|Peter Chiarelli’s best and worst moves as Bruins general manager||08.29.13 at 7:31 pm ET|
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.
(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.)
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 »
|Peter Chiarelli on Salk & Holley: Bruins got better in offseason||07.17.13 at 5:34 pm ET|
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.”
|Claude Julien: ‘There was no issue’ with Tyler Seguin||07.11.13 at 1:15 pm ET|
Seguin had apparent maturity issues in his time with the Bruins, so much so that Peter Chiarelli called out his lack of professionalism prior to last week’s trade. Julien largely took the high road Wednesday, though he didn’t exactly deny that Seguin had strides to make. The coach said that Seguin took his job “as serious as any 21-year-old would.”
“Everybody as a 21-year-old doesn’t always have the maturity to be a professional, whether it’s in the gym, here or there,” Julien said. “You work with all those young guys the same way. Do different players have different challenges? Absolutely.”
From the day Seguin came to the Bruins, there were questions of whether Julien’s system was a good for him given that he was more of a scorer with elite skill than a two-way, defensively responsible player. Despite the fact that the two sides weren’t a perfect fit, Julien said that he had a good relationship with Seguin.
“There was no issue between Tyler and I, and I’m not afraid to say it,” Julien said. “You guys can ask him at some point. There were no issues there. I worked with him as a hockey player, I dealt with him as a person. With everything else, there were never any issues that I know about, anyway. I thought we had a good relationship.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Tyler Seguin faces character questions in Stars introduction||07.09.13 at 5:37 pm ET|
While Loui Eriksson spoke to the Boston media for the first time Monday and fielded questions about how his two-way game fits with the defensive-minded Bruins, Tyler Seguin‘s introduction to the Stars was met with questions about image issues and his forced retirement from social media.
Seguin was all smiles as he donned his new No. 91 uniform (No. 9 is retired for Mike Modano and 19, which he wore in Boston, is retired for Bill Masterton), but his Q & A with the Dallas media was rather interesting. The first question especially was strange, as he was asked about embracing a fresh start in Dallas after all he’d been through in Boston, and he said this:
“For starters, obviously there were a lot of young guys on my last team. I was the only single guy, so i’m excited to meet some new faces, to have a new start. I’m very exited for the new experience.”
He then faced a slew of questions about a homophobic tweet sent out about Texas Saturday night, which led to Stars GM Jim Nill ordering him off Twitter. Seguin denied sending the tweet, adding, “I don’t believe it was one of my friends” that sent it.
“My twitter was, in fact, taken over along with a few other things with my name,” he said. “It definitely didn’t feel good that my name was out there saying negative things, but I definitely want to apologize to anyone that was hurt by what I said and I’m definitely happy to be moving on.”
Seguin said that two of his three homophobic tweets from his account occurred while his phone was in his pocket. He had previously admitted to one in which he used the term “no homo.”
Given everything that’s gone on, Seguin was asked if he felt that he was coming to Dallas with PR issues after the Bruins publicly expressed concern with his professionalism. He said that the “media needs to do their job and they have a tough one at it,” and that the needs to “move on from it” and “prove people wrong.”
The session ended with a question about moving to center. It was the only hockey question shown in the video of the press conference posted by the Stars.
|Don Cherry on D&C: Tyler Seguin ‘one step away from being a superstar’||07.08.13 at 10:55 am ET|
Hockey Night in Canada legend Don Cherry joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Bruins’ trade of Tyler Seguin to the Stars.
Cherry remains high on Seguin, despite the Bruins losing patience with him.
“Something must have happened there to get rid of a kid like that,” Cherry said after reviewing Seguin’s statistics. “I’m sure he’s going to go to Dallas, he’s going to play center, and look out — I’m telling you, this kid is one step away from being a superstar. You’ll see next year. But hey, he got in the bad book somehow.
“You have to watch. The Bruins have a real image of being tough — tough to play against. Nineteen Canadians on the club, and every one of them are rough guys. '¦ So, they have to watch that they don’t lose that little grit. Because most teams are afraid to go in and play Boston.”
As for reports that Seguin was too immature off the ice, Cherry said he can understand how a 21-year-old would want to spend some time out on the town.
“Look, I don’t know what happened. But I’m just saying I know I’d go out, if I was 21 years old after a game I would go to a bar, too,” Cherry said, questioning why the off-ice issues became public.
Added Cherry: “If a guy can get me 30 goals on right wing, and he’s a natural center, and he’s a little problem off the ice, I wouldn’t mind that. I’d try to settle that out a little. '¦ Listen, the Bruins were in the finals. They did pretty good, so [Peter] Chiarelli must be doing something right. But you’re asking me my opinion, I would have never given up on a -year-old kid that got 30 goals the year before playing in his wrong position.”
|Tyler Seguin takes break from Twitter, Stars release statement on controversial tweet||07.07.13 at 3:32 pm ET|
After sending out an insensitive tweet Saturday night, former Bruins forward Tyler Seguin tweeted Sunday that he is “shutting down” his account “for a while.”
Seguin, who was traded to the Stars Thursday, tweeted the following on Saturday:
The tweet was loosely quoting the movie “Full Metal Jacket,” but it was the second time he tweeted something homophobic in recent memory, as he said “no homo” in a tweet in which he said a song gave him goosebumps in April. He followed Saturday’s tweet by saying that his account was hacked and then decided to take a break from Twitter.
After repeated attempts by “hackers” to try to damage my reputation I have decided to shut down my twitter account for a while.
' Tyler Seguin (@tylerseguin92) July 7, 2013
Of course, he did not actually shut down the account and it is still active, so he or his friends could still slip up for a third time. The Stars PR department will stay tuned.
The Stars released the following statement in wake of the tweet:
'In no way, shape or form does the Dallas Stars organization condone or agree with the message that was sent out through Tyler Seguin's Twitter feed last night. We've addressed the issue directly with Tyler and we'll continue to work on educating our players regarding the importance of their conduct on all forms of social media.'
|Tyler Seguin’s mother calls out Bruins, media||07.05.13 at 2:49 pm ET|