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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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Peter Chiarelli

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.”

Read More: Peter Chiarelli, Tuukka Rask,
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.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Peter Chiarelli,
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
Peter Chiarelli finds Alain Vigneault’s threatening comments about Brad Marchand ‘real unprofessional’ at 12:48 pm ET
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The Bruins are defending Brad Marchand. (AP)

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli held an impromptu session with reporters Monday at TD Garden to express his feelings on Canucks coach Alain Vigneault‘s comments Sunday about B’s forward Brad Marchand. The 23-year-old forward was given a game misconduct for his low-bridge hit on Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.

“Marchand – and this is just my feeling – but some day he’s going to get it,” Vigneault told reporters Sunday. “Some day, someone’s going to say ‘enough is enough’ and they’re going to hurt the kid because he plays to hurt players. And if the league doesn’t care, somebody else will.”

Chiarelli said he found Vigneault’s comments to be threatening.

“I think we’ve learned our lesson over time that that’s a real inappropriate comment,” he said. “That’s a real inappropriate comment, and it’s an unprofessional comment.”

Former Canucks winger Brad May infamously said Avalanche forward Steve Moore had a “bounty” on his head following Moore’s blindside hit on Markus Naslund in 2004. Later that season, teammate Todd Bertuzzi ended Moore’s career with his vicious punch to the back of Moore’s head.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis also called Marchand a “dirty player.” Chiarelli took issue with all the comments to emerge from Vancouver, noting that Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard is “notorious” for such hits.

“Brad does play on the edge, but he’s no dirtier than maybe two or three of their players,” Chiarelli said. “I think in general, after a game like that you see all the high-handed propaganda. I just feel the need to respond. Whether it’s from coaches, GMs or players, I don’t like to hear that kind of stuff.”

On the subject of Ballard, Chiarelli referenced multiple low-bridge hits committed by the defenseman.

“With respect to some of the comments made from a player regarding what’s a hip check and what’s clipping and all that stuff, I think that’s naive, too. What’s makes a difference if you have the puck or if you don’t on a hip check? What’s the difference? To say that there’s a distinction, there’s not. It’s like a reverse check,” Chiarelli said. “And that player actually, he’s notorious for that stuff, with or without the puck.”

Read More: Alain Vigneault, Brad Marchand, Peter Chiarelli, Steve Moore
Peter Chiarelli: ‘If I could find another Milan Lucic, I’d be very pleased’ 12.19.11 at 8:49 pm ET
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Bruins fans can rest easy.

The team’s general manager made it clear Monday night he’s not about to change the way he builds his roster based on a one-game suspension of one of his higher profile players.

Peter Chiarelli said Monday he understands what Brendan Shanahan was doing by handing out a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic for the hit-from-behind on Zac Rinaldo on Saturday in Philadelphia. There’s a history there with Lucic and the Bruins have skated from possible suspensions on transgressions from Brad Marchand and Adam McQuaid in the last two weeks.

But not this time.

Still, Chiarelli wants to be clear. The Bruins will still be big and bad.

“It’s one game, for one thing, so I’m not going to react to that,” Chiarelli said minutes before the game Lucic missed with the Canadiens. “We went into the year with the new rule changes thinking that we were going to be a little more heavily scrutinized. We might have even played a heavier game in the playoffs, and, again, people were clamoring that we got away with stuff, and maybe we did, maybe we didn’t. But that’s the way we built the team, and I’m going to continue to build it that way.

“I mean, hey, if I could find another Milan Lucic, I’d be very pleased. I think everyone in the league would want a player like that. No, we won’t stray from how we built it, and we’ll continue to put the pieces in that have some character and have some toughness.

Chiarelli said he spoke with the top judge in the NHL operations office on Monday, getting the full explanation of the discipline.

“I talked to Brendan Shanahan today following his sanction on Milan, the one-game suspension, and what was explained to me was that when there have been incidents before with a player, they look at the whole body of work,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t know if it’s as strong as being a repeat offender, but he’s done stuff in the past, according to hockey ops, that go to his character reference when they’re looking at putting up punishment. Brendan didn’t say this, but if it was his first incident, I would think maybe he wouldn’t have been suspended. Brendan didn’t say that, but that’s my take on the whole thing.

“If you go back and see what Milan has done, to me, it’s pretty unremarkable, but they obviously look at everything.”

But Chiarelli, to his credit, did itemize the list of misdeeds that led up to Monday’s suspension.

“I think he got a suspension against [Maxim] Lapierre, he got the fine against Freddy Meyer, he got a warning on [Ryan] Miller, and this,” Chiarelli said. “I might have been missing one, but he didn’t get any other warnings. You wouldn’t know of warnings because, short of a fine, they don’t publicize that. I agree with the global objective of addressing player safety, and if the body of work means that now he’s in that, again, not “repeat offender,” but the “repeat concerns,” I guess, however you want to characterize it, then if that’s what it is, that’s what it is. Obviously I support the league’s attempt at addressing player safety.

“And I think Milan might have explained to you, and he actually, if you look at it closely, I feel that he has, he did change his game, so to speak, on that check. I thought he stopped skating. If you looked at his left arm going in, I thought he tried to lever him so that he could hit him in the crest, and I don’t think he hit him as hard as he normally does. Milan’s a guy who’s led our team in hits, I think, since he’s been here, and he’s very rarely been penalized with boarding, hit from behind – the roughing stuff. He’s a clean player, and that’s what the law is now, so we’ll abide by it.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Brendan Shanahan, Milan Lucic, NHL
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