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Chiarelli on D&C: team has ‘flexibility’ with Seguin

06.30.10 at 12:03 pm ET

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to discuss free agent moves, the future for Tim Thomas and Marc Savard, as well as his expectations for draft pick Tyler Seguin.

Said Chiarelli: “I don’t want to put too much pressure on Tyler, but he’s a terrific talent, and he should be ready to play and contribute at some point next year.”

Following is a transcript. To listen to the entire interview visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

What are we looking for in terms of free agent moves?

I don’t know if you’ll see us go after any premier, in fact I do know that we won’t go after any premier guys. We feel that we have added two premier players in Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin in the last week or so. What you might see from us though is another trade or two. ‘€¦ These trades are around the free agency period, they happen because teams are deciding how to spend their money. I have had a couple of conversations with teams, you might see a couple trades on our part.

What’s the biggest impetus on your end when making a trade?

It goes back to the end of the year when we said we wanted to change part of the composition of the team; I’m all ears. I’ve got a lot of discussions going on a number of different fronts. I don’t want to change things too much, I’ve already changed them a little bit. I don’t quite think I’m done yet, so that may mean a defensemen, that may mean a forward. I know getting Tyler Seguin we have more centers now; he can play the wing, his first year in juniors he played wing the whole year. We’ve got a lot of options. ‘€¦ There’s a couple of things we’re looking at, and if they come true I think they’ll be good for the team.

What are the odds of you trading Tim Thomas?

First, let me say that Tim Thomas does not want to be traded. Second, I know that he wants to be the number one goalie on the Bruins. Having said that. ‘€¦ If we keep all things as is, we’ll be tight but we’ll be fine. The [salary] cap went up to [$59.6 million], with the union electing the escalator. There’s a performance cushion that the union elected also, so we’re fine that way. Again, looking at all these options, I said last week about Tim, if something comes up I’ll discuss with Tim and his family. We’re not overtly looking; there are teams looking for goalies so we’ll see how that unfolds.

Because he has a no-trade clause, he would rather sit the bench than leave?

What I said was, I’ll say it again, is that he wants to be a Boston Bruin. He wants to be the number one goalie on the Boston Bruins. There are teams that have been calling about him, and what I said to Tim and his family is that if things present themselves in a way that I would move forward with a deal, I would have to speak with him. He’s very flexible, but he wants to remain a Boston Bruin. There are options that will present themselves; they have presented themselves, and we’ll see where they go.

Is there a change in strategy when you know your going to get a Tyler Seguin-type player?

Absolutely. It didn’t really become a reality until the draft lottery, which was sometime in April. ‘€¦ This thing went down to how the [Toronto Maple Leafs] were playing, it went down to the final couple of games. Our scouts are looking at. ‘€¦ We didn’t have to look at one or two, we looked at them enough, we know about [Taylor] Hall or Seguin, as far as where they were drafted. We were looking at three to seven, that’s what we were looking at. It was only until after the draft lottery that we realized we were going to get one of those two guys. It does change things, they’re both terrific players. I don’t want to put too much pressure on Tyler, but he’s a terrific talent, and he should be ready to play and contribute at some point next year.

How would you summarize Marc Savard’s tenure in Boston?

I think it’s been really good. I think he came in and he had some habits that he changed. ‘€¦ I think he’s really improved his two-way game, I’ve said that a few times, he was under consideration for the Olympics because of that, because of his two-way play. It’s been very good.

How does the club view Savard as a player and teammate?

That’s news to me, the too many men on the ice penalty. There’s a lot of people responsible for that, it wasn’t solely Marc, so I don’t know where that came from. He’s good in the locker room, he’s funny, he’s quick-witted. ‘€¦If there’s speculation on Savard it’s because we’ve acquired a guy [Tyler Seguin] who’s going to be a premier center or winger. Thats where it all stems from, the rest just grows like mushrooms.

Do you want Seguin playing that position?

When a guy comes into the league and is probably ready to play at a young age, there’s more responsibility at center. There’s playing down low, there’s your assignments down low, its heavy slugging. You saw that with [Phil] Kessell when he came to the Bruins, and we put him on the wing; he was a center. Then your on the wing, your responsibilities on the wall, chipping pucks out, moving the puck out.  To put Tyler at the wing, I would have no problem with it, because as I said earlier he played a full year on the wing, and there’s less responsibility.

How unfair is it to look to Segun as a savior-type player?

It’s totally unfair. Tyler has to make the team, I expect him to challenge. ‘€¦ I see where this comes from as far as being a part of the Kessel trade, and us having a disappointing year last year, and people looking for answers, and this is an easy answer. But Tyler won’t be force-fed, he has to earn his spot, and he’ll have to earn his ice time. If he doesn’t make it he’ll go back to juniors, so there’s your answer about having too many wingers. There’s flexibility here, and we’ve got some other players who are going to challenge, like Jordan Caron, he’s a guy who had a very good junior year last year; a big strong winger, he’s going to be a pro next year. Joe Colborne, we pulled out of Denver, a big strong center or winger, he’s going to be a first year pro. There will be some interesting battles for jobs.

With Neely named president, are you cool with answering to him?

I have complete autonomy under the hockey operations. Cam and I work together very closely, that’s going to remain the same. I think it’s a great environment for Cam; he’s got passion, he’s got really good foresight into things, he’s got very good perspective, he’s very accessible and very forthright; a lot of really good qualities to lead the franchise.

What are the expectations surrounding Seguin?

I think the [Steve] Stamkos comparison is a good one. ‘€¦ I think Tyler may be ahead of him physically a little bit. I don’t want to throw any numbers out there, but Stamkos started very slowly, some question whether he should have been in the league to start. You could see him getting confidence game by game. ‘€¦ He was stronger, he had been growing, the second half was really good. I think that’s probably a good reference point, I would say somewhere around there.

What’s the status with Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron’s contracts?

Yeah, we would like to extend them both. I’ve had informal discussions with both agents and players. We’re going to extend them both.

Do you feel you have to make a significant trade before the start of the season?

Again, I’ll go back to what I said earlier. Short answer: No. I liked bringing in Nathan and what Tyler can bring us, I don’t think we need to make a major trade. These two guys are really going to help our forwards. Although we pulled a puck-moving guy out of it, I like how they played together. I may have a couple of trades anyways.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Peter Chiarelli, Tyler Seguin,
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