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Peter Chiarelli on Salk & Holley: Bruins got better in offseason

Posted By DJ Bean On July 17, 2013 @ 5:34 pm In General | 14 Comments

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Peter Chiarelli had a busy offseason. (AP)

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli joined Salk & Holley on Wednesday, discussing a busy shakeup of his roster this offseason that most notably saw him trade former second overall pick Tyler Seguin to the Stars in a deal that brought Loui Eriksson to Boston.

Chiarelli said that though he had publicly questioned Seguin’s professionalism, he felt that he was a “good teammate.” Much was made of Seguin’s partying — a concern the team brought to his attention during the first round of the playoffs before hiring a guard to stand outside his hotel room to make sure he didn’t leave — but Chiarelli said Seguin’s off-ice issues weren’t major.

“He liked to be out,” Chiarelli said. “That doesn’t mean he was out drinking or out late. I know he was at times, but he liked to live life. I respect that.”

The issue, Chiarelli said, was that the Bruins ultimately couldn’t wait for Seguin to reach his potential with their best player’s prime years going by. Chiarelli admitted that with captain Zdeno Chara (36 years old) not getting any younger, the team is in more of a win-now mode, which made swapping Seguin for the established Eriksson (27) more appealing.

“Not that we’re in a window — because hopefully this window will be added to and we’ll keep going and replenishing our players — but [Seguin's] a natural center and a guy that we got out of a trade that brought good returns in Tyler and Dougie [Hamilton] and Jared Knight, but he was an elite player that was pushed down our lineup because of where we were as a team,” Chiarelli said. “If you can recall his first year, year and a half, he was. It was almost like he was too soon for his time on our team. That was part of it.”

Chiarelli said that he believes Seguin will be successful in Dallas, but he isn’t afraid that the B’s will regret the trade because of what they’re getting back in Eriksson.

“I have a good idea of what Tyler will become and I don’t worry about it. You’ve got to know what you’re getting and how that will help you win now. There’s a real good chance that Tyler becomes a star. When we traded Phil [Kessel] I said publicly that this guy’s at least a 35-goal-scorer, a 40-goal-scorer. We knew what we were trading, but it’s about what you’re getting back and how you can win with it.”

As for Nathan Horton’s decision not to re-sign with the Bruins, Chiarelli shared that the team’s intention was to bring Horton back. In years past, the GM had shared that he’d told players to test the market (Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle) prior to their departure, but Chiarelli long being on record of wanting Horton return seems to indicate that Horton’s decision to not even negotiate with the B’s was a personal one.

The offseason has seen the Bruins trade Seguin and Rich Peverley for Eriksson and three prospects, lose Horton, Andrew Ference and Anton Khudobin to free agency, not re-sign Jaromir Jagr and bring in Jarome Iginla and goaltender Chad Johnson via free agency. The team has also signed Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask to eight-year contracts. Asked if he felt the Bruins are better now than they were last season, Chiarelli said he did.

“I think we are,” he said. “We lose a little on the character and speed from the outset, but I thought we gained it back with Iginla and got more natural wingers. I think we’re a better team. If it’s a wash as far as the additions and subtractions, I think our team gets better because our core is getting older and stronger and better.”


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