|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.
|Chiarelli conference call roundup, 6/21||06.21.10 at 12:32 pm ET|
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media on Monday in a pre-draft conference call. Here are the highlights:
On talks with the Oilers:
“I spoke to Steve [Tambellini, Oilers GM] on the weekend and we really didn’t discuss that in any detail. After speaking with Steve, I think he probably has these two guys as close as we do. Neither of us are really committed to moving forward on that type of discussion. We spoke briefly on the weekend and I would imagine that we’re going to talk again at some point but right now, if the draft was tonight, I’d say there’d be no deal.”
On what has been revealed in talks with Tambellini:
“It is different. Generally I would characterize it as we both don’t want to play any cards to each other right now, if we have any to lay. I genuinely believe that Steve is of the same opinion on these players [as] me or close to them, and they’re very close.
The discussions we’ve had aren’t really in detail because we’re not close to it yet. I don’t know if they’ll ever get truly in detail. It is unique. I think we’re both very non-committal, in fact I know we are when we talk, but we talk in specifics on other fronts. We talk about the boys in general too, as what our thoughts are on each of the kids. It’s a little different in this case.”
On if they like one player more than the other:
“I would say right now as of today we have one guy over the other, but it’s very very close.”
On going back and forth between Hall and Seguin:
“I’ll watch a game with one of the players and come away saying, ‘This is the guy I want.’So that’s a good thing. HYou want both of them. Specifically on Tyler: the speed, the innovation, the vision. He’s got a real sneaky wrist shot that I think is underutilized. He finds ways to go around people with his speed and his style, his stick, and his passing. Dimensional speed, dimensional quickness. Very smart player and is a responsible player.”
|Source: Horton likely to move, not necessarily to B’s||06.20.10 at 10:47 pm ET|
It appears the Bruins may not be on the verge of acquiring Florida Panthers forward Nathan Horton, according to a source close to the situation. Reports surfaced this weekend that the Bruins had been closing in on a trade for the former third overall pick, but the Bruins were just one of multiple teams to nearly have a deal with the Panthers in the past few days.
“They were close, as were a few other teams,” the source said of the Bruins’ chances of getting Horton. It was unclear where a potential trade stood as of Sunday night.
The Panthers selected Horton in the 2003 NHL draft after flipping the top overall pick to the Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury). The 25-year-old has never surpassed 62 points in his six-year NHL career and has scored 30 goals in just one season, a 2006-2007 campaign in which he gathered 31.
A natural right wing, Horton was moved to center in the 2008-2009 season. The Panthers have been trying to move Horton and his contract, which calls for cap hits of $4 million in each of the next three seasons. The source was confident the Panthers will succeed in doing so, saying a deal “will get done with someone sure enough.”
Horton has also been linked to the Maple Leafs recently. It is unknown what the Bruins have offered or are offering the Panthers in a potential trade.
|Oilers GM: Bruins haven’t made offer for top pick||06.10.10 at 4:31 pm ET|
As rumors swirl regarding what the Bruins may or may not be offering Steve Tambellini in exchange for the first overall pick in this month’s NHL draft, the Oilers general manager confirmed Thursday that he has spoken to his Boston counterpart in Peter Chiarelli — just not about the pick.
‘Last time I talked to Peter was the general managers’ meetings in Philly [between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals]. Peter hasn’t thrown any names at me. No proposals. But I’m all ears,’ Tambellini told the Edmonton Journal.
‘I don’t know what it take to give up the first pick overall in this year’s draft. I know there will be proposals and I’m looking forward to seeing what they might be, but I don’t know if I would recommend to [Oilers president of hockey operations] Kevin (Lowe) or our ownership that we should move the first pick,’ Tambellini told the paper.
Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson of the Journal writes in the report that Tembellini is “almost surely not giving up the first pick.” The Oilers brought highly coveted Windsor Spitfires left wing and anticipated top pick Taylor Hall in on Wednesday and were set to make him available to the media shortly after. If a trade isn’t made, the Bruins, who pick second, will take whomever is left between Hall and Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin. Tambellini insists the team has yet to settle on who they will select.
‘I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here … There’s lots of reasons to go either way,’ Tambellini told the paper. ‘But it’s getting clearer as to what may be separating the players. We’re not making our final decision until the very end. We’ve told both kids we’re going to do that.’
The Bruins have already met with both Hall and Seguin and have ammunition for a trade in the form of the 15th and 32nd overall picks, as well as two picks in each of the first two rounds of the 2011 draft.
|Chiarelli maintains Segiun and Hall are neck-and-neck||06.04.10 at 3:38 pm ET|
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.”
|Thornton: ‘I wanted to be a Bruin as long as possible’||at 2:37 pm ET|
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.”
‘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.’