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Peter Chiarelli likes where Bruins stand heading into Olympic break 02.08.14 at 4:41 pm ET
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Peter Chiarelli says he isn’t trading Brad Marchand 12.19.13 at 3:31 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday that he doesn’t want anyone to interpret the team’s unhappiness with Brad Marchand‘s recent behavior as a sign that they want to get rid of him.

Chiarelli revealed Wednesday that he wasn’t happy with Marchand taunting the Canucks during Saturday’s loss, saying that he spoke to Marchand about it. That was hardly a suggestion that the team was going to trade him, but Chiarelli clarified anyway to reporters Thursday in Buffalo.

“I’m not trading Marchy. He’s a good player,” Chiarelli said. “I like the way he plays. He’ll figure it out.”

For a number of reasons, trading Marchand wouldn’t be too logical for the Bruins right now. Given that he has just five goals this season, the team likely would not get proper return on a player who scored 28 goals two seasons ago.

This isn’t the first time “Marchand” and “trade” could be used in the same sentence, as Marchand said in training camp that he wondered if he would be next when the team moved on from Tyler Seguin.

‘€œA little bit, yeah. Definitely,’€ he said when asked if he thought the team might also trade him. ‘€œAnything can happen at any time. If you have half a bad year or you’€™re not playing up to par, with the cap system nowadays, they’€™re going to want to improve the team. You don’€™t want to be that guy to get shipped out. The easiest thing to do is play your best and hopefully you can save yourself.’€

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Peter Chiarelli spoke to Brad Marchand following Stanley Cup taunts vs. Canucks 12.18.13 at 1:39 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand was spoken to by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli after taunting the Canucks in Saturday’s game in Vancouver.

Marchand took his glove off and kissed his ring finger in the second period and also raised an imaginary Stanley Cup during warmups and after a third-period scrum. B’s coach Claude Julien called the actions unacceptable after the game, while Chiarelli addressed it with the player.

“I talked to Brad and that’s all I’ll say,” Chiarelli said. “I wasn’t happy with it, but he understands.”

Marchand has struggled this season, scoring only five goals through the first 34 games of the season. He’s well off his pace of seasons past, as he scored 28 goals in the 2011-12 season.

“He’s a young player still and sometimes you have those seasons,” Chiarelli said. “He’s fought the puck a little bit, he’s been kind of at wit’s end. You can see the level of frustration. I go back over his last six or seven games and I’ve liked his play. He’s getting his legs back and his hands back. It’s just about looking at it in an 82-game schedule and figuring it out over the course of the schedule and being patient. Maybe he showed little signs of impatience along the way, but I think his game’s coming around.”

Marchand threw a bad hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan in Tuesday’s game, with Flames forward Curtis Glencross saying after the game that “he’s a dirty player.” Chiarelli didn’t take particular exception with the hit but did allow that the Bruins, in wake of Shawn Thornton‘s attack of Brooks Orpik, are more prone to criticism these days.

“I saw that hit, and it was a penalty,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t anticipate any disciplinary stuff. That stuff happens. We’re a physical team and that results in body contact maybe more so than a lot of other teams, so we’re under the microscope a little bit that way. Certainly you don’t like anything like what Shawn did, but you’re going to have altercations and [those are] going to happen.”

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Peter Chiarelli: Defensemen like Dennis Seidenberg ‘are hard to find’ 10.03.13 at 10:18 pm ET
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Peter Chiarelli says hiring Claude Julien was his best move 08.30.13 at 6:24 pm ET
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Speaking at the team’s press conference to announce his four-year extension, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that the move he is most proud of in his seven years wasn’t a player acquisition, but the hiring of coach Claude Julien.

Julien has led the Bruins to the playoffs in each of his six seasons with the Bruins. In his previous two seasons he had been fired by the Canadiens (2005-06) and Devils (2006-07), but Chiarelli said he saw a capable coach with whom he could have a good working relationship.

“I’€™ve got to say the single biggest thing was hiring Claude,” Chiarelli said. “He came off of being fired twice and there were a lot of questions about him so I knew he would be receptive to things. So obviously I knew what he was like ‘€“ receptive to things so he could evolve with the rest of us.”

Friday’s remark didn’t mark the first time Chiarelli used an opportunity with the media to sing Julien’s praises, saying after the team narrowly escaped the first round last season that he would never fire Julien.

“As long as I’€™m here, his job is safe,’€ Chiarelli said on Salk and Holley on May 15.

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Peter Chiarelli explains changes made to scouting department at 6:20 pm ET
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Friday’s press conference to announce Peter Chiarelli‘s four-year extension with the Bruins was marked with praise from team president Cam Neely and alternate governor Charlie Jacobs, but Chiarelli addressed one change he made to his staff this offseason.

Chiarelli’s tenure with the Bruins has been very successful, with two Stanley Cup finals appearances and one Cup victory, but Chiarelli seemed to acknowledge the team’s lackluster record with drafting when he replaced director of amateur scooting Wayne Smith with Keith Gretzky.

The reason behind the move was pretty obvious: The Bruins haven’t really drafted well of late. From 2007 until today, Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton — both of whom were selected in the top 10 — are the only players selected in the first round that have since become NHL regulars.

Chiarelli has done well in trading his picks, as he’s moved picks to get the likes of Chris Kelly, Jaromir Jagr and, on a more forgettable note, Tomas Kaberle. Still, it’s clear that in order for the Bruins to remain competitive in the years beyond the primes of their current stars, they’ll need to improve their success rate in the draft. Chiarelli feels they’re positioned to do that.

“Keith has had some success in Phoenix in that position and we brought him on board,” Chiarelli said. “I wanted to broaden the scope of our amateur scouting and I felt that he was the best person to do that and that fits in to what I was saying ‘€“ it’€™s obvious we want more young players to be ready to play. You’€™ll be seeing some in the next two or three years, there are some good ones that are coming.

“You’€™ve heard about the [Ryan] Spooners, the [Anthony] Camaras, the [Malcolm] Subbans. There are some players that are coming but that was the impetus behind that decision. I wanted to broaden the scope, broaden meaning beyond a certain region and that is part and parcel why we hired [P.J.] Axelsson. There are a lot of good players in Sweden and we wanted to broaden our scope there too.”

September will be an interesting month for the young players already in the system, as the likes of Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser, Reilly Smith, Jordan Caron and Carter Camper, among others, will all compete for a vacant bottom-six spot.

“We have to get ‘€“ you know, we’€™re going to see an influx of young players this year,” Chiarelli said. “They’€™re going to get a chance, not just the ones that we have seen last year but the other guys are going to get a chance. We’€™re going to have to make room and find players because to make the commitments that we did to our core, although the cap is going to go up, you have to have flexibility, you have to have the other players coming. So that scenario I would like to improve on.”

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Peter Chiarelli’s best and worst moves as Bruins general manager 08.29.13 at 7:31 pm ET
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Why are the Bruins so good? Duh, it’s because they’re from Boston and they all “get it” and nobody else wants to win as badly as they do.

Nope, it’s because they have a really good roster and a really good coach. The man responsible for that was rewarded on Thursday, as the B’s announced a four-year extension for general manager Peter Chiarelli. Since coming to the Bruins in 2006, Chiarelli has revamped the roster and taken the Bruins from cellar-dwellers to annual Stanley Cup contenders and 2011 champs.

Though he often flies under the radar, Chiarelli has established himself as one of the best (if not the best) general managers in Boston in recent memory. He hasn’t been perfect, but he also hasn’t been afraid to do the unpopular thing. He’s made big moves (trading Phil Kessel and later Tyler Seguin) and he’s made smaller splashes where fans were calling for bigger ones (Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley).

It’s easy to forget how these Bruins rosters came about over the years, so here’s a look at Chiarelli’s best and worst moves as B’s general manager.

BEST MOVES

(Definitely not) signing Zdeno Chara

Chiarelli, who was working as the assistant general manager of the Senators, was hired by the Bruins on May 26, 2006, though he couldn’t begin working for the Bruins until July 15. Senators free agent defenseman Zdeno Chara, who highly respected Chiarelli, turned down a nice offer from the Kings and signed with the Bruins on July 1. So too did Marc Savard, which makes for a rare case in which a team was able to build itself into a contender via free agency in a salary cap league (Drew Brees with the Saints also comes to mind).

Technically, it was interim general manager Jeff Gorton who made those signings — technically — but in getting Chiarelli, the Bruins were able to get Chara, and he has been the biggest piece of this whole thing.

(It should be noted that the Bruins made some important moves under Gorton. Chiarelli was actually sitting at the Senators’ table when the Bruins “reached” for Milan Lucic with the 50th overall pick, took Brad Marchand 71st overall and traded for some kid named Tuukka Rask.)

Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew

The Bruins moved two-thirds of their return from the Joe Thornton deal (they’d later trade Marco Sturm for, in Chiarelli’s words, “nothing”) so it had to hurt some B’s fans to not see them get huge names for what they’d gotten for a Hart winner, but Ference ended up being a major part of both Cup runs for the Bruins. He was the unsung hero of the 2011 championship team and played a big role in neutralizing the Penguins when the B’s allowed just two goals to them in the Eastern Conference finals last season. Factor in what he did for team chemistry and his contributions to the community, and Ference was worth both the trade and the three-year, $6.75 million extension the B’s gave him.

Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and Tampa Bay’s 2010 second-round pick for Dennis Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski

We’ll see what happens with second-round pick Alex Petrovic in Florida, but Bitz has played 17 NHL games since the 2010 trade, while Weller played last season in Germany. Meanwhile, the Bruins got a top-pairing defenseman in Seidenberg and a very good young defenseman in Bartkowski, who scored in Game 7 against the Maple Leafs and should stick in the NHL this season.  Read the rest of this entry »

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