Posts Tagged ‘Peter Chiarelli’

Savard To Speak Today

February 7, 2011

A 2 p.m. press conference has been scheduled at TD Garden today in which Marc Savard, Peter Chiarelli and team physician Dr. Peter Asnis will announce and discuss the fact that Savard is being shut down for the season due to his ongoing concussion related issues.

This is no surprise, really, and I think it’s the best move for both the player and the team at this point. Savard needs an extended time period to heal and assess his future in hockey. The Bruins need the closure of knowing for sure that he won’t be available this season so they can adjust accordingly, on the ice and through the salary cap. It’s the only move that makes sense right now, as sad as it is.

Best wishes to Marc Savard. His long road just got that much longer.

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2010-11 Season Preview

October 6, 2010

tyler seguin boston bruins

It’s been an odd day already today in Boston sports. The Patriots seemingly shooting themselves in the foot by trading Randy Moss. The Red Sox ownership getting into the EPL by spending $500 Million on Liverpool FC. There’s a weird buzz in the air an on the local sports talk airwaves, I tell you.

Seems like a great day to talk hockey, if you ask me.

The Boston Bruins finished off their preseason schedule yesterday with a sound drubbing of Liberec of the Czech Elite league thanks to a 5-point effort from Patrice Bergeron and a goal each from youngsters Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron. Feel free to pencil in each of them to the opening night roster because they will undoubtedly be there.

In my mind, much of the story in the early going might very well be about these two impressive rookies. Not since the team debuted Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov in 1997 has there been an infusion of youthful talent as exciting as what we’ll be seeing here this season. Granted, there are no guarantees of success for either of them but the outlook is good and they have shown in the preseason that they belong. With Marc Savard out and a clear dearth of scoring from the wing last season, it’s obvious that both are needed.

Here’s how I see the roster that will start the season. Line combinations based less on what’s happened in the preseason and more on how I configure them in NHL 11. What? 16 years of playing EA Sports hockey games doesn’t qualify me to be an NHL head coach? Whatever.

Forwards

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Blake Wheeler-Tyler Seguin-Mark Recchi
Daniel Paille-Patrice Bergeron-Jordan Caron
Shawn-Thornton-Gregory Campbell-Michael Ryder

Extra: Brad Marchand or Brian McGrattan

Defense

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Mark Stuart-Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Matt Hunwick

Extra: Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

Not much in the way of surprises there. Not much in the way of controversy, either. The only real debate I can see is whether or not McGrattan sticks around as a spare forward, sending Marchand to Providence, or vice versa. Adam McQuaid seems the logical choice to be the bubble d-man but it’s possible Matt Bartkowski could leap over him on the depth chart with a strong preseason.

Actually, the defense is my one area of concern going into the season. At the top, it would seem like an area of real strengh with Zdeno Chara as the anchor but I have to admit to not being sold on the supporting cast. There remain a lot of questions concerning health, depth and ability. Andrew Ference and Mark Stuart have had some serious injury problems over the past few seasons, to the extent that I seriously question the sanity of the contract extension the latter received this past season from Peter Chiarelli, a three year deal for $2.25 each. Especially considering the Bruins’ current salary dilemmas. If either goes down, there are going to be some fresh faced youths having to be called into action because the defensive depth chart now, including McQuaid, consists of youngsters like Bartkowski, Steve Kampfer or someone like Nathan McIver. Yuri Alexandrov and many of the other prospects training in Providence just don’t have enough elite professional experience in their pockets to be totally NHL ready.

I could be wrong, though. We’ll certainly get the chance to see.

Salary Caps are a bitch, aren’t they, Pete? Pain in the ass.

It’s not an issue you can ignore when discussion the 2010-2011 Boston Bruins. We saw what the Chicago Blackhawks had to do in the offseason. Trade away half your team. No easy task but they managed to do it.

The Bruins, however, did not. Marc Savard was not traded. Tim Thomas was not traded. Michael Ryder (what? a guy can dream, can’t he?) was not traded. Silly contracts like Ference’s were added. It became a tight squeeze to fit under the cap and I ask, as a hardcore Be A GM Mode player on NHL 11, how can you not be prepared for that? Gotta think ahead. Avoid and get rid of bad deals that hamstring your ability to make moves. Add depth.

Wait. Did I say earlier there was no controversy or debate surrounding this year’s version of the team? What was I smoking?

Here are just some of the other issues the team will face this season.

  • Marc Savard. Will he ever be healthy again and if he is, how will they make salary room for him on the team. The elephant in the room is the idea that the star center’s absence might be a bit of a relief for the team because it puts them under the cap temporarily. Before he fell ill, Marc Savard was on the trading block because the Bruins needed salary space. Now they have it. Plus the chance to see what it will be like to play without him, if he ever gets traded which seems unlikely right now, doesn’t it? Makes you think about the seven year deal that he just signed, as well.
  • Tim Thomas. Sitting there as a clear back-up but making $5 million for the next three. I hope he plays well this season, for his own sake. If it means he can be traded then it’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. My bet is he dying to show folks that he’s still one hell of a competitor no matter his age or what not. The Tank is nothing if not a battler. Meanwhile, Rask remains entrenched as the number one, a potential goaltending star on the rise.
  • Then, of course, there’s the sting of, oh, I don’t know, something we refer to around here as just THE WORST FUCKING LOSS IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. EVER. Up 3-0 in the series. Up 3-0 in game fucking seven at home in your own building. Jesusfuckingchristalmighty. How to live that down when many of the core members of that monumental choke are still on this team. I mean, Dennis Wideman wasn’t to blame for it all, folks.
  • Which leads me to one last controversy. Let’s talk about the so-called Hot Seat.

  • Claude Julien. Should he be on it for what happened in the playoffs last season and in previous campaigns? I’ve heard him making the injury excuse but the truth is his team had a tendency to fall flat and let teams walk all over them at other times during the season, too. Remember Pittsburgh? It was a theme last year. Let us not forget how bad they were at times. Will there be a return of the sort of commitment the team needs to be successful including a commitment to team toughness? Is that a fault of the coaching?
  • peter chiarelli claude julien

    I don’t know. Some might think Chiarelli more deserves the hot seat for his salary cap bumbling and his recent failures in the trade market. Nathan Horton was a nice move and the Phil Kessel deal was inspired but there has been little else for the GM to hang his hat on. Cam Neely is now looking down on him and the Sword of Damocles might very well be raised if his vision of the team does not begin to materialize this season. I’d feel more comfortable leading the charge for Chiarelli than Julien right now but there may come a time when they both go if things get bad again.

    Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen, eh? Let’s watch Seguin and Charon and Rask and see if they can become real players. Same thing goes for Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic, for that matter. Can they be consistent producers on the wing? Goals, physical play, everything. That’s what the team needs from them, of that I am certain.

    Starting this Saturday in Prague, we’ll get see what happens.

    It won’t be boring I don’t think.

    Let The Games Begin

    September 22, 2010

    The first official preseason game for the Boston Bruins will take place tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal against the Canadiens.

    Bruins have announced the line-up expected to suit up for the game.

    Forwards:

    Patrice Bergeron
    Gregory Campbell
    Jordan Caron
    Nathan Horton
    Brian McGrattan
    Daniel Paille
    Mark Recchi
    Jeremy Reich
    Max Sauve
    Tyler Seguin
    Ryan Spooner
    Blake Wheeler

    Defensemen:

    Matt Bartkowski
    Andrew Bodnarchuk
    Johnny Boychuk
    Matt Hunwick
    Adam McQuaid
    Dennis Seidenberg

    Goalies:

    Tuukka Rask
    Nolan Schaefer

    Meanwhile, Peter Chiarelli, in an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub this morning, reiterated that the timetable on Marc Savard’s return from his current bout of post-concussion in uncertain and that a recent report that he could miss the entire season is false. He was hesitant to offer any actual details on the situation, however, and sounded rather guarded and tense while discussing it. “It could be two weeks, it could be a month…we don’t know.”

    He also disclosed that it was “later in summer” when “he told us” about the symptoms, feeding a small amount of fuel to the conspiracy fires that suggest there might be more to this than simply a medical issue. He played dumb when asked whether or not the news came after Savard spoke publicly about his displeasure about the team’s obvious attempts to trade him this off season.

    This won’t be the last we hear of this issue, you can be sure.

    McGrattan In Camp

    September 14, 2010

    brian mcgrattan boston bruins

    Word that the Bruins have invited former Ottawa and Calgary heavyweight Brian McGrattan to camp on a tryout basis. Good news for us cementheads out here but a wee head scratcher for Shawn Thornton, I imagine. Recently signed for two years and widely regarded as one of the more intelligent, capable and modestly talented pugilists in the game, he has to be wondering why the team would want McGrattan around.

    Other than for pure entertainment in the pre-season, that is.

    McGrattan played in the Senator’s system during Peter Chiarelli’s time there so maybe that’s the genesis of it. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, I say. Tune in to those exhibition games and watch out in Providence. Gratts is nothing if not interesting to watch.

    Nobody Puts Chiarelli In A Corner

    June 29, 2010

    Except for himself, that is, according to Ryan Lambert over at Puck Daddy who puts forth a mildly scathing indictment of Peter Chiarelli and Bruins management and why they find themselves in the postion of desperately needing to trade Marc Savard and Tim Thomas.

    That Chiarelli would consider such a situation [trading Marc Savard] at all paints a fairly bleak picture of just how dire the Bruins’ salary cap situation really is, and perhaps of their pessimism for Savard’s health going forward. It’s possible the team is trying to roll the goodwill it has garnered from local fans in the last few months into coloring Tyler Seguin as an acceptable replacement both now and for the future, but it should be clear to everyone with an even passing interest in hockey what this really is: Damage control.

    Meanwhile, Matt Kalman points us to a radio interview with Brian Burke stating that Marc Savard is not on their immediate radar even though Toronto is rumored to be one of the two teams Savard waived his no-trade clause for.

    Chiarelli’s options are going to become very limited here and, with it fully out in the open that the B’s need to move these two guys, the trade market for them isn’t getting any easier. Teams are going to want to either steal them away or unload bad contracts for them in return.

    Sounds like a painted corner to me.

    Tim Thomas Trade Talk

    June 22, 2010

    According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com the Bruins are in active discussions with at least three teams interested in acquiring the services of veteran goaltender Tim Thomas and that trading him, and his hefty $5 million dollar salary, has become priority number one this off-season when it comes to making deals.

    “Sources also indicated both the San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning are in the mix in discussions with the Bruins for Thomas, and the Philadelphia Flyers are also a potential suitor if they can shed some salary cap baggage leading up to the July 1 free agent deadline.”

    None of this is a surprise given the reality of the Salary Cap age and the simple fact that the much younger Tuukka Rask has usurped the starter’s role in Boston with such authority, leading the NHL in both goals against average and saves percentage last season. Handing the reins to Tuukka in full and getting a cheaper back-up would clear some much needed room on what appears to be a restrictive payroll number for the team, as it stands.

    The question remains as to how tradeable he is right now, however, given his age and recent hip surgery, not to mention a no-trade clause in his contract. Haggerty is citing sources saying these are not the stumbling blocks that many think they are.

    “But several sources indicated Thomas’ surgery was minor in nature and general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week Thomas would be ready at the start of training camp. A second source indicated the likelihood is that Thomas will waive the no-trade if the right kind of deal comes along after putting up a perfectly serviceable 2.56 goals-against average and .915 save percentage along with five shutouts last season.”

    I fully admit, I had landed in the doubters category when I heard about the off season surgery. I thought they’d be saddled with Tim’s contract for at least next season, if not longer. That there are clearly suitors out there willing to deal is a remarkable development and the onus is now on Chiarelli to get this done. As much as I like Tim Thomas, it’s very clear he has to go if the Bruins want to get better, a simple reality of the way the league is structured these days.

    Interesting times, indeed. A lot of rumours swirling around the B’s this week leading up to Friday’s crucial Entry Draft. It certainly appears that the Bruins’ brass is out there trying to make things happen.

    Let’s hope they have the brass where it counts, too.

    Nathan Horton To Bruins? Maybe

    June 18, 2010
    nathan horton boston bruins

    Nathan Horton: Soon To Be A Bruin?

    The Bruins might finally have that big right wing they’ve been searching for.

    James Murphy at NESN is reporting that Peter Chiarelli might be on the verge of acquiring RW Nathan Horton from the Florida Panthers for an as yet to be determined price in return.

    While the parameters of the trade are unclear at this point, a very reliable source told NESN.com on Friday that the Bruins are closing in on a trade with the Florida Panthers that would see them acquire winger Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2003, but in six NHL seasons, has cracked the 30-goal plateau only once and — in the eyes of fans and media — failed to reach his potential and use his 6-foot-2, 229-pound frame properly.

    There were no specifics on what else may come to Boston in the deal or what the return would be to Florida, but it has been well documented that Chiarelli would love to move into the top 5-7 picks overall to get one of the top defensive prospects available, so this could be a package deal involving roster players and picks.

    According to this source, who stressed the Panthers were talking to numerous teams about Horton and could still accept another offer, “the parameters” of the possible trade were still being worked out as of late Friday afternoon, but “Horton believed he could be very close to being a Bruin.”

    Unlike the Savard/Wheeler deal to Columbus, this one might pass the sniff test. A reliable source, a willing trade partner, a player that’s probably in need of a change of scenery and a team (the B’s) very much committed to improving the team, and making a splash, via the trade market. It just feels more realistic. Don’t be surprised, though, if Blake Wheeler is still one of the names from the Boston side. Or, if there are high picks involved, as rumored, I wonder if if Patrice Bergeron might be in the mix. The B’s are going to need to move a center if they do indeed end up with Tyler Seguin as it currently seems will be the case and Bergeron might get the job done.

    I have to say I like this one. Horton is big at 6′-2″, 229 lbs. and plays a fairly rugged style. He scored 20 goals and 57 points last season playing for a miserable team and one wonders what he might do with a world class center like Marc Savard, David Krejci or Seguin playing pivot for him. He has totaled as many as 31 in a season and was drafted 3rd overall in 2003, so the man has some skill for sure, and only just turned 25 a few weeks ago. His career totals are as follows.

  • 422 games, 142 goals, 153 assists, 295 points, + 27 and 382 pims.
  • Sounds like a Bruin to me.

    Little taste of Horton in one of his HGW moments, just for fun:

    Stay tuned because, if multiple picks and players are involved and this thing grows, we could be seeing a blockbuster of sorts here.

    President Cam

    June 15, 2010

    Cam Neely Bruins President

    The Boston Bruins have announced a 2 p.m. press conference for tomorrow at the TD Garden, reportedly to announce that Cam Neely will be promoted from Vice President to Team President, a title and position that would put him above Peter Chiarelli in the chain of command.

    An interesting development indeed. Cam would now fill the role previously held by Harry Sinden and, seemingly, have a greater authority to put his own stamp on the team’s personality. Fans everywhere who hold the Spoked B close to their hearts are hoping that personality will be the one he displayed as a player for the team, one of ferocious competitiveness and unyielding toughness.

    Easier said than done in the Salary Cap age. Having already announced they will not be buying out any contracts this off season, Chiarelli and Co. remain saddled with some unpleasant contracts (Michael Ryder, will you please report to the departure lounge) that may hamper any drastic change in the team for the upcoming season. It’s going to be hard to change team dynamics if the majority of last year’s erratic, dysfunctional crew are going to still be hanging around.

    However, if they say a fish rots from the head down, then the opposite must be true, as well. Real change must start at the top and putting a person with Cam Neely’s temperament, drive and desire to make wearing Black and Gold a matter of pride and honor once again must be a good thing. Proper leadership and accountability in the right position might just make the difference.

    Key dates for the Bruins and the NHL going forward in the off-season:

  • June 23rd – The NHL Awards Show takes place in Las Vegas. No Bruin has been nominated for anything.
  • June 25th – The 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. All eyes will be on the Edmonton OIilers and the B’s, as well as prized prospects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Which one will end up where? Will there be any major trades to report? This year’s draft has the potential to be a blockbuster in terms of interest and action and anticipation. More to come on that front, trust me.
  • July 1stFree Agency begins. If the Bruins have not signed Johnny Boychuk by this time, chances are he will be gone. He’s been listed as one of the top 10 guys available this year and will likely get a lot of interest based on his age and improved play this past season.
  • Thornton Gets Two

    June 4, 2010

    shawn thornton new contract

    And Kathryn Tappen gets the scoop.

    According to her post on NESN.com, rugged Bruins winger Shawn Thornton has got his wish to remain in Boston and signed a contract for a reported two more years. The 32 year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent but had not been shy about publicly expressing his desire to remain in Black and Gold.

    It’s a good resigning, not just because of the toughness factor Thornton brings to the table and the fact that he is one of the more intelligent and honorable scrappers in the league. He also showed, throughout all the turmoil on the team during the 2009-10 season, that he was one of the few guys on the team you could rely on for consistent leadership, on and off the ice. His is the sort of character the Bruins need more of. Add in some reasonable talent, for his role, decent defensive sensibilities and this one was a no-brainer.

    The remaining five B’s unrestricted free agents are as follows, with age and last year’s salary included.

      Mark Recchi, 42, $1,000,000

      Miroslav Satan, 35, $700,000

      Steve Begin, 31, $850,000

      Dennis Seidenberg, 28, $2,250,000

      Johnny Boychuk, 26, $500,000

    I think the focus here has to be on the two defensemen, if they can be had at reasonable prices. The danger is that a guy like Boychuk, who showed dramatic improvement in his all around game this season and into the playoffs, will draw some serious attention around the league because of his age. Seidenberg, as well, will not be cheap but he was a steadying influence on the blue line playing with Zdeno Chara when he came on board at the trade deadline and the vibe is that Chiarelli wants him back.

    It’s not going to be easy considering the fact that the Bruins have an estimated $10 million to spend under the cap and some restricted free agents like Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler, Vladimir Sobotka and Daniel Paille to sign. They remain saddled with some fairly hefty contracts like those of Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm and Tim Thomas and likely few trading partners for said contracts thanks to the age, health and performance of those players.

    As a result, there will be some tough choices to be made and any way you slice it as things will be extremely tight. They desperately need help on the wing and are not likely to have much bank available for free agent signings. I’m not sure bringing back Recchi or Satan at this point in their careers is a great option, as much as I enjoyed what they did in the post-season. However, that level of pay, under $1 million, is likely the range the Bruins will be shopping in for help at forward and I’m just not sure what other serviceable help might be out there at those prices.

    All in all, it makes the upcoming entry draft all that more crucial.

    We want Hall.

    Chiarelli: I Haven’t Talked To Edmonton. Yet.

    May 27, 2010

    “We’ve got our rating on the guys. That’s how we’re going to determine if we’re going to make that move and what we’ll offer. We haven’t made that determination yet, as far as if there is a difference between the two players. They’re both terrific players. I haven’t talked to Edmonton yet. I will have a discussion with Steve. I just haven’t had that discussion yet.” – Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli on whether or not he’ll discuss a trade with Edmonton to move up to the number one spot in the 2010 draft.

    Reading between the lines of the above quote, taken from a Stephen Harris story in the Boston Herald today, it would certainly seem that the Boston Bruins will be approaching the Edmonton Oilers with an offer of some sort to move up one slot in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and give themselves the opportunity to take highly coveted wing Taylor Hall above Tyler Seguin.

    As they should be.

    I’m here to say this to Chiarelli and Co. Make the deal. Do whatever it takes.

    My reasoning in this is clear and it’s not just that I, like many others in Boston and Edmonton, have had their eyes opened wide by Taylor Hall’s performance winning both the Memorial Cup and the Tornament MVP with the Windsor Spitfires for the second straight year. Hall was a spectacular, dominant force in all contests and a driving force behind the win. It’s clear that this is a kid who thrives in big game situations and has that killer intangible: The Desire to Win.

    Oh, and he can do this:

    You see why it’s hard not to start drooling here, right? The thing is, though, is that Hall is a winger and suits the Bruins needs so perfectly it’s disgusting. Already strong at center, which is Tyler Seguin’s natural position, the Bruins need hall to slot into Left Wing beside David Krejci and play there for the next 10 years. The kid is such a natural fit in a Bruins uniform, it’s sickening. I mean, he wears number 4 in honor of Bobby Orr, does he not? It’s too perfect.

    Now, we all know what the problem is here. The furor in Edmonton is already snowballing and the pressure to take Hall is going to be tremendous for Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini. So much so that, even though the Oilers might have more need at center, he might not have any choice but to take Hall and satisfy the hunger of his fan base.

    That’s why Peter Chiarelli has to give him another option and make it good. As good a prospect as Seguin might be (they compare him to Steve Yzerman) the fit here for Hall is too good to ignore and Chiarelli needs to make this thing happen.

    Can he do it? I don’t know. I think he has the sense to be able to make decent trades in the NHL (see Phil Kessel) but does he have the savvy. Or the balls? It’s going to take something bold to get this thing done and I’m just not sure if Pete has it in him.

    One thing is for certain. There better be a plane ticket for Edmonton is his hand as soon as this season ends. Never mind the phone calls. Go up there and sit down with the guy and start working on this. Sell it to Tambellini. Whether it’s Blake Wheeler or 2nd round draft picks or a lifetime subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.

    Do whatever it takes.

    We want Hall.