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Transcript: Bruins Media Day Press Conference

09.28.09 at 9:28 pm ET
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The Boston Bruins held their pre-season media today this morning. The session started with a press conference panel of owner Jeremy Jacobs, principal owner Charlie Jacobs, head coach Claude Julien, general manager Peter Chiarelli, and vice president Cam Neely. The transcript from the press conference is below.

Pressure to live up to last year’€™s 116 points within the sports culture of Boston?

Jeremy Jacobs: Simple answer? Yes. There is an expectation on my part and the community at large. I share the same goal, my ambition is to win a Stanley Cup and I think we have the personalities in place from management, coaching and players. So, I look for a great season and will be disappointed if there is anything less than that.

How impressed are you with the brain trust that has been put together in the front office? 

Jeremy Jacobs: I think he [Peter Chiarelli] has done a great job. We’€™ve extended our relationship and our contract and I expect that we are building on something. Every body here [the media] are all totally and justifiably critical when we stumbled at first but we got it going and stayed with it and I think the organization is working really well and I think there are personalities in place to run it.

On sending Brad Marchand and Zach Hamill down and the depth of the organization.

Chiarelli: I think both of them have had tremendous camps and I told Zach this morning that, we had talked about him playing at the rookie tournament and when some of the other guys just didn’€™t play. That was good thing that he did, you could see it in how he played in the main camp. I said that most importantly it was the work he did in the development camp, the summer camp, so you have to build on it when you go down to Providence. I told him he had a good camp. I told him he has to work on his battles when he goes down low and I thought the speed caught up to him a little bit at the end.

When I talked to Brad I told him that he had a very good camp and that he was on the right track and while his game is always simple, sometimes down in Providence it tended to get a little complicated and we tried to fix that and he tried to fix it during the camp. So, two young kids, both speak well for the future.

Those guys and the guys we assigned down on Saturday. I like our depth here. It is in different sorts, it’€™s not just a finesse player here or something but players that can fill in different capacities. 

On health situation at the start of the year.

Chiarelli: As of today, I haven’€™t talked to the training staff, but as of today I believe we will be pretty healthy at the start of the year unless something were to happen between now and then. You hear of a lot of these teams with groins and hips and, you know, it was a condensed training camp this year and we had maybe one more game than maybe we wanted to. So, I think Claude [Julien] can speak to this, but I think the off day yesterday was good and I think we will get some productive work in between now and the start of the year.

On having first five games at home.

Julien: Well, first of all I think the first part of the season is probably more important no matter whether you are on the home or on the road than most people think and it’€™s been brought to our attention every year that teams in good shape on Thanksgiving are usually the teams that end up in the playoffs. So, we are aware of that and the important-cy of getting off to a good start but even more so this year in front of our fans. No doubt the first five games in front of our fans will be crucial in their minds.

Filling Phil Kessel‘€™s Shoes.

Julien: We are confident with the team that we have here, no doubt. We have Marco Sturm back and healthy so, as a group we are a strong team. We fell stronger as well with some young guys having matured and Marco Sturm in as I mentioned he was out most of last year. David Krejci is ahead of the curve right now and we’€™re hopefully looking forward to seeing him in the opener. All in all I think our team is in great shape. Tuuka Rask is going to be a great goaltender to support Tim [Thomas].

We’€™re very confident and I think this Kessel issue for us is in the past and we’€™re moving forward. 

Addition of ECHL Redding team helping the organization.

Chiarelli: We will providing some players there as those who won’€™t be on Providence. So, anytime you can expand your organization depth wise it’€™s going to help in the long run. I think we are probably going to provide two or three players there, so, it is a good addition. The last few years we have had east coast affiliates and I think they are affiliated with a couple other teams so they have good staff there and good for the development of our young guys.

On what the race for the conference will look like.

Julien: I am not one to look at these situations as a whole and just sit there and say that we have to be at the top. I think we have to work our way to the top, just like we did last year. There is nothing different except that the challenge will be bigger. There is more respect towards our team this year so obviously there are teams around our conference who are certainly improved. Philadelphia is one of those teams with [Chris] Pronger on the back end, they are certainly going to be a better team. I don’€™t think I am going to spend all my energy worrying about what’€™s on the outside. I think it’€™s important to worry about your back yard and for me it is about the preparation of our team. I have said all along that if teams want to beat us, they are going to have to adapt to us, because we are not going to adapt to others. We play our style of game and we feel confident with it and we will go forward with it as well.

Patrice Bergeron has an extra bounce to his skates this pre-season?

Julien: I think Patrice has taken off where he left off last year. You know, he went through a lot and we were patient and helped him along the way to find his game again but what he went through is something that you don’€™t want to see again and I think he had a great second half and even the playoffs. I have mentioned that before, he was one of our best forwards in the series. I think he was excited about it when he left here last year and is excited about coming back and I think that is a continuation of what you saw last year.

For someone who has played in the finals twice, what does this team need to do to reach that mark?

Neely: We just need to learn from last year. As a player you learn from the experiences you go through. I think when we got to the finals in 1988 it was the first time for a lot of us to be in the finals and I think a lot of us, including myself, were thrilled to be in the finals. Then, in ‘€™90, we understood what happened in ‘€™88 and we don’€™t look at it like we are excited to be in the finals. You have to remember two years ago, for a lot of our players it was their first time being in the playoffs and a lot of our key players, it was the first time for them. So, the learned from that series and took it a little bit further last year and what I always have these guys try to remember is how it felt to win those games and how it felt to lose that final game and you can learn from that. I think we have a lot of guys that know we should have gone a little deeper than we did and I think they’€™re hungry to get back to that challenge to go a little deeper.

Will the team be actively searching the waiver wire as the league wide roster cut deadline looms? 

Chiarelli: Waiver acquisition that we’€™d look at? You basically react to that. You have a general idea of who is going to be on and we will look at who is on today. We will see who is up there and I suspect we will see some activity as far as trading players, for teams that are under cap crunches. So, I will be fielding some calls but I don’€™t anticipate anything happening.

On Versus and Direct TV customers not seeing opening night.

Jeremy Jacobs: I think you are right, it doesn’€™t look good. The commissioner and everybody in the league office is doing what they can do but the situation is not within our control. We know how unhappy the whole hockey world is. I think the best thing is that everybody should be put on notice that if they want to watch our game with what the circumstances are, if they want to watch our game get to a location where they can see it from. Right now it does not look good to be broadcast. They are moving at glacial speed.

Giving Sturm a try out on the top line with Savard considering how the speedy Kessel played there. 

Julien: We’€™d certainly like, to a certain extent, put some speed again on that wing and Marc is good at finding those guys so we will give those guys a try. Like I mentioned through training camp there is nothing carved in stone. We are going to put the best lines together as we can possibly find and if that means tweaking them and moving them around we will until we find the right combination. I think right now it is worth having a look at and Marco has played the off wing before and he feels comfortable there as well so, again, there is a guy who hasn’€™t played in a while so we have to take that into consideration whether he’€™s on top of his game or whether he is trying to find it again.

With the stable situations in the front office and on the ice, what are the tweaking points that could be made during the season?

Chiarelli: Structurally I do not foresee anything. I mean, we always exchange ideas and philosophies where we hope to improve the communication between the management, the coaching staff and the team. We always look to improve. I can’€™t tell you anything that we haven’€™t told you already, I know there are some themes that Claude and I have talked about that we want to impress on the team all year. Besides that, I am happy where we are at. We always look to improve but there will nothing really significant from within the management group.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Cam Neely, Charlie Jacobs, Claude Julien
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