|Pastrnak Watch: Rookie mistakes, starting main camp on David Krejci’s line?||09.14.14 at 7:55 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. – David Pastrnak was less impressive in Sunday’s overtime loss against the Lightning than he was the day before against the Panthers, but it was still a notable day for him as his general manager’s words added more fuel to the belief that Pastrnak could very well end up making the team as an 18-year-old.
Asked specifically whether the plan was to take the 2014 first-round pick into the season for the first nine games before deciding whether to keep him and begin his entry level contract, Peter Chiarelli said that decision has yet to be made. However, Chiarelli made it clear that the team will give Pastrnak a realistic shot to make the team, perhaps trying him on the first line with David Krejci and, should Reilly Smith remain unsigned, on the second line with Patrice Bergeron.
“Listen, if he’s going to make our team, he’s going to have to play higher up in the lineup,” Chiarelli said. “He’s a skill guy with speed and he needs to play with skill players. Maybe when I say, like he’s not going to start down the lineup in preseason, in camp, it’s just he’ll have to be with skill players because you’re not going to get what you want from him.
“Who knows, he might start with Krejci, I don’t know. It’s about giving him some skill players, measuring the expectation level. Everything’s about him right now. There’s other good players out there too, like Ferlin’s a player. I thought he was outstanding yesterday. He was really good and strong. He’s just not as flashy as David and so there’s other players. But with David, let’s take one step at a time and a smaller body can wear down over time so let’s see how he handles that stuff.”
Pastrnak remained at center between Seth Griffith and Anthony Camara on Sunday. He struggled mightily on faceoffs, but the team is only using him at center for this rookie camp before moving him back to right wing for main camp next week.
The lowlight of the day was the game’s final play, as Pastrnak tried to steal the puck from Jonathan Drouin in the defensive zone rather than taking the man. Drouin went around Pastrnak and set up the game-winning goal. After the game, Pastrnak acknowledged his error, saying that he understood he should have hit Drouin rather than going for the big play.
Despite Pastrnak not being as sensational as he was in the tournament’s opening game, he remained the flashiest player on the ice. His play with the puck on his stick has stood out thus far, while his defensive play has been hit-or-miss.
|Peter Chiarelli: ‘I can’t sign everybody’||at 6:43 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. – At the first intermission of the Bruins’ rookie game against the Lightning, general manager Peter Chiarelli discussed the team’s NHL roster and where things stand going forward.
The biggest takeaways were that David Pastrnak could begin training camp on the right wing of David Krejci‘s line, that he will not sign all of his free-agents-to-be and that he will trade a defenseman at some point. Chiarelli offered no update on the status of Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, both of whom remain unsigned with days left until camp.
With Johnny Boychuk and Carl Soderberg the biggest names entering the final years of their contracts and the Bruins having $49,897,857 against the cap committed to 10 players (not counting Marc Savard) for 2015-16, money figures to be tight going forward. The last time the Bruins had multiple players to sign and a potential cap crunch ahead, Chiarelli opted to sign all three players (Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchands, all of whom were a year away from restricted free agency) with the idea that if he had to trade one down the road, he would.
Chiarelli said he won’t go the sign-everyone route this time. The team recently signed David Krejci to a six-year, $43.5 million extension.
“I can’t sign everybody, and I’d love to sign everybody, but we can’t for the numbers that they want,” Chiarelli said. “Before, when I said we’d like to lock up guys. We still would, and we can with our cap. We make a decision on Krej, and that’s a big number. Some things you have to let play out, and we have to be a little versatile ourselves when it comes to team-building and we’re forced to do that this year.
“Am I going to try to sign all these guys? We look at all these guys, we look at different lineups going forward into the year. As the year progresses, we look and I think we’re going to take more time.”
Historically, Chiarelli has signed his key free-agents-to-be before they enter their contract’s final seasons. Boychuk knows that his future is uncertain and recently expressed that he does not want to be traded.
“I’ve always tried to get the team together signed and get them in place and give them a level of security,’ Chiarelli said. ‘I always feel that with that, they will perform. Of course, I’ve got to see the performance to get to that point. They’ve seen that we’ve tried to keep this team together as much as we can; we’ve had a lot of success with this group of guys. Around the fringes, guys have to go, but they’ve seen us try and [keep the team together], so they know our intentions are noble, so now it’s not quite ideal where we can keep the band together, so to speak.
“I think they understand that we always want to ice a Cup-winning team, and with that comes some casualties. This year, I’m looking forward to it, to a certain degree; there’s a lot of competition, there’s a lot of spots, including ‘ you don’t wish one of these D men to be traded, but we just have too many D men. At some point, I’m going to have to do it, and all the teams in the league, most of the teams in the league would like one of these defensemen.
“And I know everyone’s waiting, ‘What move will [he] make? What move will [he] make?’ Well, I have to see what’s going to happen, see who fits well with whom, but the uncertainty is something this year that is a byproduct of the cap and a successful team and locking up those guys, and eventually there’s other guys that are just going to get too expensive. I don’t cast any aspersions on them for being at that level, but that’s what it’s at.”
|Leftover pieces from Peter Chiarelli’s press conference||07.13.14 at 10:27 pm ET|
During Peter Chiarelli‘s press conference to conclude development camp, he discussed the future of some of the team’s prospects and shared that the team has discussed moving Gregory Campbell to the wing to allow one of the team’s center prospects to reach the NHL.
He also discussed a lot of other things. Here are some of the other bits:
– Chiarelli said that the players who dealt with injuries late last season are all on schedule to be ready for training camp. That group includes Chris Kelly (back), Matt Fraser (foot) and Adam McQuaid (multiple injuries).
– It’s been a common occurrence in Chiarelli’s tenure as Bruins GM to not let his star players reach free agency, so it’s likely he’ll try to get new deals for David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk done before next summer if he intends to keep the players.
“I’m not going to go into details as to our negotiations,” Chiarelli said. ‘I can say that we will try and get guys done, I try and be proactive and we’re working on a couple things right now.”
– Chiarelli said he wasn’t surprised by the eight-year deals with annual $10.5 million cap hits that were given to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
– Fraser’s shot alone is enough to make him a darkhorse candidate to replace Jarome Iginla on Boston’s first line next year. Asked about that being a possibility, Chiarelli noted the left-shooting Fraser’s experience on the right side.
“He’s played on the right side; he can really shoot it,” Chiarelli said. “We haven’t got him signed yet but we’ll get him signed shortly. He’s showed that he can play a two-way game and that you can put him up on that lineup because you end up getting all the matchups, right? So you have to have a responsible player up there. But you know, he’s a guy that we’re going to have a look at.”
– Some free agents remain unsigned, a group that includes right wing Lee Stempniak, a player with whom the Bruins have spoken. Cap space is tight, so while it’s no sure thing the Bruins will sign any free agent for their NHL roster, they’re still looking at them.
“There’s a list of guys that I’m looking at and there is also a list of guys internally,” Chiarelli said. “I like the competition, you’ve heard me talk about the competition. I think it really energizes the team and guys bubble up, they thrive in it. So I’m balancing the two things and there are a lot of our players available right now.”
– One of the three forward spots that are open for the Bruins won’t go to a fighter. The B’s have Bobby Robins and Tyler Randell in the AHL if they need them, but Chiarelli said he feels the Bruins already have team toughness.
“I believe it’s already there, I do,” he said. “Also, we have a couple of candidates that played in Providence that surely could fit in if we need them. I really think it’s already there, I do, and you’re going to see Adam back, whoever’s playing D. We’ve got some tough guys there that can hold up their own, so I believe it’s already there.”
– The Bruins have lots of assets that they could trade if they want to add a forward that way. Chiarelli said that for now, trade talks have slowed throughout the league.
“There’s stuff going on; it’s just not fast,” Chiarelli said. “There’s parameters and deals talked about and it’s just kind of pushing it along slowly. There’s not urgency. It may happen that it happens on the eve of training camp or two days before, because the player has to get to that camp from where he is but, it’s slow. It’s slow.”
|Jonathan Toews contract puts Patrice Bergeron’s deal in perspective||07.09.14 at 3:45 pm ET|
On Wednesday, the Blackhawks finally delivered the mega-contracts to their mega-stars that the hockey world had seen coming for a mega-long time. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane got, as they say, paid.
The numbers were the same for each: Eight years and $84 million, with the deals carrying annual cap hits of $10.5 million.
That’s a boatload of money, but great players in their prime get paid boatloads of money. Both contracts should be met with initial shock at the dollars followed by an understanding that the cap goes up over the years and that we’re talking about two of the best players in the league.
The Bruins don’t have a player like Kane, and not many teams do. However, Toews and Patrice Bergeron have spent the last few years (and figure to spend many more) battling one another for the Selke Trophy as the league’s top two-way forward.
Last summer, Bergeron got a mega-extension of his own: Eight years worth $52 million with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.
Now, there are obvious differences between Bergeron and Toews, with the biggest one that Toews is a better player, particularly offensively — that one’s kind of the biggie here.
They’re also different ages. Bergeron will turn 29 years old later this month, while Toews turned 26 in April.
Still, considering the two players are compared to one another each year in the Selke race (Toews edged Bergeron in the 2013 season, Bergeron won for the second time in three years this past season), it’s worth comparing the two contracts. The immediate takeaway from Toews’ deal is that, at $4 million against the cap less each year, Peter Chiarelli got Bergeron, perhaps for the rest of his career, at a pretty sweet rate.
Last season, the players put up similar offensive numbers, with Toews’ 68 points over 76 games edging Bergeron’s 62 points over 80, but Bergeron put up 30 goals while Toews netted 28. Bergeron’s faceoff numbers (third in faceoff percentage; Toews was fifth) and superior advanced stats (he finished third in the league among players with 25 or more games in Corsi Rel; Toews was 22nd) made him the Selke winner in the eyes of the Pro Hockey Writers Association.
It should be expected that Toews will regularly outproduce Bergeron offensively, while Bergeron figures to remain the better defensive player. They aren’t the same player, but they’re closer than their contracts suggest. Neither deal has begun yet (Bergeron’s starts this coming season, Toews’ the year after that), but count Bergeron’s as another savvy signing for Chiarelli.
|Peter Chiarelli: Bruins won’t go big in free agency||06.23.14 at 1:18 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli held a conference with the media Monday to discuss the upcoming draft and free agency periods. Here are some of the takeaways:
– Chiarelli declined comment on negotiations with Jarome Iginla, saying only that the team wants the free agent forward to stay in Boston. The B’s are facing $4.75 million in penalties from cap overages from last season, most of which were from the easily reached incentives in Iginla’s one-year contract.
Chiarelli said the team was willing to face such a situation when they signed Iginla last offseason, but hinted the team might be less inclined to do a similar deal given that they have to account for raises to other players (Chiarelli mentioned David Krejci, but Carl Soderberg can also be included) in the 2015-16 season. So, connecting the dots, perhaps the Bruins are more willing to do a multi-year deal with Iginla rather than another one-year, incentive laden deal.
If that were to happen, Iginla’s cap hit would be higher than it was last season ($1.8 million), but the team won’t have to deal with cap penalties in future seasons.
– Such a scenario might make things tight for the Bruins. The salary cap has yet to be announced for the coming season, but when factoring in Marc Savard‘s long-term injury reserve space, the Bruins are probably looking at about $8 million to $10 million to sign a group of players that includes Iginla, Reilly Smith and Torey Krug, among others. Asked whether he felt he needed to move a contract in order to get his players signed, Chiarelli said he has multiple potential game plans for this offseason, some of which include trading a player off the current roster.
– Chiarelli said the Bruins are not planning on using a compliance buyout at this time.
– The Bruins will look at ‘lesser deals’ in free agency, according to Chiarelli. For both cap’s sake and chemistry’s sake, the team is not looking at bringing in a big-name free agent.
– Providence coach Bruce Cassidy is a potential candidate to take Geoff Ward‘s old job as one of Claude Julien‘s assistants, but Chiarelli noted the team might want to keep Cassidy in Providence because of how dependable he has been with developing younger players, especially on the back end.
– The number of new general managers has led to increased chatter among teams, Chiarelli said. He noted that the first-time managers seem eager to execute their plans, which has resulted in more teams talking.
|Peter Chiarelli: Bruins not planning on trading Brad Marchand for Patrick Marleau or anyone else||06.13.14 at 9:39 am ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told WEEI.com Friday morning that he has no plans to trade forward Brad Marchand. He also refuted a rumor from Thursday that the team was discussing a trade of the pesky forward for Sharks veteran Patrick Marleau.
“I have had no discussions for Marchand and I have no plans to trade him,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t make it a practice to respond to reports in the social media, but occasionally it is necessary.”
A veteran of four seasons, Marchand has three years left on a four-year, $18 million extension that contains a modified no-trade clause. His $4.5 million cap hit is fourth among Bruins forwards and sixth among Bruins players.
Marleau is not a logical fit for the Bruins given that they are looking to shed salary going forward rather than add it. In addition to Marleau being 34 years of age, his deal carries two more years of a $6.66 million cap hit and contains a no-movement clause.
The upside of adding a player like Marleau is that he is still productive at his age, as he had 33 goals for the Sharks last season, but making that expensive of a minor upgrade (Marchand had more goals than Marleau’s 17 in the 2013 season) in one spot on the top-six would make it even harder for the Bruins to re-sign Jarome Iginla, who is a free agent and led the Bruins in goals in both the regular season, when his 30 goals matched Patrice Bergeron‘s, and postseason.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Peter Chiarelli unsure Bruins will retain Shawn Thornton||05.16.14 at 6:45 pm ET|
Shawn Thornton‘s future with the Bruins is murky at best, as he was not told that he wouldn’t be re-signed Friday, but Peter Chiarelli did not tell him the team plans to retain him.
Thornton, a free agent, wants to play another two years. His preference is to play in Boston, so the sense is that if the Bruins will have him back, he’ll return. If they don’t want him, he won’t. Chiarelli told Thornton that he needs to look at some things before he decides whether the team will make him an offer.
“Thorty I thought had a kind of up and down year,” Chiarelli said. “He got, obviously, the incident with Pittsburgh and you know, there’s trends in hockey and the fisticuffs trend — again, this doesn’t characterize Thorty as just a fighter because he contributed on that [fourth] line.
“That line has had a lot of success in the past, but there is definitely, we’re trending away from that style. I had a discussion with Thorty this morning and I said, ‘Look, give me a couple weeks to digest what’s happened and then we’ll go from there.’ That same comment applies to [Jarome Iginla]. I haven’t talked to the other [unrestricted free agents] yet but to Iggy and Thorny so far.”
Iginla is a free agent as well. He played this season on a one-year deal in which the Bruins were able to pay him bonuses that will go against next year’s cap in order to save money on this year’s cap. The team can keep doing that on Iginla, but only on one-year deals.
Iginla, who tied for the team lead with 30 goals in the regular season and led the team with five postseason goals, said he does not wish to negotiate publicly, so he was generally tight-lipped about what he wants. He did say that at age 36, he still feels he can play a while longer.
“I still want to play for a while before I quit. I’ll push myself to be better and there are no issues,” he said. “I loved playing here with the guys and there’s a great chance for next year for the Stanley Cup. They keep getting better with the young guys that they have, Dougie [Hamilton] and [Matt Bartkowski]. The core is still young. There’s lots of reasons. Very fortunate if I can be back here.”
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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