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Peter Chiarelli transcript from Chris Kelly trade press conference

02.16.11 at 4:03 am ET
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Thanks to the awesome folks at the Bruins, here is the complete transcript of the press conference Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli held Tuesday night following the trade of Chris Kelly:

Opening Statement…

So you’ve obviously seen the release. We’ve acquired Chris Kelly in a deal this evening in return for our own second round pick in this coming Entry Draft. Chris is a two-way center, he’s… I don’t know if he’s 30 or 31, he’s a late-eighty [November 11, 1980]. He has a lot of playoff experience, very good on faceoffs, he’s a high character person. He plays both ways and he can… we needed a centerman that is going to give us some depth. Chris can give us that and he can play up and down the lineup also. I’ve obviously had a connection to him in my time in Ottawa, and know him as a person. He’s a very good person, has good leadership characteristics. He’s under contract for next year, also. And we’re happy to have him in the organization. He’s going to help us.

On how important it was to get a player who wasn’t going to be just a rental…

When you go out into the market and there’s rentals, there’s good things and bad things to rentals. The bad thing is you don’t know if you’ll be able to resign them. So with Chris [Kelly], you have him for at least another year which is a good thing. His market price is set. And he’s a known commodity in the sense that I know him, our scouts know him, having seen him a lot in the East. There’s also good things to rentals, meaning contracts who are expiring so it gives you flexibility for the summer. But we think this is a good thing in light of we’re not…we have a lot of uncertainty with Marc Savard. So this helps us in that sense too. And he can play the wing too. He’s a smart player and a responsible player. He can play up the middle and he can play the wing. But he’s a natural centerman.

On if when the team lost Marc Savard, he had in his mind that he wanted to find another centerman or if he waited to see how things played out…

Well you look at all your…all of the options come up at once in your mind. So like oh we’ve got some young centermen, we’ve got whether it’s Tyler [Seguin], whether it’s Zach [Hamill], whether it’s Joe Colborne, those are three off the top of my head. You instantly…as a manager you know what the market is anyways so you automatically run through the couple of names in your head. You talk to your scouts, you see…we saw Zach play a bit. And actually I thought he did pretty well. And I think Tyler had a strong game in Detroit and he’s…the fact that Chris can play the wing also, his versatility is very helpful too. So he was available, he brought a good two-way game and he can make plays also and we felt that we had to make a move on him.

On if there is another move on the horizon…

Well I’ve been pretty public in saying I’d like to get a defenseman, so that’s still in the works.

On if the move for a defenseman is close…

Well I know there’s a lot of furor here today. But I’ve had discussions on a number of fronts and I’d say a couple of them are closer, but I don’t have anything imminent.

On how Chris Kelly brings the passion that Claude Julien said was lacking in the game today…

Well he brings a real responsible game. And I say that first, it doesn’t mean that he’s defense first because he’s good on the forecheck, he’s got an element of energy to his game and hockey sense, so he combines both those things well in his game. You know what and there’s an element of accountability. I mean he’s been to the Stanley Cup final, he’s played a lot of playoff games, he’s played a lot of years in the league and he’s had success. So it’s the fact that he has that veteran presence too. That’s going to help out the team. I mean this…I’m not suggesting that you guys think that I just did this until tonight, I mean it’s been in the works for a while, but the timing is good too.

On if he agrees with Claude Julien on the assessment that there needs to be more emotion and purpose…

Yeah, of course I do. Yeah, I mean like tonight’s game wasn’t very good. We also should have won it, despite not playing well. So I mean those are the types of games you got to win.

On if Chris Kelly kills penalties…

Yes. Yeah, good on faceoffs too.

On if he’s now looking for Tyler Seguin to go back to the wing…

Well at this point yeah.

On if this trade is a reflection on Tyler Seguin and his play at center…

Not really. I mean like you look to see who you can put in that slot and that doesn’t mean that Tyler won’t be in that slot. Chris could play the wing. It gives us some options and we’ll see…like I don’t mind creating a healthy competition either and it’s going to make us a better team.

On if he’s personally spoken with Chris Kelly and how he feels about coming to Boston…

Yes I have and he was very excited. He’s never been traded before. I think he was traded once in his junior career. But he was really excited. He’s been in that one organization for his whole career. He knows that we have a good team. He knows Zee [Zdeno Chara], having played with Zee. And he was anxious to get going.

On if Chris Kelly will be at practice on Wednesday…

The one thing when you acquire a Canadian player on a Canadian team is that there’s visa issues. So we’re going to try and get that all done tomorrow, so I don’t think you’ll see him tomorrow.

On if Chris Kelly will be on the upcoming road trip to the Islanders and Senators…

I would hope so, yeah.

On if Chris Kelly has been playing with Chris Neil and Jarkko Ruutu throughout his career…

Yeah.

On what it is about Chris Kelly’s game that he can play that energy role and still put up good numbers…

Well he’s smart. He knows where to go. He’s a good skater. He fills lanes, like that speaks to his hockey sense. He’s always been one of the first PK guys. And one of the things I’ve known too, at least when I was in Ottawa, all the top lines always wanted him as a linemate. So he’s a dependable guy in a line and he can make plays. So there’s always kind of an inner argument as to moving him up in times when things aren’t going right because guys want him. When other guys want him on their line it usually means that there’s a precursor to chemistry on that line. It usually happened that there was chemistry. Now he’s a… he can play up the lineup and down the lineup. He’s…we acquired him for that third line but there’s versatility there also.

On if this move was independent of other possible trades, or if it puts pieces in place…

I felt that this fills a need and it was at a number that I felt could give us options for other moves. So you try to kill two birds with one stone.

On if it was his preference to acquire a player without having to give up a player…

Yeah, ideally. I don’t know if I’ll be able to accomplish that in the whole global thing. I like our chemistry on our team and I’d rather try to build than subtract. However, having said that, the reality is I may have to subtract if I’m going to add stuff that I want to add.

On if he’s looking for a goal scorer…

Yeah, I’d like a goal-scorer too. I’m more actively looking for a defenseman. I think our goal scoring has been okay. I don’t mind our goal scoring this year. You know what I don’t mind our D. I think we’ve struggled a little bit lately for a variety of reasons but I’d like to improve it.

On if there are more sellers now than a week ago…

Yeah. What happens is, whenever there is a trade, there is a little flurry of phone calls and everything. If that is an indication of more sellers, I’d say yes.

On if he feels that Cam Neely is heightening expectations by being publicly open about trade possibilities…

No, I don’t.

On what the last few games have told him about what he wants in a defenseman…

Tonight, for example, we had four power plays. One-for-four and there is a time where we could have maybe put the game in a different direction, changed momentum with the power play. That’s been a recurring theme. But really I think it’s just a solid defenseman that can log some minutes and there are some out there like that, solid two-way defensemen. There are other defensemen also, different types of defensemen. It’s hard to find a match as far as a team that is willing to maybe trade just for futures. There are different routes to get to that defenseman but there are some decent options.

On if he thinks he will get a deal for a defenseman done…

Yeah, I think I will.

On if there will be an obvious trade coming up…

I kind of like this deal, I think it’s going to help us. A grand slam, are you saying am I going to hit a grand slam in the next deal, if I can do a next deal? I don’t think so. I think it will be a good deal. There are good players out there and I hope I can get it done. It was important to get this one done. We need help in a couple areas and this was one of the areas so it was important to get this done. The closer you get to the deadline, it becomes very murky and there are a lot more moving parts and it’s hard to pin stuff down. I was pleased to get this done at this time.

On if having a number issue on the roster creating problems in the locker room…

Well actually it gives us 22 players on the roster now, so we’re allowed one more prior to the deadline. So we don’t really have to send anyone [to a different team/down to Providence]. I think it’s the potential of me having to ship someone out if I want to bring in another player that maybe puts us into different cap implications. If that’s the case, I’m prepared to subtract a player if I have to. But right now as the roster stands, it’s okay, we don’t have to move anybody.

On if there was more of an interest in getting this done now as opposed to waiting until closer to the deadline…

Again, when there is a move that is made, amongst all the GM’s there is a flurry. You feel a little more urgent, I better get this thing done, I better close it off. But I had had some discussions with them for a bit and we had kind of made our way down the path a little bit. You don’t want to lose it so you try to go in and close it off. I was comfortable with what we had to give up.

On how the price of players affected his approach…

There are ebbs and flows in the time period leading up to the trade deadline and sometimes the prices dip a bit and sometimes they go up. Is this one of those times they go up, is it one of the times when they dip? I’m comfortable with where I think our pick will be. There will be a time where prices will be very high and then there will be a drop when guys say, I’ve got to get rid of this player. That’s risky when you get to that point and you end up scrambling unless you’ve been targeted on a guy and have been working that deal for a long time. In this deal and in subsequent deals, we will be assessed in what we give up. It may be a little higher because teams know we’re out there looking. It’s tough to gauge.

On how many defensemen he is looking at…

On the board this morning there were nine.

On if they are all serious targets…

Yeah.

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