|Chiarelli explains why he’s ‘standing pat’||07.09.10 at 6:57 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli emphasized in the days after his team’s shocking playoff loss to the Philadelphia Flyers that he and management would not be doing anything rash when it comes to re-shaping the roster for 2010-11 season.
He reiterated that in the wake of re-signing defenseman Mark Stuart – one of his team’s core leaders – to a one-year contract on Friday.
“Right now, we’re standing pat,” the GM said. “You look out here, there might be a few guys that challenge, too. I like our prospect depth. Right now, I’m going to be standing pat. That may change but right now, I’m standing pat.”
Chiarelli believes that with the core four of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Stuart and Andrew Ference coming back, the Bruins have the foundation of a solid blue line. He believes he can mix and match with Johnny Boychuk, Matt Hunwick and Adam McQuaid and top-level organizational prospects to have a solid D for next season.
Chiarelli pointed to one area of improvement he’d like to see in Stuart’s game – and the team’s for that matter – puck movement in the defensive and neutral zones.
“I go back to the five or six games where he had more minutes prior to the LA game and he was getting more confidence, moving the puck a little better,” Chiarelli said on Friday. “With Stewie sometimes, he freezes when he pushed the puck up after retrieving it. He’s getting better at it, he’s getting better at passing. So, a lot of that is a function of confidence and I think you’re going to see that with more minutes.”
Now, a priority for Chiarelli is signing his two players that have signed for arbitration, Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell, the left winger acquired on June 22 with Nathan Horton from Florida for defenseman Dennis Wideman. Chiarelli also indicated that McQuaid, based on his contributions in the playoffs, has earned a shot at the big club next season.
|Don’t expect much in free agency||06.30.10 at 3:33 pm ET|
The Bruins have been incredibly busy this offseason, hogging the transactions log with their re-signings (Shawn Thornton, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Mark Recchi), a major trade for Nathan Horton, and making the second overall pick in last week’s NHL draft.
In the process, they’ve tacked on more money to an already tight salary cap situation. The inflator clause to raise the cap to $59.4 million helped some, but when considering the raises to Seidenberg ($1 million) and Boychuk ($1.375 million), potential arbitration cases for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, and a deal to be done for Tyler Seguin, it’s no wonder general manager Peter Chiarelli has been speaking like someone who doesn’t seem set on being a player when free agency opens on Thursday.
“We’re going to work the trade market,” Chiarelli said Tuesday. “We’re not going out and signing anyone unless 1. We have someone we really want and/or we have the cap space. Right now we don’t really have the cap space to go out and sign a big deal, but that could happen.
“We could make a trade and there could be cap space, but that doesn’t mean we have someone in mind. We’ve got a list. The list is small and in the event we do enter it, unlikely.”
Everyone has heard the rumors involving Marc Savard and Tim Thomas, but as is the team has just $5.40 million in cap space, with the aforementioned players (Wheeler, Stuart, Seguin), Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell still to be accounted for. It would appear that they would be pressed for cash even when trying to hold onto their own guys, let alone bring in outside help. They already moved Vladimir Sobotka rather than paying the restricted free agent, but could Wheeler be next?
Many speculated that Wheeler could have been moved to the Oilers in a deal that could have secured the Bruins Taylor Hall, but those rumors were debunked when the fact that the Oilers’ plan was to get both Hall and Seguin came to light last Friday.
If the Bruins try to shed one of their current players’ deals, they might not be able to do so without getting very little talent in return, which could be counterproductive to their chase for a Cup. With the exception of perhaps Savard, none of their bigger contracts are completely desirable for other teams to take on. If they move Thomas’ $5 million, they run a big risk with whichever player they try to sign with the freed money, as history suggests Tuukka Rask hasn’t been a No. 1 goalie long enough for the team to feel completely comfortable without another big-time netminder.
As for moving Savard, you’d have to think the Bruins have seen enough of a shakeup in their offense without potentially offsetting whatever upgrade it got with the addition of Horton. The “he’s not a Neely type of player” talk might quiet down once the two play together.
Chiarelli said Wednesday that the team could look for another defenseman and a third goaltender, both of which would likely be low-cost options (especially the latter). He hinted on Thursday when appearing on Dennis & Callahan that “you might see a couple trades,” but once again downplayed them doing much else.
The Bruins are by no means done when it comes to building the ’10-’11 team. They may even steal a some more headlines in the next few days. Just don’t expect them to be with free agent signings.
|Chiarelli on D&C: team has ‘flexibility’ with Seguin||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. Read the rest of this entry »
|Quick hits from Chiarelli||06.29.10 at 1:29 pm ET|
– Though the Bruins didn’t tender restricted free agent Daniel Paille a qualifying offer, the two sides are still “moving towards a deal.” Since the team didn’t tender the winger, they cannot sign him until free agency begins on July 1.
“Every year there’s some players that aren’t qualified,” Chiarelli said. “We didn’t qualify Dan Paille but we’re moving towards a deal. Part of it is once you qulify him, they have the right to arbitration, so that number could be hazardous. I’m not saying that’s the case with Daniel, but that’s sometimes what happens. … That’s just part of negotiating and positioning and whatnot.”
– Marc Savard has not asked to be traded and Chiarelli was brief in his answers regarding potentially moving the center to free up cap space. He added that the new media has been overwhelming with some of the rumors they’ve come up with but that the Bruins continue to think very highly of Savard.
“I still think he’s an elite offensive player,” Chiarelli said. “Nothing’s changed in that regard.”
– The deadline for filing for salary arbitration is July 5. Both Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart are eligible, but after meeting with agent Matt Keator, who represents both players, while in Los Angeles, Chiarelli doesn’t know whether either will file.
“I’m not sure,” Chiarelli said. “I hope not.”
– It seems anyone expecting a notable free agent signing will be disappointed. The team will continue to look for upgrades via trade.
“We’re going to work the trade market,” Chiarelli said. “We’re not going out and signing anyone unless 1. We have someone we really want and/or we have the cap space. Right now we don’t really have the cap space to go out and sign a big deal but that could happen. We could make a trade and there could be cap space, but that doesn’t mean we have someone in mind. We’ve got a list. The list is small and in the event we do enter it, unlikely.”
Chiarelli did note that the team will look for a third goaltender and also peruse the defenseman market in free agency.
– Steve Begin and Miroslav Satan are both players in what Chiarelli calls the “secondary market.” The team will pursue other options before potentially negotiating with them.
– The Bruins, who Chiarelli said had been targeting Horton for two and a half years, wanted to get a Horton deal done before the draft. As it turned out, it was the draft pick they parted with (No. 15 overall) that got the deal done.
“I know that was a turning point from Florida’s perspective,” Chiarelli said. “There was another team — there were a few other teams in there — but there was another team that had a pick that was close to 15, but ours was higher.
“It was good to get that deal out of the way, and to add a potential impact player like Tyler is good,” Chiarelli added. “We’ve added one definite top-three forward, and who’s to know what Tyler will become in the short term? We know what he’ll become in the long term.”
– Chiarelli had a good quip when asked whether Seguin wearing Joe Thornton‘s old No. 19 was significant, saying, “I guess. You guys can make it significant.”
“I don’t think there’s any overt attempt to outdo Joe,” he added on a more serious note.
|Bruins, Recchi agree to deal||06.25.10 at 1:17 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed to members of the media Friday that the Bruins have reached a one-year agreement with unrestricted winger Mark Recchi. The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer was acquired at the trade deadline in 2009 and has totaled 59 points in 99 games with the Bruins. A veteran of 21 years, Recchi has 563 goals and 922 assists, good for 1485 points.
The deal is expected to be announced Monday. TSN has reported the deal includes a base salary of $1 million and bonuses that could tack on more than $500,000. Recchi made $1.7 million last season. NESN was the first to report the story.
|Oilers GM says team is ‘close’ on whom they’ll take||06.24.10 at 6:28 pm ET|
Edmonton general manager Steve Tambellini said that his Oilers, who are the owners of the top overall pick in Friday night’s NHL draft, have nearly reached a decision on whom they will select in Los Angeles.
“We’re close,” Tambellini said. “But we haven’t formally sat down as a group and said, ‘This is who we’re taking.’ ”
The Oilers have Windsor Spitfires left wing Taylor Hall and Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin to choose between. Seguin is the top-ranked player according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, but many believe the gutsy winger Hall will come off the board first after an electrifying Memorial Cup performance.
With the Bruins picking second, general manager Peter Chiarelli has been in contact with Tambellini about a potential deal that would send some sort of compensation to Edmonton in order to assure Boston’s preferred player will be available to them. The top two picks would not actually be moved in such a deal.
|Chiarelli on Horton, draft, free agents||06.23.10 at 3:31 pm ET|
It was a foregone conclusion that this week was going to be gigantic for the Bruins in some way, shape, or form, and with two days to go until the NHL draft, Peter Chiarelli and co. got a head start on making headlines by flipping the 15th overall pick and defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Florida Panthers in exchange for right winger Nathan Horton and center Gregory Campbell.
As the draft grows nearer and the Bruins come closer to finally making the second overall selection after months of buildup, the team that finished the regular season last in the NHL goals suddenly appears to be in very good shape to have a notably upgraded scoring force. From how Chiarelli spoke, that may start with Horton.
“He’s tremendous shooter, Nathan. He’s a big body, he can skate, he can play physical. There’s a lot of things to like about him, and we’re going to be getting a highly skilled forward with the No. 2 pick with some speed.
“We thing at the end of the day, if we do nothing else to our forwards, we’re adding an established big power-forward shooter and a real speedy young legs skill guy. We’re happy with that.”
On the subject of the embattled Wideman, Chiarelli called the team’s playoff points leader last year a “key part of our defense that we had to give up.” In making the trade, however, the Bruins were able to shake things up offensively without disturbing the core of the team.
“It wasn’t about changing the culture,” Chiarelli said. “It was just about changing the makeup of the team after the ups and downs. I am relatively happy with the room and the personalities in it. It was more of the makeups, [or] semantics maybe.”
Even with Wideman gone and the shot at Cam Fowler seemingly out the window, Chiarelli said adding another defenseman was “not a pressing urgency” and that though the team likes puck-moving defensemen, whichever defender(s) may be added won’t necessarily fit that mold.
“If we do add something, it may not be purely what you’d characterize as a ‘puck mover,'” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli once again reiterated that if a deal does happen with Edmonton in order to secure whomever the Bruins prefer between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin (they do hold one in slightly higher regard), the actual picks are unlikely to be swapped, and the Oilers would simply take the other player first overall.
Should they stay put, they won’t face the pressure that is on the Oilers to take the right guy. Hall and Seguin have been hyped as equally elite superstars in the making. So would the Bruins dare invest heavily into what would ultimately be a very difficult choice between the two players?
“If you make an informed decision, I think ‘risk’ is a better word than ‘courage,'” Chiarelli said. “We put that into our equation. It may be that the price that I have to pay to do that is unattainable. I can’t meet it. I’m not at that point yet.
“These are things that we look at. We look at the risk involved, we look at the fit, we look at the kids, we brought both kids in. There’s a lot involved in making this decision.”
The only real news that came in the conference call involved the team’s free agents. Regarding restricted free agents, Chiarelli said he will give a qualifying offer to Campbell. The Bruins blog reported last week that Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler had also received offers.
As for unrestricted free agents, Chiarelli said he has kept in contact with the agents for Mark Recchi and Johnny Boychuk but that he had nothing to report. The team has also told Steve Begin that they won’t be able to potentially negotiate with him until after free agency opens, as the team is “looking at other options.” Chiarelli has not yet spoken to anyone from Miroslav Satan.
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