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August is Already Interesting

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Boston, MA -- Was it a period, exclamation point or ellipses?

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, left, speaks during a news conference as the newest member of the Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin, right, the No. 2 pick overall in last week's NHL draft looks on, Tuesday, June 29, 2010, in Boston. (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)
Yesterday's signing of Boston's top pick from June's NHL Entry Draft was an important punctuation mark in the story of the 2010-11 Boston Bruins, but what exactly the final prose will look like after it hits the editor's desk is anyone's guess.

During Tuesday's conference call with the media, however, one thing was abundantly clear: the Bruins are pleased to have Seguin in the fold.

"These deals aren’t overly difficult to do. There are some nuances to them, but there’s a body of work on the number two picks that have signed," said Chiarelli, speaking to Seguin's compensation.

"We felt it was time to sign Tyler," continued the B's general manager. "He’s obviously a high pick and he performed well at our development camp.

"We thought it was time to sign him and give him peace of mind and make him feel part of the organization."

Seguin has been omnipresent in the Boston and hockey media since he was drafted, Chiarelli said he hadn't thought about the prospect's positive influence on the B's ticket sales.

Are B's fans back on the bandwagon?

"I mean, from a ticket perspective I don’t know if there were many that jumped off," said Chiarelli. "But hey, if I’m a fan and I saw a young player like this that was an exciting young player and people saw how he played at the development camp, [I'd be excited] about seeing him play.

"And we’ve got some other good additions, too. So I guess what I can say is that I don’t focus completely on the excitement level. I just try to put a team that’s going to win The Cup on the ice."

But Chiarelli was opaque as to his intentions moving forward.

"Right now, we can ice a team with 13 or 14 [forwards], seven D’s and two goalies as it stands, putting Marco Sturm on [long term injury status]," explained the B's GM. "So, right now, we don’t have to do anything really, but we may still do something."

That "something" is what will make the rest of the summer interesting for fans and scribes alike. After all, what's better than speculation? And, after closing the lid a little bit, Chiarelli threw lighter fluid on the summertime hot stove, er, grill.

"It’s a roster that I am very happy with right now. There are some spots for young players to earn spots," he said, before he added, "You’re never done with your roster and I can’t say definitely that we’re done with it.

"There are always things that crop up. We just saw a Stanley Cup winning goalie become available on the free [agent] market.

"Things happen, things crop up. It is never done until the opening day roster is filed."

Will Seguin be on that roster?

Marco Sturm is expected to return in November. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
"Nothing really has changed to make me more comfortable or not from when I last saw him," said Chiarelli. "My position remains the same; I would like to see how he does at training camp.

"He is a terrific young player so I think he is going to open some eyes at camp."

Where will #19 play?

"Right now, I’d say he’d be on the wing...but you never know and things may change," said Chiarelli. "We have four centermen with Krech [David Krejci], Savvy [Marc Savard], Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Greg Campbell.

"Unless we ice another centerman, he’d be on the wing right now.

"But you never know I’ve had discussions with Claude Julien about mixing and matching around so I can’t tell you with complete certainty where he will play."

Beyond the Seguin signing, many of Boston’s hockey writers' questions centered around the salary cap. It had been anticipated by some that the B's would have to make a corresponding move to clear cap space when they signed Seguin, however the B's GM said no buyouts are on the horizon.

It had also been assumed that the B's might have one more move to make before the club commences camp this September, but Chiarelli was clear as to his statements earlier this summer.

"For the record, what I said was, 'Things come up and you’re never filing your final roster until you file your final roster,'" said Chiarelli in clarification. "But I didn’t say I might be expecting one more move.

"Is it any easier now versus a month ago to know or is there any comfort to know that the roster’s in place? To a certain degree.

"Again, this thing is a working document, so to speak," explained the GM. "Opportunities come across my desk that you look at and what I do know is that we have the ability to right now ice a team, and a good team.

"And if that’s all we do between now and the start of opening camp I'll be very happy."

And the cap?

"Right now we’re over the cap," Chiarelli said. "But we’ll also have a player, Marco Sturm, that we’ll put on long-term injury. At some point we’d have to make some changes when Marco [Sturm] is ready to come back, but that’s the reason you have a long-term injury so you can go in excess to the cap and see how your team unfolds while the [injured player] is rehabbing and recuperating."

In other news...
Chara & Bergeron have begun talks with the B's about contract extensions.
Off the ice, the Bruins will remain busy.

Chiarelli confirmed that the club has had, and will continue to have, talks about contract extensions with Zdeno Chara and Bergeron.

"All I can tell you is that we’ve had talks, we’ve have recent talks and we’ll continue to have talks and see where they go," said Chiarelli.

And the vacancy on the B's bench could be filled sooner than later.

"We’ll have an update [on the assistant coach] in the next couple of days. We’ve selected and chosen an assistant coach. We are just finalizing the [deal] with him," said the GM.

Finally, the Bruins will not hold a press conference or conference call with Seguin.

"We won’t be having one," said the GM. "He’s been around enough. Yeah he’s been talking enough to the media this will be it. You’ll be able to speak to him at the start of training camp."
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