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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.”

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

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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).

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Sturm undergoes successful knee surgery 05.18.10 at 2:57 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli issued a press release Tuesday afternoon announcing that forward Marco Sturm underwent successful surgery to repair his right knee. The surgery entailed ACL reconstruction, MCL repair and partial lateral meniscectomy and was performed by Dr. Peter Asnis at Massachusetts General Hospital. Sturm injured the knee in the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals when he pushed off to make a check on Flyers defenseman Matt Carle and torqued his knee on the ice at TD Garden. Sturm is expected to rehab for six months.

Here is the press release from the Bruins media relations staff:

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that forward Marco Sturm underwent successful surgery on his right knee. The surgery — which entailed a right knee ACL reconstruction, MCL repair, and partial lateral meniscectomy — was performed by Dr. Peter Asnis at Mass General Hospital.

Sturm sustained a torn ACL and a torn MCL in his right knee during the first period of the Bruins-Flyers game on Saturday, May 1 (Game 1).

His expected recovery time is an estimated six months post-surgery.

Sturm is a veteran of 855 NHL regular-season games and has registered 234 goals and 232 assists for 466 points in his career. The 31-year-old tallied 22 goals and 15 assists during the 2009-10 season, marking the seventh time in his career he surpassed the 20-goal plateau. He played in seven playoff games this season and has scored eight goals and tallied 11 assists in 52 postseason games for San Jose and Boston.

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Bruins 2010-11 salary breakdown 05.16.10 at 12:01 pm ET
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Here is a little primer for some of the end of season review we will be putting together. These are the salaries and approximate cap hits for the Bruins in the 2010-11 season. Peruse the list and you will find that the Bruins are well equipped to turn over this roster in the next couple of years if general manager Peter Chiarelli decides to do so (and he is still employed) as only Marc Savard is signed passed 2012-13. Next year the Bruins are looking at an approximate $46.14 salary cap hit with 18 players signed that count to the NHL roster but takes into account players that could spend time in the AHL next season.

Note: Restricted free agents (RFA), Unrestricted free agents (UFA).

Forwards

Marc Savard — $ 7 million ($5 million) — Last year 2013-14 UFA

Patrice Beregron — $ 5.75 million ($4.75 cap) — Last year 2010-11 UFA

Michael Ryder — $4 million ($4 cap) — Last year 2010-11 UFA

David Krejci — $ 3.75 million ($3.75 cap) — Last year 2012-13 RFA

Marco Sturm — $3.5 million ($3.5 cap) — Last year 2010-11 UFA

Milan Lucic — $4 million ($4 cap) — Last year 2012-13 RFA

Blake Wheeler — RFA

Daniel Paille — RFA

Mark Recchi — UFA

Steve Begin — UFA

Vladimir Sobotoka — RFA

Shawn Thornton —  UFA

Miroslav Satan — UFA

Brad Marchand — $.600 million ($.302 cap) — Last year 2011-12 RFA

Trent Whitfield — $.550 ($.202 cap) — Last year 2010-11 UFA

Zach Hamill — $.787 million ($.008 cap) — Last year 2010-11 RFA

Defense

Zdeno Chara — $7.5 million ($7.5 cap) — Last year 2010-11 UFA

Dennis Wideman — $4 million ($3.875 cap) — Last year 2011-12 UFA

Matt Hunwick — $1.55 million ($1.45 cap) — Last year 2010-11 RFA

Andrew Ference — $2.25 million ($1.4 cap) — Last year 2012-13 UFA

Mark Stuart — RFA

Johnny Boychuk — UFA

Dennis Seidenberg — UFA

Adam McQuaid — RFA

Andrew Bodnarchuk — RFA

Jeffrey Penner — $.688 million ($.031 cap) — Last year 2011-12 RFA

Goaltender

Tim Thomas — $6 million ($5 cap) — Last year 2012-13 UFA

Tuuka Rask — $1 million ($3.2 cap) — Last year 2011-12 RFA

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Chiarelli: ‘Savard has been cleared to play’ 04.27.10 at 11:49 am ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced in a conference call Tuesday morning that injured Bruins center Marc Savard has been cleared to play and will be available to the team in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The center sustained a Grade 2 concussion on March 7 after a hit from the Penguins’ Matt Cooke and was carted from the ice. Savard was cleared on Monday afternoon by an independent neuro-physician and was checked by Bruins team doctors. Savard passed his final neuropsychological exam on Monday and will have a couple of days of practice with the team before the next round of the playoffs begin later this week.

“First I’d like to announce that Marc Savard has been cleared to play,” Chiarelli said. “I’ll leave it up to Claude [Julien] as far as putting the lines together and who plays and who doesn’t play, but Marc is ready to go, and we’ll see how his conditioning goes. But I know from talking to him he’s very anxious to play.”

Chiarelli likened the return of Savard to a trade-deadline acquisition.

“He is an elite player and he has been chomping at the bit to play,” Chiarelli said. “The fact that we were able to clinch and give him some time to get acclimated and a little practice is going to be very beneficial to Savvy and to the team, and, you know, obviously he’s a terrific offensive player. You have seen his performances in playoffs, he really works on the two-way side of his game during the playoffs, and it is like a trade-deadline acquisition and we are adding, obviously, a very good player for the next series.”

Chiarelli said he was not surprised by the turnaround that Savard made in coming back from such a severe concussion. He said there was a distinct difference between Savard and Patrice Bergeron, who sustained a Grade 3 concussion on Oct. 27, 2007, when he was hit from behind by Philadelphia’s Randy Jones. Bergeron missed the the rest of the 2007-08 season and was not symptom-free until June 2008. By comparison, Savard only has missed a little more than a month and a half.

“I use Patrice as a reference point when I saw Patrice, and this is my layman’s analysis, when I saw Patrice after his concussion and when I saw [Savard] after his, there was a big difference,” Chiarelli said. “Obviously they were both very severe, but as I saw [Savard] recuperate, a lot of things happened more quickly than it did for Patrice. There was some doubt at some points in time because he still had that glazed look, but then these things turn, they don’t recover in the same way as a torn ligament or separated shoulder. They turn quickly, and you see that happened with Marc and you could see a real change. So, when I saw that, I had a pretty good idea that he would be back and we could stretch it out.”

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Put Kessel to rest 04.13.10 at 10:56 pm ET
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In every major sport, the draft is the time of year when visions of future glory bounce like through the minds of fans and front offices all across the leagues. It is fun to imagine that sought after prospect blossoming into the next big thing and carrying your team to the championship that has eluded it for so long (because, let’s face it, if you are looking forward to the draft then your team probably was not that good).

For the Bruins, this dream was spawned from a nightmare.

We are talking, of course, about Phil Kessel, who was also once a twinkle of a dream in the corner of Boston’s eye when he was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Now that Boston knows it will end up with either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin with the No. 2 overall pick, it is time to put the Kessel issue to rest in the Hub.

Yes, he was petulant. Yes, he and coach Claude Julien had their variety of skirmishes. Yes, he was only a lukewarm two-way forward. Yes, he more or less forced himself out of Boston when Toronto general manager Brian Burke orchestrated the trade that brought him to the Leafs.

This is all water under the bridge now. Burke probably did not envision his wager in bringing in Kessel to ending up netting the Bruins No. 2 overall pick.

“This has been an emotional trade for both parties,” Chiarelli said. “I think Toronto has seen Phil and realized that he is a very good, young player. Going into making this trade, trying to project a couple other teams that were in on it, trying to project as far as where draft picks were. In the end finish we make projection that was not this high but we are going to get a very good player out of it and so is Toronto. It is a deal that was emotional for a variety of reasons and there was a lot of thought that goes into it from both sides. We feel we got good consideration for the player that we have up.”

Kessel is gone. Time to get over it. The argument now should move on what the Bruins should do with the pick — Hall of Seguin?

Both are 18-years-old. Both have been playing the in the Ontario Hockey League, where Hall’s Windsor team just knocked Seguin’s Plymouth team out of the playoffs. Both are considered to be natural scorers. Hall is more of a power forward who Chiarelli said has good net drive and physical presence, perhaps like Jerome Iginla whereas Seguin may be more of a mix between Steve Stamkos and Pat LaFontaine.

“Seguin plays for the Plymouth Whalers, he is a right shot center and could play both wings, I have seen him play both wings. He has a got a terrific shot, a terrific release, dynamic speak and playmaking ability. I have said before that is a cross between a Stamkos and a LaFontaine and I understand that is pretty lofty company but he is a pretty special player. Taylor Hall is bigger, heavier. Perhaps 12 or 13 pounds heavier. He plays more of a prototypical power forward type of game. Left shot, can play both sides. Good one-timer. Really like his drive to the net and cycles really well.”

Listening to Chiarelli talk one might come to the suspicion that he likes Seguin a little bit more (he already has a young power forward with Milan Lucic) but the fact of the matter is that both players have what the Bruins organization deeply needs — offense.

“First and foremost their talent is on the offensive side of the puck. [Hall] with the net drive and the strength and Seguin with the playmaking and the shot,” Chiarelli said.

Kessel teamed well with Boston’s top playmaker Marc Savard when he scored 36 goals in the 2008-09 season. Chiarelli said that the he could envision Seguin or Hall on the wing of Savard or paired with any of the other centers on the top three lines.

“You think about it, you put up different lines, I do it all the time,” Chiarelli said. “As far as immediate impact. Both of these players are young and I think the could play in the NHL next year. I don’t know if they are going to be immediately impactful. They have to get their feet wet too, but with the talent and skill that they have I feel that they will contribute very well in the top three lines.”

Outside of the excitement that is inherent in the NHL playoffs, which start Thursday at 7 p.m. ET in Buffalo, the future visions of either Seguin or Hall putting on a Spoked-B will be the biggest buzz the Bruins have going. In dealing Kessel away, necessary if controversial as the trade was, Chiarelli has laid the seeds of hope for a franchise that has seen its fans become jaded and bitter after years of mediocrity and issues with the owners. Kessel? Just another name to pass through town.

Seguin or Hall? Who knows, perhaps one of them will be the force that finally brings Lord Stanley’s Cup back to Boston.

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