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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.

Read More: Marco Sturm, Peter Chiarelli,
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 PenguinsMatt 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.”

Read More: Marc Savard, Peter Chiarelli,
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.

Read More: Peter Chiarelli, Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin
Chiarelli sees similarities with Sabres 04.12.10 at 12:51 pm ET
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There is to be a distinct flavor to the teams that populate the Northeast Division of the NHL’s Eastern Conference — decent goaltending, collapsing defensive styles along with rich traditions and devout fan bases.

Along those lines, the Bruins are getting ready to take divisional rival Buffalo for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Thursday, and Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli sees a lot of similarities between how the two organizations have been built.

“I have admired the Buffalo organization. The way that they have built the team, the way that they stress bringing their players through the system, getting those players in the lineup,” Chiarelli said in a conference call Monday morning.  “I admire the coach and the way that he has changed through the years, I think he is the longest tenured coach.”

The fortunes of the two franchises have been up and down in the last decade or so, though Buffalo claims the upper hand in more recent history with two trips to the conference finals in 2005-06 and 2006-07 before missing the playoffs the last two years to retool the roster with younger players and establish their stalwart goaltender Ryan Miller on the back end.

“I have seen a team that has undergone a bit of a transformation over the past few years. They have added more speed up front and you can see that in their forecheck and their neutral zone play,” Chiarelli said. “Obviously their goalie is a terrific goalie, he is very hard to beat. We have played them well, there is a defensive element to their game as well which I think is inherent in [coach] Lindy [Ruff's] system and how [general manager] Darcy [Regier] builds teams that obviously we have, not the same type of component, but there is an emphasis on our team on that also.”

The Bruins and Sabres share some history in the front office as well as ice level. Chiarelli’s assistant general manager, Jim Benning, hails from the Buffalo organization and assistant coaches Doug Houda and Craig Ramsay both spending time with the team.

“They have some good principles there and our assistant GM, Jim Benning, is from there, they’€™ve got very good principles there. It is not a coincidence that we are facing each other because there are some good people who have run through there,” Chiarelli said.

Everything in this series is going to orbit and the linchpins of the respective lineups — Miller and Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask. The defense will play tight, stay close to the crease and the puck will spend a lot of time on the half walls. Chiarelli said to expect a lot of goals of the tip-in and deflection variety.

“It’€™s tough. You are going to see good goaltending and obviously collapsing [defense] because of the good goaltending,” Chiarelli said. “So, you will see a lot of traffic and when there is traffic and collapsing [defensemen] you are going to see tip-ins and those types of goals. I think you are going to see those types of goals deciding the games, notwithstanding really good goaltending.”

Chiarelli said a couple of times that prognosticating the results of the series will be difficult, especially considering the distinct similarities between the two rosters.

“From a matchup perspective, I think you are going to see some tight defense and the fact that you have two very good goalies. They will be hard games, they compete hard. They have a goal-scorer in [Tomas] Vanek who seems to have found his mark in the last little bit,” Chiarelli said. “I am not sure if they are getting some of their guys back but they have some pretty skilled forwards up front and if we forecheck the way we are capable of doing, I think we are in for a pretty good series.”

Read More: Buffalo Sabres, Peter Chiarelli, Ryan Miller, Tuukka Rask
Savard: ‘Just trying to feel normal again’ 03.27.10 at 2:09 pm ET
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Marc Savard is taking walks, getting some fresh air and trying to regain his full wits.

On Saturday, he spoke publicly about the hit from Matt Cooke on March 7 in Pittsburgh and how it’s affected him.

Thanks to the Bruins media relations department, here is the full transcript:

On how he is feeling and if he remembers the hit:
I am not feeling myself quite yet, still. I still don’€™t have any recollection of the hit. Obviously, I have seen it but that’€™s the only recollection I have, when I see it. I just don’€™t remember any of it.

On if he has any close calls with similar types of hits before this particular one:
No, none of that nature, I guess. I have obviously seen them but, I haven’€™t come close to getting hit like that ever.

On his reaction to the hit:
Well, I have obviously viewed it a couple of times and I think it was a play that didn’€™t need to happen, obviously. To me it wasn’€™t a shoulder and I watched the [Mike] Richards on [David] Booth hit. I think that was a shoulder. I think mine was more of an elbow, so I think there was an attempt to injure there. I was, obviously, very unhappy with what happened and I think it could have been avoided very easily. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Marc Savard, Matt Cooke, NHL
Bruins extend defenseman Ference 03.24.10 at 3:30 pm ET
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The Bruins extended defenseman Andrew Ference’s contract for three years on Wednesday. Multiple media outlets have reported that the deal to be worth $6.75 million for a $2.25 million average.

Questions abound. The first one: Why now? With 11 games to 10 games to play in the regular season and a couple of months before the start of free agency after, the Bruins had ample time to negotiate with Ference (who would have been an unrestricted free agent) or get a feel for what other options might be available.

“There was no reason behind [the timing],” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said during a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “I guess we just tried to get ahead of it with some of these players. When we came to an agreement is why it is done now … We just try to be proactive on certain fronts and this falls into that category.”

There are some things to like about the 10-year veteran defenseman. He is a good puck mover and tends to play hard when he can stay on the ice. He slots between a third to fifth defenseman and has versatility to provide depth to a group of blue liners. Chiarelli acknowledged Ference’s abilities.

“He is experienced and that experience brings an element of stability on defense especially when you have some younger players. He competes. I remember him playing for Calgary in the Stanley Cup playoffs the year they went to the finals,” Chiarelli said. “He is efficient enough on the ice where he can play in the top four, compliment the top four and still have that compete level that he has … He has got a lot of ingredients we look for in a player and we are glad to have him in the mix.”

At the same time, Ference has not exactly been the model of a healthy citizen the last couple of years. Groin injuries have limited him to 50 games this year (with eight assists and a plus/minus of -7) and 47 games last year. Chiarelli said that Ference’s injuries were just “part of the package.”

“He is a player who can give you 20-plus minutes a night,” Chiarelli said. “With [Ference] there is an element of leadership, he has the skating ability to retrieve pucks, probably his biggest strength is that first pass out of our zone. He really contributes to the flow of our defense. A lot of understated attributes to his game and I think you have seen him back in the last couple of games. He plays a hard game and does have injuries as a result. That is part of the package. He takes very good care of his body.”

Ference feels that he can be healthy moving forward.

“Not bad,” Ference said of his current state of health. “I have been battling injuries the last couple of years. It has been frustrating as far as some of them go but it is part of the game and I feel fortunate enough that injuries that I have had are completely reparable and that I can come back and feel 100-percent from. Obviously that goes into the decision making in keeping me around and obviously the doctors are confident enough to tell the team that I will be able to come back from and be 100-percent.”

Chiarelli said that he was given assurances that Ference will be healthy once he gets over his current round of ailments.

“I think with a player of his size there will be injuries, knock on wood,” Chiarelli said. “I was given an assurance with regard to his groin and core area that everything is reparable and everything will be fine. We are prepared to take the injuries with the way that he plays.”

Chiarelli said that the beauty of locking up Ference is that he has utility within the defensive core. He can be a top four puck mover or can slide back to the bottom pair to compliment what the other guys are doing.

“He can play at a multitude of different spots, which is why he is attractive,” Chiarelli said. “He can play in the top four, he can play in the bottom pair. His game lends itself to different roles and he is versatile and that is why he is attractive also.”

Where does Ference signing leave the rest of the Bruins defensemen? Johnny Boychuk and Mark Stuart are both restricted free agents after the year and Dennis Seidenberg is an unrestricted free agent. That leaves Ference, Zdeno Chara, Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick under contract heading into 2010-11. Chiarelli said that front office continues to evaluate.

“We are always evaluating,” Chiarelli said. “The last two games we have played well defensively. Well, the whole year we have played well defensively, relatively speaking. I know the rest of our play has not been up to far according to pundits, myself included. So, we are always evaluating and we have brought a new member in the mix in [Seidenberg]. I am not going to comment on what your specific plans are but there seems to be a good mix there right now and we will see how it plays out the rest of the year.”

Ference said that he asked for a no-trade clause in his contract because he would like to stay in the Boston area where his girls have started school but that he did not receive one.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Peter Chiarelli,
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