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Why Claude Julien is a perfect fit for the Bruins 07.24.12 at 3:49 pm ET
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There are plenty of reasons Peter Chiarelli and Bruins management decided to extend the contract of Claude Julien this week.

First of all, his contract was expired after last season.

Secondly, no one else since Harry Sinden has been behind the bench as the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.

And thirdly, no one is more respected for his ability to blend character, discipline and humor the way Julien has since taking over for Dave Lewis after the 2006-07 season.

There’s another much more subtle reason to keep Julien behind the bench for the Black and Gold – stability. Should the Bruins and the rest of the NHL not figure out their pending labor issues by the Sept. 15 deadline, the season could easily be shortened, and like the NFL and NBA in 2011, teams may have to wing it to get their teams ready for competition.

No one knows more what he wants or expects from the Bruins than Julien.

“The one thing you try to do as a coach is keep things fresh,” Julien said at his contract extension press conference at TD Garden Tuesday. “Every year you try to attack certain areas that will maybe change just a little bit that will give guys a fresher look. That’s how you keep your team interested, intact and hopefully competitive.”

To Chiarelli, what he sees is a coach over five years that hasn’t just won a Stanley Cup, he’s instilled just the right amount of discipline, walking that fine line between motivation and expectation from his players.

“Leadership in a coach manifests itself different ways with different people,” Chiarelli said. “To me, I like to talk about a coach’s persona. His person in a venue like this [press conference] and his persona in the room. It’s about commanding respect. It’s about motivating the players in a respectful way and a professional way. It’s about the ideas, the formats, the approaches. It’s all professional, it’s all to an end. There’s a plan.

“Claude’s ability to have that persona and have players respect what he stands for and to be able to deliver that message in a way that engages them, that’s what I see as leadership and that’s what Claude has, and a large part of that leadership is character.”

For Julien, there have been rocky times to be sure. Remember the May 13, 2010 when the Flyers completed their comeback from 3-0 down to eliminate the Bruins? Remember in their Cup run of 2011 when P.K. Subban scored to force overtime in Game 7 in the first round. If the Bruins don’t win that game, it’s a near certainty that Julien is not up on the dais Tuesday talking about his vision for the Bruins. Even this year, when the Bruins were fading a bit in the final two months of the season, falling from first to third in the East, there were whispers that players were tuning out Julien. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Dave Lewis, Harry Sinden
Bruins give Claude Julien multi-year extension 07.23.12 at 5:32 pm ET
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The Bruins have signed head coach Claude Julien to a multi-year contract extension.

Julien, the 28th coach in team history, has been with the team since 2007 and carries a record of 228-132-50 with the B’s, good for a .617 win percentage. He led Boston to its first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years in the 2010-11 season.

The Bruins will hold a press conference Tuesday at noon to announce the signing.

Read More: Claude Julien, Peter Chiarelli,
Ryan Spooner shines as Bruins prospects wrap up development camp 07.02.12 at 2:41 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins’ sixth annual development camp is in the books, as the B’s prospects finished the six-day camp with a power skating session and a scrimmage Monday at Ristuccia Arena.

Forward Ryan Spooner was the star of the day, scoring two goals for the white team in the black and white scrimmage. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli called Spooner “one of the usual suspects” when it comes to players pushing for an NHL job this season along with fellow 2010 second-round pick Jared Knight and defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Both Knight and Spooner will head to the AHL if they don’t make the team out of camp, as they finished their junior careers last season in the OHL.

More to come from camp.

Read More: 2012 Development Camp, Dougie Hamilton, Jared Knight, Peter Chiarelli
Peter Chiarelli: Tuukka Rask ‘wants to prove to me that he is a No. 1 goalie’ 06.29.12 at 1:19 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Speaking between sessions at Friday’s development camp, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed the team’s agreement in principle with goaltender Tuukka Rask on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. For bookkeeping purposes, the team will not register the deal until Sunday, the first day of free agency. Rask would have become a restricted free agent Sunday, and he will be one at the end of his upcoming deal.

While Rask only agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $3.5 million, he certainly plans to be in Boston past next season. According to the general manager, Rask agreed to the one-year deal so he could prove that he is worth a long-term contract.

‘€œHe wants to prove that he is the No. 1 goalie for the Bruins for a long time,’€ Chiarelli said. ‘€œThis was the easiest way to set the stage for that. Tuukka has been a really good goalie for us, but for one year he hasn’€™t been the number one goalie. The stage is set for him and we will see where it takes us.’€

The contract, which is less money and less years than that of comparable goalies Ondrej Pavelec (five years, $19.5 million) and Cory Schneider (three years, $12 million), prevents Rask from testing the market as a restricted free agent.

‘€œHe could have went out and tried to do [arbitration], or tested free agency, and he is not,’€ Chiarelli said. ‘€œHe wants to be a member of the Boston Bruins for a long time and I like to hear that. I know you hear that often when you sign guys, but Tuukka throughout since he has been here, he has started here, and he has been patient.

‘€œHe has worked in Providence and he has worked as a backup. He is following the steps. I like that. I like that he wants to prove to me that he is a number one goalie.’€

Rask, who has a .926 save percentage and a 2.20 goals against average in 102 games with the Bruins, spent the past two seasons backing up Tim Thomas. However, with Thomas likely to sit out next season, Rask will be thrust into the starting role, something that Chiarelli thinks he is capable of handling.

‘€œWe saw [good performance from Rask] for a large portion of [2009-10],’€ Chiarelli said. ‘€œHe’s coming back earlier to train. I guess the proof is in the pudding at the end of the day, but $3.5 million isn’t chump change. He’s shown to me that he’s ready to take that next step.’€

Read More: Boston Bruins, Peter Chiarelli, Tuukka Rask,
Peter Chiarelli expects Bruins to ‘be quiet’ early in free agency at 12:54 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins general Peter Chiarelli said Friday that he does not expect the team to make a splash on the first day of free agency Sunday.

“My gut is telling me that we’ll be quiet,” Chiarelli said. “That’s my gut. Now, if you at how we’ve built the team over the years, but for my first year and when we signed [Michael] Ryder, we haven’t really gone out and hit a couple of home runs on July 1. Maybe I look at the trade market after July 1, but my gut is I’ll probably be quiet.”

The Bruins, who have already re-signed unrestricted free agents Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell this summer, will return the vast majority of their 2011-12 roster next season. Wing Jordan Caron will likely take on a bigger role while defenseman Dougie Hamilton stands strong chance at making the team.

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News and notes from Wednesday’s conference call with Peter Chiarelli 06.13.12 at 8:01 pm ET
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Here are some of the takeaway bits from Peter Chiarelli‘s conference call with the media today. For Wednesday’s column on what he and the players had to say about the Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell signings, click here.

– Chiarelli said that while he did not see Tim Thomas‘ Facebook post, nothing has changed on the Thomas front and the team still believes Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin will be the NHL goalies next season. Thomas heavily implied but did not flat-out say that he was taking the year off, and the Bruins have not heard from the netminder since.

– Asked about the status of restricted free agent Benoit Pouliot, Chiarelli offered no update on the team’s intentions but said a return for the 25-year-old is “a possibility.” Pouliot and Brian Rolston are the only two forwards from last year’s team that are not signed.

– The general manager confirmed that with all of the team’s centers locked up, the plan for Tyler Seguin is to keep him at right wing in the coming seasons. Seguin was drafted as a center after playing the position in the OHL, but the combination of the team’s depth and his getting familiar with the NHL has kept him at right wing for the vast majority of his two professional seasons.

“Kells is a center and [Rich Peverley] is a center and they’€™ve played wing, so for the short term, yes,” he said of Seguin staying at wing. “He’€™s had success at the wing, and short term may be one, two, three years. Who knows? At this point we don’€™t have any reason to put him to the middle.”

– Kelly’s deal won’t officially be signed until July 1 because of what Chiarelli called “payroll tagging issues.”

“It’€™s a salary cap thing,” he said. “It’€™s called tagging room about future commitments, and so because of that, we won’€™t be able to register until July 1st. Basically, it’€™s a formula based on salary cap and future commitments.”

Read More: Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Peter Chiarelli,
Peter Chiarelli conference call: Bruins not expecting return of Tim Thomas, Joe Corvo 06.01.12 at 4:54 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed goalkeeper Tim Thomas said he wants to sit out the 2012-13 season, citing familial reasons.

Chiarelli said on Friday that he will have to suspend Thomas if the goalkeeper does not play next year, but Thomas’ cap number will still impact the team.

“As of right now I’m operating under the premise that there’s a strong possibility that he’ll be taking the year off and we’ll have to go about our business without Tim Thomas for the year,” Chiarelli said.

If Thomas does not come back, Chiarelli said the Bruins would use Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin as the goalkeepers.

“We’ve got two very capable goalies in Tuukka and Khudobin so I’d be more than satisfied if that’s who we have to go with,” Chiarelli said.

Even though Thomas’ exploration into taking a year off coincides closely with the expiration of his no-trade, Chiarelli said he doesn’t think that factored into Thomas’ decision. The Bruins general manager said the reason why Thomas wants a year off is because the goalkeeper cares about his family and wants to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Chiarelli added that Thomas had expressed issues of exhaustion before.

“I remember one of the things that he told me after, the year before, we met, that he was really tired,” Chiarelli said. “And we had exit meetings after we won the cup and he was really tired. And he said to me after these exit meetings he definitely was worn down a bit.”

Thomas isn’t the only player with a questionable future as the Bruins are still involved in various contract negotiations. On Friday team announced the signing of Daniel Paille and Chris Bourque.

Chiarelli said Bourque, the son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, has a chance of making Boston’s lineup and playing with skilled players.

“He does have those attributes,” Chiarelli said. “He does have the ability to shoot and find seams, but he also has a great element to his game where if he has to play lower down the line that he can do that.”

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Read More: Chris Bourque, Daniel Paille, Peter Chiarelli, Tim Thomas
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