|Mark Stuart: ‘I’m not packing my bags yet’||02.12.11 at 1:23 pm ET|
WILMINGTON –Mark Stuart entered the season as an important part of the Bruins’ blue line, and a guy who seemed a fit to one day wear a letter other than “B” on his jersey. After missing the 18 games with a fractured hand a dislocated finger, thing have been much different. With the emergence of Steven Kampfer and solid play of Adam McQuaid, Stuart knew while on the mend that his spot in the lineup would not be guaranteed.
“You have to earn your way back,” Stuart said on Jan. 13. “I don’t care who you are. … Guys are playing well. It would probably be different if the team was on a downswing and they were looking to change things up.”
Unfortunately for Stuart, his prediction was dead-on, as he has played in just three games since returning to the lineup on Jan. 17. A free agent at the end of the season, he has been a healthy scratch for the last eight games entering Sunday’s contest vs. the Red Wings in Detroit.
“I hoped it wouldn’t be this long,” Stuart said in a conversation with WEEI.com Saturday, “but that’s just the way it’s gone.”
Stuart has had to spend plenty of time recovering from injuries, and went down with his injury on Dec. 7 against the Sabres, it was just another in a long series for the blueliner. Last season, hand, finger, and sternum injuries cost him a combined 35 games.
Despite knowing what it’s like to watch from the press box, doing so when you’re healthy enough to be on the ice is even tougher.
“It’s probably harder when you could be out there,” Stuart said. “On the other hand, you’re healthy, too,” Stuart said, knocking on his wooden stall. “It’s obviously a lot better to be healthy, but it’s almost harder watching a game when you could be out there.”
As for what his future may hold, it’s hard to imagine someone on a one-year deal being happy with not being a healthy scratch. His name has been tossed around in trade rumors, with some speculating on whether he could be moved at the trade deadline. General manager Peter Chiarelli recently declined comment on what the market has been for Stuart, but if the defenseman had his way, he’d be playing in the same sweater he’s always worn.
“I would love to [stay] here. I’ve been here my whole career, and I love it here,” Stuart said. “There’s always rumors, but I’m not packing my bags yet or subletting my apartment until I get the call.”
|Mike Milbury on D&H: Andrew Ference overstepped his role||02.09.11 at 1:32 pm ET|
NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and the NHL. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
B’s coach Claude Julien announced at the morning skate that Tyler Seguin would be a healthy scratch for Wednesday night’s game vs. the Canadiens. “Well, it’s been a long time coming,” Milbury said. “His level of involvement has been less than you would hope for. He’s got a lot of things to learn. There was a lot of pressure on this kid coming into the season. And the expectations, as I think we all knew, and I stated it earlier, were a little unrealistic.
“There are some 18-year-olds, the rare exception, who can come in and be an impact player of some form or another. But most go through a fairly long growing phase. And that’s what he’s in. And that’s what he’s going to have to go through when he sits out and watches the game, and hopefully sees the kind of pace he needs to play at and sees the kind of physical involvement, the price he needs to pay, and I’m sure that’s why Claude made this decision.”
Asked for a particular criticism on Seguin’s game, Milbury said: “I think he’s way too comfortable. I’m not talking about being a Shawn Thornton fighter or a [Brad] Marchand-type hitter, but he’s got to get involved physically. He’s got to scrum for loose pucks, he’s got to brush a body on the way by. Right now, he’s a circler. He circles forward and he circles back. There’s got to be a little more stop-and-go to his game and a little more determination.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli acknowledged Tuesday that it’s likely the Bruins will make a move in an effort to bolster the roster following the loss of Marc Savard. Milbury is not surprised. “If the Bruins feel that they’re in the position to take a swing at a Stanley Cup, then much like Chicago last year, they have to throw everything at it,” he said.
The other big Bruins news of the past week was Danielle Paille‘s four-game suspension for his hit on Dallas’ Raymond Sawada on Thursday. Following the game, Andrew Ference spoke out about the hit. Milbury was among those who criticized Ference for speaking out against a teammate.
“I agree with Andrew Ference. This was a play that was worthy of suspension, and this was something that the league quickly acted on and did suspend the player,” Milbury said, adding that he was surprised Paille didn’t get more than four games. “I don’t have any trouble with him going to Danny Paille and discussing the issue with him. I don’t have any trouble going to his player rep and discussing it with him. I don’t have any trouble having a discussion in the locker room with any of those guys or the coaches or the manager. But it’s not his role, it’s just not his role to pontificate about this thing in the media.”
|Peter Chiarelli’s willingness to trade Maple Leafs pick makes things interesting||02.08.11 at 3:59 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, making an appearance on Dale & Holley on Tuesday, fired the proverbial gun to kick off trade speculation with the NHL’s deadline just 20 days away. While he reiterated his preference to add a defenseman and potentially a forward, he shed light on the team’s financial situation as it moves toward the trade deadline (something he generally refers people to capgeek.com for), but that isn’t the real news. The GM said that, unlike last year, he is willing to put the Maple Leafs’ first-round pick, which has had “top five” written all over it for quite some time, in play.
“Yeah, I’d look at it, sure. I would,” Chiarelli said. “I’ve had discussions involving that pick. I certainly would look at it. We’ve got a lot of assets, so that alone allows us to be creative also, but I would look at it.”
Already having opened a big door, Michael Holley asked Chiarelli to elaborate on how Toronto’s first rounder, one of two received in the Phil Kessel deal in September of 2009, has come up in trade talks.
“There’s been one [deal] that we’ve thrown around here internally. I don’t know that I would do it, but it’s something that warrants further discussion,” Chiarelli said.
The fact that Chiarelli is willing to consider dealing the Maple Leafs’ selection — on pace to be fifth overall in a draft in which he admitted there being “uncertainty as to what the order of the top five is” — gives the Bruins a leg up on other contending teams. Sellers want top prospects or the ability to obtain top prospects, and the Bruins are the only team with two first-rounders this year, let alone a potential top five pick.
Plus, with Marc Savard being shut down and thus placed on long-term injury reserve, the team has cap space (seemingly enough to add a player with a cap hit in excess of $4.5 million without removing anyone from its own roster) to add a top player.
“Basically you can replace [Savard's] salary, that cap number,” Chiarelli said. “So that’s [$4 million] and a little bit of change [$4,007,143 to be exact]. We’ve got about $500,000 in cap space, so with Savard on LTI you have the ability to replace that player with a number of players up to an amount of $4 million. That’s not cap space, that’s actual salary. We’ve got some good flexibility right now.”
While the Bruins have been able to make deadline deals in recent seasons to land them major contributors including Dennis Seidenberg and Mark Recchi, the team has not made a blockbuster at the deadline since perhaps 2004, when the old regime gave up first and second round picks as well as Shaone Morrisonn for Sergei Gonchar. If the team is willing to see how far that Toronto pick can take them on the trade market, Chiarelli might be able to pull off something of similar magnitude.
While you can count out guys like Brad Richards (possessing a no-trade clause and playing on a third-place team in the West) or Jarome Iginla (no-trade clause and captain of a playoff team) the Bruins might not be kidding around when it comes to more realistic options. A top-five pick can go a long way, especially if it’s sent to a team that will need young stars to anchor a rebuilding effort.
This isn’t to say that Chiarelli will blindly toss the chip of all chips up for grabs blindly. It is, to borrow a term from the GM, an asset that franchises throughout the league would take considerable steps to acquire. And now, it seems an asset that could land the Bruins the major piece they’re hoping for without having to announce it at a podium in Minnesota.
Chiarelli said that he would “bet” the Bruins make a trade before the deadline. After Tuesday, how big a deal it is seems to be the only thing in question.
|Peter Chiarelli: Trade options slim due to tight competition in West||02.04.11 at 7:50 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli took some time to discuss Daniel Paille‘s four-game suspension with the media on Friday, saying that he felt the length of the ban was “stiff” but that he likes the parameters the league uses to determine such suspensions. Perhaps more notably, Chiarelli touched on how he might like to improve the club.
Chiarelli, who had recently said that in a perfect world, he would like to add “a defenseman that could log some minutes,” hinted at the same thing Friday, saying that he wanted a blueliner who could “ease some of the minutes off of our players.”
The GM noted that such an acquisition could be tough to make given how close the teams in the Western Conference are right now. Prior to Friday night’s game, only three points separate the 11th-place Flames and the fourth-place Predators.
“Right now, everything is very, very tight,” Chiarelli said. “You hear that from me every year a month before the deadline, and it’s even more true now. The standings are tight. Usually your trading partners are in the West. It’s very, very tight.”
As for whether he could make a trade to replace Marc Savard‘s contributions should the center be shut down for the season, Chiarelli feels that “that player is not available” via trade. Placing Savard on long-term injury reserve would allow the team more spending money with the center’s cap hit not a factor.
|Bruins still waiting for Marc Savard to arrive for evaluation||02.02.11 at 1:27 pm ET|
Bruins center Marc Savard hadn’t made it back to Boston as of Wednesday afternoon due to travel issues, with the team hoping he would end up arriving before the day’s end. Savard is set to be re-evaluated by team doctors after he spent the last week in Peterborough, Ontario resting following his second concussion in just over 10 months.
While the team will obviously learn more from further evaluation, Peter Chiarelli told ESPN this week that Bruins are considering shutting him down for the rest of the season in hopes that he can have a clean slate at the start of the 2011-12 campaign. After missing the first 23 games of the season with post-concussion syndrome stemming from last March’s Matt Cooke hit, Savard totaled two goals and eight assists for 10 points and had a minus-7 rating in 25 games.
Savard has suffered four concussions in his career. The 33-year-old is in the first year of a seven-year deal that carries an annual salary cap hit of $4.017.
|Milan Lucic not suspended for punching Freddy Meyer, gesturing to Atlanta bench||12.26.10 at 1:19 pm ET|
Bruins left wing Milan Lucic will not be suspended after sucker punching Thrashers defenseman Freddy Meyer in the head and gesturing to the Atlanta bench in the third period of the B’s 4-1 victory at TD Garden on Thursday. He will instead receive fines totaling $3,500.
Lucic had received an intent to injure match penalty for punching Meyer after the Thrashers defenseman hit Lucic high, a hit deemed dirty by all Bruins skaters on the ice, as a line brawl broke out between the two teams. The match penalty carries with it an automatic suspension pending a review, and after Lucic met with NHL vice presidents of hockey operations Mike Murphy on Sunday, it was determined that he will not miss any time.
Following is the statement released by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli:
“The NHL has informed us that Milan will not be suspended as a result of the match penalty assessed to him during our game against the Thrashers last Thursday. He will be fined $2,500 for the punch thrown in the scrum and $1,000 for making an obscene gesture directed at the Thrashers bench. He will join the team on the flight to Florida and be available for Monday’s game against the Panthers.”
|Peter Chiarelli post-Marco Sturm trade transcript||12.11.10 at 8:04 pm ET|
Courtesy of the awesome folks at the Bruins, here’s the transcript of Peter Chiarelli’s media briefing following the Bruins’ trade of Marco Sturm to the Kings for what he called “nothing.”
On finally completing the Marco Sturm trade…
Yeah, it’s been in the works a little bit, part of it due to Marco’s physical recovery. Really, that’s the large part as to why we’ve delayed. Dealing with someone like Marco is difficult. He’s obviously a really good person and I actually, when I was an agent, I actually co-represented him, so there’s a relationship there too. But it helps us with our cap situation and as far as what we got in return, it was classified as “future considerations,” but really it’s nothing. Part of that speaks to the trading him now, versus trading him later on in the year, which we could have done also, but in fairness to Marco it’d be good to allow him to begin his journey, so to speak, at a place that is a good landing spot for him. Dean Lombardi drafted him and knows him quite well. They were looking for a player like that.
On if a trade of a player of Sturm’s caliber was inevitable…
Yeah, I mean he’s a good player. He’s a real good player. There’s obviously been a lot of speculation on what move we were going to do and what player. Again, a difficult thing that we had to do, but part of the reality of the salary cap and it’s completed now. Well, it’s conditional on the medical examination, but I don’t anticipate a problem there.
On how he got Sturm to waive his no-trade clause…
I just spoke to him.
On what he said to Sturm specifically to convince him…
Well that’ll remain between Marco and myself, but he agreed to waive it.
On why he felt trading Sturm was the best option to clear cap space, instead of making smaller moves to make room for him…
Well, it was about timing too. Here’s a team where there is a prior relationship with Marco, and they got him for cheap and they wanted to do it now. So there was a lot of positive factors in this circumstance that we felt that we had to act on. So that’s the main reason.
On if “future consideration” includes draft picks or anything else in the deal…
No, nothing. Keep in mind the value of cap space. That’s what you have to keep in perspective. I’m not trying to justify trading him for nothing. Of course you’d like to get a return for a good player, but that’s really the being able to do it now versus later, it helps both sides.
On trading a player that is coming off an injury and making the deal now…
Yeah, there’s a lot of different factors here that made the deal a sensible deal at this time.
On if he had to get approval from the League to make this unusual trade for nothing…
Whenever you see “future considerations,” it’s usually nothing. [laughs] In fact, it always is nothing. It used to be that you could stipulate prior to I think two season ago, you could stipulate, you know a player in the future. Let me see, I remember there was [Francois] Giguere was involved in a deal like that in Colorado. Might have been a sack deal. Yeah, it’s legal.
On if he considers the team now “out of the salary cap woods” after making this deal…
Yeah, I mean, we’ve in the last, when did we trade Matt [Hunwick]? A week and a half ago? We’ve cleaned out our cap situation pretty nicely, so I’m comfortable where we are right now.
On where the team stands exactly in the cap situation…
We’re cap-compliant now.
On if the team has cap space to add another player…
Check capgeek.com. [laughs]
On how he would sum up Sturm’s legacy as a Bruin…
Yeah, you know, he’s first and foremost a very good person. Speed, you know, he’s obviously part of that big trade. He gave us speed and he gave us timely goals. I think he’ll be remembered, one of the things he’ll be remembered for is that goal against Montreal [Game 6 vs. Montreal, April 19, 2008]. I mean, that was, you could see that emotion when he scores and that’s what he brought to the team. Those are some of the things that guys here remember about Marco.
On if the team’s “NHL depth” at Sturm’s position factor into things…
Yeah, how our younger players have been playing and there’s a lot of variables that go into a decision like this. Timing is one, depth is another. There’s a lot of things that go into this decision, but that certainly helps—the depth that we have.
On if Sturm will be close to game-ready…
I would say he’s maybe five to seven days away.
On if that game-ready timeline is one of the reasons the deal didn’t go through last week…
It was, yeah.
On if he knows when Sturm’s physical is scheduled…
On if he has any other moves on the horizon to address not cap space, but team needs…
Again, I’m not going to speak to moves I’m going to make or not, but what I can tell you is we’ll take a step back now for a little bit.
On Sturm expressing some frustration about his being in “limbo” before the deal was finalized…
Yeah and I can understand that. After having waived it, yeah. It’s tough to make a trade in this league. It is, especially at an early juncture like this. Everyone is so tightly packed. And I’ve got to give Dean [Lombardi] credit for acting on this because he’s getting a good player for nothing in return. And he’s familiar with the player and he’s proactive.
On how important it was to not alter the team structure when dealing with the cap space issue…
Well, you know, you’re going to alter it somehow. We were able to do the rationale behind dealing Matt [Hunwick] was depth. Depth of defense. The young guys are coming along. You’ve got Jordan Caron, and even have Jamie Arniel, guys like that, and Joe Colborne, I mean, these guys are coming. But you know, any time you trade a guy like Marco, you know him, he’s a really good person. He’s a great guy. So that’s going to have some impact at some point. That’s why I’ve been trying to be as transparent as possible with you. I know you guys probably chuckle at that, but it’s because I want to make sure the message gets to the team too.
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