BOSTON, MA – As expected, on Sunday afternoon the Boston Bruins completed three transactions with the signing of forwards Chris Kelly and Alexander Khokhlachev, as well as goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Just after the start of the NHL’s free agency period, the club inked Kelly to a four-year contract through the 2015-16 season, Rask to a one-year contract through 2012-13 and Khokhlachev to an entry-level contract.
However, General Manager Peter Chiarelli said he expected that otherwise the B’s would remain quiet in regard to signing free agents.
"I don’t anticipate anything happening today," said Chiarelli via conference call. “If something can improve our team, I’ll – we’ll consider anything.
"But whether it’s the secondary market in free agency, or the next market with respect to trades, we’ll continue to look at that stuff, but not actively looking."
The B’s boss had previously stated that he didn’t expect to hit "a home run" on July 1, but on Sunday he also pointed out that the Black & Gold have not traditionally been prone to shopping sprees on his watch.
"In past years…we’ve had one or two players that we would really want to have part of our team and we go after them,” said Chiarelli. “That applied to [former Bruins forward Michael] Ryder.
"I didn’t have a player like that this year that I thought that I could get right off the hop, so that speaks to how I feel about our team.
"You kind of pick and choose a couple guys and see where they are, see what they want, see what their plans are,” explained the GM. “Besides that, we had a couple of meetings here on some depth guys and relatively quiet."
However, things were far from quiet at Wilmington’s Ristuccia Memorial Arena, where the B’s "dev campers" performed their annual fitness tests, practiced and scrimmaged before heading out to enjoy another team building experience.
"You’ve got a whole array of ages and players at certain stages of development so when you look at it and you see certain players that are playing really well…but if you look at it from player to player where they are in their developments, no one’s really knocked my socks off like with respect to [them] not [being] where they shouldn’t be,” said Chiarelli when asked if any particular player was playing above expectations.
But while Boston’s GM kept a handle on his enthusiasm, he did allow that he has seen some good performances, particularly from the teams newest draftees and added, "I think this camp has been our best skating group of players, which is a real positive sign."
Also positive was the continued success of the club’s Development Camp program.
"It’s just about these guys getting to know each other and getting to know the themes and the expectations that, that we put forward," said Chiarelli. "It’s just a step in the building process and we try and be consistent and it finishes with our exit meetings with these guys as to what our expectations are conditioning wise, playing wise, and character wise.
"So it’s just about being consistent and conveying the right message including the expectations that we have."