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Peter Chiarelli expects Bruins to ‘be quiet’ early in free agency 06.29.12 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
Tuukka Rask wants to remain with Bruins, Peter Chiarelli ‘not inclined’ to trade Tim Thomas 04.27.12 at 3:50 pm ET
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Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said Friday that he hopes to sign a long term deal with the team this offseason. A restricted free agent, Rask could refuse to sign with the team and force his way out of town, but the 25-year-old netminder said his plan is to stay.

“I think you guys know the answer to that question,” he said. “I’ve always said that I like it here and I want to come back, so that’s about it.”

Furthermore, Rask said that he wouldn’t require the Bruins to give him the starting job in order for him to return. Asked whether he’d still sign if the team planned on keeping Tim Thomas as the starter, Rask said he would.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, meanwhile, said that he is “not inclined” to trade either one of his goalies this offseason. Rask and the Bruins have yet to begin negotiating.

“I think there’s a clear plan,” Rask said. “I think everybody’s been talking about it for a long time. It’s not about the money, it’s more about what’s good for everybody. I’ve always said I like it here, and I think we have a great group of guys and the organization is great, so I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to be here. In my case, I love it here and we’ve just got to make things work.”

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Peter Chiarelli: Post-concussion symptoms accompanied progress with Nathan Horton 04.11.12 at 12:53 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli met with the media towards the end of Wednesday’s practice to discuss the team’s decision to shut Nathan Horton down for the playoffs.

Horton, who suffered his concussion on a Jan. 22 hit from Flyers forward Tom Sestito, was having a rough time in his recovery. He tried skating days after the concussion, but was shut down after suffering a setback. Horton returned to the ice last week, but he continued to feel post-concussion symptoms and the B’s didn’t want him to put pressure on himself to rush back.

“We felt it just wasn’€™t in the long-term interest of Nathan to be having the specter hanging over him of trying to come back during this playoff season,” Chiarelli said. “He’€™s made one step forward, and then two steps back and we just made the determination, upon consultation with our doctors, with Nathan, that it would be prudent to shut him down for the playoffs and continue to rehab for next year.”

The one step forward/two steps back is what made the decision clear for the Bruins.

“He’€™d be improving and then he’€™d have some symptoms,” Chiarelli said. “They weren’€™t huge symptoms, but they’€™d always come up at some point after three, four, five or six days of positive stuff.

“It was a frustrating exercise for Nathan, it was a frustrating exercise for us because we’€™ve been through this rehab before with players and I’€™ve seen all kinds of rehab patterns now because usually you can see when the player has color, and when he’€™s animated, you think he’€™s turned the corner and then they have a bout of post-concussion symptoms and they manifest themselves in different ways. With Nathan, sometimes it’€™d be just a fogginess, sometimes he wouldn’€™t feel right and sometimes there’€™d be a big headache. But it was always after three, four or five days of positive progress.”

Chiarelli added that Horton, who had 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points in 46 games this season, was “relieved” when the decision was finally made to shut him down. The GM said Horton will rehab in off-hours and “might take a couple weeks off.”

“I think with Nathan, he gets within the group and he looks back at his contributions this past year and last playoffs and he starts getting anxious and that probably compounds it, too,” Chiarelli said. “I think he felt a sense of relief, and again talking to Nathan over the course of the last couple of weeks, he doesn’€™t look bad ‘€“ he looks good actually. But he gets these bouts ‘€“ the fogginess doesn’€™t feel right and you have to be very careful.”

Chiarelli was asked whether he is confident that Horton will be ready for next season, but as the B’s have learned in the past, you never know with concussions.

“Yeah, I am but who knows? Who knows?” he said while shrugging. “IGoing into two weeks ago you had asked me [about[ him playing this playoffs, I [would say], ‘€˜You know, there’€™s a chance.’€™ And then he had a couple of setbacks and then you have to take a step back and kind of look at the whole thing and that’€™s what we did.”

One thing that Chiarelli was adamant about was whether this concussion, which was initially termed “mild,” had anything to do with the concussion he suffered less than seven months earlier on a hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.

“Totally unconnected, totally unconnected and the symptoms were completely different,” Chiarelli said. ‘€¦ “It was clear to me it was totally unconnected to the first concussion.”

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Aaron Rome, Peter Chiarelli, Tom Sestito
Peter Chiarelli: Brad Marchand asked league for clarification this fall on low hits 01.09.12 at 7:14 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli issued the following statement after Brad Marchand was given a five-game suspension for his hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo:

“While we respect the process that the Department of Player Safety took to reach their decision regarding Brad’€™s hit on Sami Salo, we are very disappointed by their ruling.

“While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.

“It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary. He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety. Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep, today’€™s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad.”

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Claude Julien finds Canucks ‘so hypocritical’ for pointing finger at Brad Marchand, Bruins at 1:53 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien was among those who took issues with the Canucks’ criticism of Brad Marchand‘s style of play. The B’s coach responded to Vancouver coach Alain Vignealt‘s comments that Marchand’s hit on Sami Salo was dirty and that Marchand “plays to hurt players.”

“I think it’s pretty hypocritical, everything that’s been going on,” Julien said. “It’s unfortunate. Sometimes you’ve got to look in your backyard. We all know that he’s got the same type of players on his team, and they’ve all done the same thing. You just have to look at Burrows putting his blade in Thornton’s throat. It’s so hypocritical. It’s unfortunate. I guess we’re stupid. We’re idiots and they’re the smartest team in the league. I guess we need to listen to all the gab they have to say.”

Like general manager Peter Chiarelli, Julien did not like that Vigneault said “someone is going to hurt” Marchand, as former Canucks forward Brad May infamously said Avalanche Steve Moore had a “bounty” on his head before then-Canuck Todd Bertuzzi ended Moore’s career with a cheap punch to the back of the head.

“We all know that that comment’s been said before, and it didn’t turn out well,” Julien said, “so we’ll leave it at that.”

Julien also said he feels teams focus on the Bruins as being dirty more than they do on similar plays from other teams, including the Canucks.

“They can say whatever they want, but everything that happens, whether it’s Zdeno Chara last year, him in Montreal, we saw how many clips of that happening to everybody else, yet the focus was on Chara,” Julien said. “The focus is on Marchand right now. Why isn’t it on [Mason] Raymond for last year? Why isn’t it on other people? There’s [Keith] Ballard on [Jamie] McGinn.

“There’s all kinds examples, but somehow the Bruins happen to be the team that people prefer picking on and think we’re the bruisers and we’re the example of the league. We have to live with that, but the one thing we won’t do is change our style of play. Our team is built that way. I think we play pretty entertaining hockey. We’re a fast team. We’re a skilled team. We’re also a physical team, and we’re Stanley Cup champions, so I don’t see why we should change.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Jamie McGinn, Peter Chiarelli
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