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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.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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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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Bruins give Peter Chiarelli four-year extension at 2:50 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Thursday that they have given general manager Peter Chiarelli a four-year contract extension that will run through the 2017-18 season. Chiarelli was entering the final year of his current contract.

The Bruins have reached the postseason in six of Chiarelli’s seven seasons as general manager and have reached the Stanley Cup finals twice, winning it all in 2011. He is one of three general managers to win a Cup with the Bruins, as they won multiple Cups under Art Ross and Milt Schmidt.

The Harvard graduate served as a player agent after getting his law degree and passing the bar following his playing days. He then joined the Senators, where he was the director of legal relations before becoming assistant to the general manager.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Peter Chiarelli added to Team Canada management 08.25.13 at 6:15 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has been added to Team Canada’s Olympic management staff, something that became official Sunday as Olympic hopefuls (46 players) met in Calgary for a three-day orientation.

Chiarelli isn’t the only Bruins representation at the camp, as Claude Julien is an associate coach, while Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand are among the players in attendance.

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Peter Chiarelli on Salk & Holley: Bruins got better in offseason 07.17.13 at 5:34 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli joined Salk & Holley on Wednesday, discussing a busy shakeup of his roster this offseason that most notably saw him trade former second overall pick Tyler Seguin to the Stars in a deal that brought Loui Eriksson to Boston.

Chiarelli said that though he had publicly questioned Seguin’s professionalism, he felt that he was a “good teammate.” Much was made of Seguin’s partying — a concern the team brought to his attention during the first round of the playoffs before hiring a guard to stand outside his hotel room to make sure he didn’t leave — but Chiarelli said Seguin’s off-ice issues weren’t major.

“He liked to be out,” Chiarelli said. “That doesn’t mean he was out drinking or out late. I know he was at times, but he liked to live life. I respect that.”

The issue, Chiarelli said, was that the Bruins ultimately couldn’t wait for Seguin to reach his potential with their best player’s prime years going by. Chiarelli admitted that with captain Zdeno Chara (36 years old) not getting any younger, the team is in more of a win-now mode, which made swapping Seguin for the established Eriksson (27) more appealing.

“Not that we’re in a window — because hopefully this window will be added to and we’ll keep going and replenishing our players — but [Seguin's] a natural center and a guy that we got out of a trade that brought good returns in Tyler and Dougie [Hamilton] and Jared Knight, but he was an elite player that was pushed down our lineup because of where we were as a team,” Chiarelli said. “If you can recall his first year, year and a half, he was. It was almost like he was too soon for his time on our team. That was part of it.”

Chiarelli said that he believes Seguin will be successful in Dallas, but he isn’t afraid that the B’s will regret the trade because of what they’re getting back in Eriksson.

“I have a good idea of what Tyler will become and I don’t worry about it. You’ve got to know what you’re getting and how that will help you win now. There’s a real good chance that Tyler becomes a star. When we traded Phil [Kessel] I said publicly that this guy’s at least a 35-goal-scorer, a 40-goal-scorer. We knew what we were trading, but it’s about what you’re getting back and how you can win with it.”

As for Nathan Horton’s decision not to re-sign with the Bruins, Chiarelli shared that the team’s intention was to bring Horton back. In years past, the GM had shared that he’d told players to test the market (Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle) prior to their departure, but Chiarelli long being on record of wanting Horton return seems to indicate that Horton’s decision to not even negotiate with the B’s was a personal one.

The offseason has seen the Bruins trade Seguin and Rich Peverley for Eriksson and three prospects, lose Horton, Andrew Ference and Anton Khudobin to free agency, not re-sign Jaromir Jagr and bring in Jarome Iginla and goaltender Chad Johnson via free agency. The team has also signed Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask to eight-year contracts. Asked if he felt the Bruins are better now than they were last season, Chiarelli said he did.

“I think we are,” he said. “We lose a little on the character and speed from the outset, but I thought we gained it back with Iginla and got more natural wingers. I think we’re a better team. If it’s a wash as far as the additions and subtractions, I think our team gets better because our core is getting older and stronger and better.”

Read More: Nathan Horton, Peter Chiarelli, Tyler Seguin,
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