. 2 to Boston. Our Western scout said Seguin would make Bruins fans forget all about Phil Kessel, who the club had to sacrifice to get this pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

What is just as interesting for fans looking at the draft as more than the first two picks is the fact that both executives have Hall’s teammate, offensive defenseman Cam Fowler going third overall. With the Bruins talking trade with teams, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they could be considering moving up with the 15th overall pick in order to get potentially their best scoring defenseman since Sergei Gonchar.

NHL Central Scouting ranks Fowler as the fifth best prospect in this draft class, but more projections see him as the third overall pick to the Panthers with each passing day. Fowler had 55 points in in 2009-2010, his first season with the Spitfires.

Read More: Cam Fowler, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin,

Source: Taylor Hall coming to Boston… for visit

06.02.10 at 6:53 pm ET
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A source has told WEEI.com that Windsor Spitfires left wing Taylor Hall will be in Boston this weekend visiting with the Bruins front office. A group of prospects will be making the trip, though Hall, who tied for the OHL with 106 points and won his second consecutive Memorial Cup MVP last month, will certainly be the most interesting of the bunch for the team.

Read More: Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin,

Report: Chiarelli discussing No. 2 pick with teams

06.02.10 at 6:00 pm ET
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According to a very brief report by Darren Dreger of TSN.ca, Bruins general manager has fielded phone calls regarding the second overall pick in this month’s NHL Draft.

“Chiarelli says that over the past couple of days, teams have inquired about his interest in trading the second overall pick in this month’s NHL draft,” Dreger writes, adding that Chiarelli also said he and the Oilers have and will continue to discuss a deal that would involve a swap of the top two picks in the draft.

The idea of the Bruins talking with the Oilers isn’t exactly news, though the notion of the team moving down from the second slot is certainly interesting. The team already has the 15th and 32nd overall selections in addition to the Maple Leafs’ first-rounder next year, so common logic would suggest the Bruins should stay put and land Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin rather than stockpiling more premium picks.

Teams discuss picks and players all the time — it’s simply part of due diligence — so the recommendation here is to not get carried away with the report. All things equal, it would be surprising if a GM with Chiarelli’s intelligence moved away from an opportunity at Hall or Seguin without outrageous return (think Lindros deal).

Read More: 2010 NHL Draft, Peter Chiarelli, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin

HOF writer says there’s no Hall in ’11 draft

06.01.10 at 2:06 pm ET
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Much like people seem to forget about the fact that the Bruins are also picking 15th overall in this month’s NHL draft, it seems to go unnoticed that seeing the Bruins picking this high isn’t a one-time thing. After all, the deal that sent the Bruins first and second-round picks from Toronto (second and 32nd overall, respectively) also landed Boston the Leafs’ top choice next year, which figures to be high given that the Northeast division rival Maple Leafs have been slotted in the top seven picks the last three years.

Jim Matheson says next year won't feature a prospect like Taylor Hall

Matheson says the next draft won't feature a wing like Hall

With the reminder that the Bruins might once again have the opportunity to land a star this time next year, it’s only natural that in the impossible debate between Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall, one can find solace in thinking that whichever talent they don’t land, whether it be the center or the left wing, they can find next year. In a mailbag with readers, however, Hall of Fame Oilers writer Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal says that while there are elite centers to help ease the pain for whoever misses out on Seguin, they won’t find a wing with Hall’s capabilities next year.

Considering the Oilers might also pick high again next year, a fan asked Matheson if the hometown team could take Seguin and get a star winger in the 2011 draft. His response? “Short answer — no.”

Matheson names defenseman Adam Larsson (Sweden), centers Sean Couturier (QMJHL) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (CHL), and defenseman David Musil (WHL) as the top prospects in next year’s draft. Should that change the way the Oilers and Bruins think when deciding who their man is this year? Likely not, as they shouldn’t bank on getting such a high pick next year, but it’s definitely something to chew on.

Read More: 2010 NHL Draft, Taylor Hall, Tyler Hall,
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