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Final Quote Sheet: 06.13 Chiarelli, Campbell, Kelly Conference Call Re: Campbell Signing & Agreeing in Principle with Kelly

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Quotes

June 13

BOSTON BRUINS CONFERENCE CALL QUOTES

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND FORWARDS GREGORY CAMPBELL AND CHRIS KELLY AT 3:00 P.M.

Peter Chiarelli opening statement…

I’d like to announce a couple of things today. You saw in the release that we’ve signed Gregory Campbell to a three-year contract and we’ve agreed in principle with Chris Kelly to a four-year contract. I’ll get into that terminology in a little bit but let’s talk about these two players. First, with Gregory, he’s committed to three more years, and both these guys are glue guys. Gregory epitomizes the Bruins style of play and when we brought him here the year before last, he did great service for us on the fourth line, but he’s also shown that he can play up and he’s a strong player – strong faceoff, very responsible player and I can’t stress enough the glue nature to his game. He’s hard on the puck, heavy on the puck, and plays a real Bruins style of game. He’s an individual too – due to the lack of centermen out there on the free market, that he took less than what he would have gotten on the market, let’s make no bones about that. All along Gregory has told me that he wants to be back with the Bruins and although it took a little bit of time, we’ve made that work. So, very, very happy and ecstatic to have him in the mix and, you know, I just can’t say enough about the glue that Gregory gives us and his style of play, so, happy there.

With respect to Chris, we’ve got a commitment from him for four years and we’re not able the register that contract yet. We have to wait because of payroll tagging issues. That will be something we do on July 1st. He has my commitment, he’s given me his commitment, and we’re ecstatic to have him for four years. Chris is another guy that we brought in a year and a half ago or so, the year before last after the deadline, and he’s a player that obviously I know well from having been in the Ottawa organization and you know, as much as I talk about glue, Kells [Chris Kelly] has this too to his game. You’ve seen him score clutch goals for us, you’ve seen him take clutch faceoffs for us, you’ve seen him make great defensive plays, make great offensive plays, and he shows up every night. Kells is another guy who has been adamant and has been in the discussions that I’ve had with him that he wants to stay here and I think it’s evidenced by the fact that he’s making this commitment to us. And again, theses two guys, to come back, and Kells is another fellow as a centermen that, had he went to the market, he would have gotten much more money than this. So it’s kind of a feel-good, these two players, and happy to get them done at this time. And you know, they’re two really important pieces to our team and to our effort to try to keep the team together as much as possible.

Gregory Campbell opening statement…

Firstly, I’m very thankful to be back with the Bruins organization. I’m thankful to the Jacobs family and obviously Peter Chiarelli and the whole organization for committing to me. I came to the Bruins two seasons ago in the trade, wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but was fully welcomed into the team and really kind of got a feel of what a true hockey team is all about and was able to be part of a winning culture immediately. For me that was such a breath of fresh air to have the opportunity to not only make it to the playoffs, but to really be on a team that was considered a contender right from the start of the year. It was extremely important to me to at least give 100% of my effort to be back with the team because it’s really a team that fits my style of play. It’s built on winning championships, and a team and an organization that’s fully committed. So my first priority going into free agency was ultimately not even to make it there and to re-sign with the Bruins. I’ve had nothing but great memories with this team and as soon as I signed, I got text messages from every single player on the team and that really exemplifies how close we are as a team. It’s really great to have almost entirely the whole 2011 championship team back and I know that this year was a little bit of an underachievement, but with all of that being said, we played well as a team and I really believe that there’s a lot of good things to come and that’s why I want to be a part of it.

Chris Kelly opening statement…

Thanks for joining my call to the certain media that are here. Firstly, like Gregory, I’d love to thank the Jacobs family and obviously Peter Chiarelli for making this commitment to me for the next four years. Like Gregory said, there was no real, any real decision other than to come back and be a part of the Boston Bruins organization. Like Peter [Chiarelli] said, right from day one, I think he knew that I wanted to be back and they wanted to have me back. There’s no better feeling than that – to be wanted, to come back to such a great organization. To be a Bruin is something that’s been really special to me the year and a half I’ve been here. My wife and I have fallen in love with the city and the community. Just going to the rink every day and playing in front of passionate hockey fans has been something great to experience. And then, obviously getting to win a championship in Boston was something that I can’t describe. I know Peter and the management and the whole organization are willing to have that become a regular thing, and I think that was a huge reason why I wanted to come back is because it’s such a great organization that wants to win. You only get so many opportunities to get a chance to win and, obviously, I wanted to get as many chances as I could, so Boston was the right decision for myself.

On developing the blueprint for a championship team and the importance of re-signing both Kelly and Campbell (Joe McDonald)...

Peter Chiarelli

I don’t know, Joe [McDonald], if there was a light bulb that went on. It’s a consistent push to get those types of players that obviously can play and that are responsible players, but that have that character and that drive. These are two players that have that, and to make little sacrifices in the way that they play and where they play and to check your ego – that’s not a magical formula. It’s finding those players that can do that and that are willing to do that, so that’s been a consistent factor here and it will continue to be a consistent factor. These two guys, and as I said, I knew Kells [Chris Kelly] from before and I just knew Soup [Gregory Campbell] from watching him play and watching how he plays, so having them in our mix obviously makes the decision a lot easier. These are two guys that fit that formula.

On what attracted Chris Kelly to return to Boston (James Murphy)…

Chris Kelly

The fact that this team has the opportunity to be a great team for a lot of years, and I get the opportunity to play with great players on a daily basis. I don’t think you’ll find a closer team than we have. I think Gregory touched on it quickly there with the amount of texts he got once he signed. That’s the way our locker room is and you don’t find that everywhere. That was a huge part of me wanting to come back – the fact that the Bruins are a definition of a team and have the opportunity to be successful for a lot of years.

On Peter Chiarelli’s impressions of Chris Kelly passing up other opportunities to return (James Murphy)…

Peter Chiarelli

Well, obviously it speaks volumes as to his intentions. It’s a good spot here. It’s a good sports town, and these guys saw it firsthand. They saw the way the fans embraced the team, and the fans can be tough. These guys are athletes that want to win. And then, of course, you talk about the team itself. We won a year ago. It seems like ten years ago lately, but this team is a very good team and there are good players coming. Chris and Gregory, they bring that veteran presence too that’s important when you’re bringing some younger players in. The team, prior to bringing these guys back, they’re a real good fit for the team and they’re even a better fit for the future.

On Gregory Campbell’s chemistry with Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille (James Murphy)…

Gregory Campbell

It’s not too often that you have an opportunity to be with the same linemates for so long, and there’s so much turnover in this league now. With injuries and what not, it’s very rare. So to be able to develop chemistry, I’ve been able to play with Thorty [Shawn Thornton] now for two years on a consistent basis and pretty much Danny [Daniel Paille] too, and it makes it a lot easier. It’s a tough league to play in and when you have support and when you know one another’s tendencies, every little bit helps. We’re a line that is valued and that’s a rare thing in the NHL, and I think the importance of depth in a fourth line has really come to light in the last couple years. When you see the teams that have won have been teams that have really relied on their whole lineup. We play an important role. Obviously our role is different than a lot of other players, and it’s not as glamorous, but nonetheless it’s important. That’s what I like about Boston is that we’re pretty serious about what we do and we just try to contribute in any way possible.

On if Peter Chiarelli is still looking to add a top-nine forward (Douglas Flynn)…

Peter Chiarelli

I feel really good with our lineup right now and to add a player like I talked about still isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It gives me a lot of flexibility going into the free agency, but this is as solid of a forward group as you’re going to get. So if we do nothing, that’s fine, but if something comes across that looks attractive and we have to look at it, then we’ll look at it.

On if Benoit Pouliot is still being considered as a possibility to re-sign (Douglas Flynn)…

Peter Chiarelli

I don’t have any news on him at this point. Yes, he’s a possibility.

On if Gregory Campbell had any temptation to sign elsewhere to play a bigger role (Douglas Flynn)…

Gregory Campbell

You know, there are a lot of considerations when you’re in this situation. It’s the first time that I was kind of scheduled for unrestricted free agency, and so there’s a lot of things that go through your mind, but I’m fortunate to play with really good players and we have a group of guys that are all very talented in each respect in what they do and what they bring to the game. Our fourth line, as it’s called in Boston, is not a fourth line on most other teams, so that has nothing to do with it. Like I said, I’m very fortunate to play with good players and to me, being a role player, as I am probably considered in the league, it’s important to be a role player on a good team because I’ve experienced before being a role player with a team that’s not so successful and you kind of get lost in the mix and your role isn’t appreciated and winning isn’t very realistic. When you win and you have the opportunity to win and you play with good players, that makes you a better player, and in Boston, you have all those aspects and so that makes me a better player.

On the importance of getting a fourth year in Kelly’s contract (Dan Kagan)…

Chris Kelly

Yeah, obviously you want to play hockey as long as possible and to get the four years is something great. The four years that I get to spend in Boston is even better. Like I said before, it’s a great hockey city and I’ll have the opportunity to play with a lot of great players for the next four years hopefully.

On Peter Chiarelli’s comfort in giving Chris Kelly four years (Dan Kagan)…

Peter Chiarelli

He’s still relatively young from a free agent perspective and Chris keeps himself in very good shape. I’ve seen how he plays over the years and he’s a very smart player, so at the end of the day, I really didn’t have an issue with that. He can change his game and he can move up and down the lineup and he can fill a lot of spots, and just his intelligence and his hockey sense, it wouldn’t surprise me if he played beyond the four years.

On how essential it was to get these two guys to restore the physicality down the middle of the rink (Mick Colageo)…

Peter Chiarelli

It was very essential, and strength down the middle is critical to our team. We build from the back out, but you know, right down the middle though is critical. And you saw it again this year in the playoffs, the grind that you got to go through to win and that’s why Mick, it’s critical to have the strength down the middle, and these types of players like Kells and Soup.

On what the last month has been for the players during the offseason (Fluto Shinzawa)…

Gregory Campbell

Well unfortunately, I’ve done far too much watching in my career. And that’s why last year – not only winning it – put that aside, but just being a part of the playoffs and that’s where every player wants to play, and it’s the absolute most fun time to play. So, it’s difficult, and as you mentioned, when you do win though it really does take a toll on your body but more so I believe mentally. It’s almost like two seasons become one long season. And so, unfortunately this year was cut short earlier than anyone of us expected or wanted to. But from our side of things I think you have to look at the positives and kind of regroup, and be ready for next year. I mean, last year when we came into the season we were still – and rightfully so – we were still celebrating and on such a high from winning. And there are 29-28 other teams that have been preparing for three-four months to win the Stanley Cup. And it’s almost like, “It’s here already,” so I think the other thing that hits home too is seeing another team lift the Stanley Cup. And it’s like we considered it ours for a year and we worked so hard to get it and now that it’s not ours anymore I think it really hits home and kind of allows us to get that hunger back and hopefully strive for it again this year.

Chris Kelly

Yeah, I think, personally I didn’t watch much of the playoffs once we were eliminated. I find it a little difficult to watch. Like Gregory said, it’s the part of the season that everybody wants to be a part of and I watched LA raise the cup the other night and it almost makes you kind of get that sick feeling. You know, it stings a little bit knowing that that was us a year ago and how great that felt, and you want that taste back. So it is nice to have the extended offseason to kind of mentally prepare and heal whatever bumps and bruises you have, but I think at the end of the day if you’re playing into June, you and your team have done something right, and I think that’s what everyone strives for, and I think that’s the reason why Gregory and I signed back in Boston, is for that opportunity to consistently play in the month of June.

On if either player experienced a similar chemistry on any other team (Shawn Hutcheon)…

Chris Kelly

Yeah, I played on some good hockey teams. In ‘07 with Ottawa we went to the finals, but not to the extent where, like Peter said earlier, everyone checks their ego at the door, and whatever needs to be done to help the team win, they do that – right from Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, right down the line. I think that’s a rare thing in pro sports with the amount of egos that are out there. That’s not the case in our locker room, and that’s a breath of fresh air I definitely found when I got traded to Boston. It’s something that I want to be around as long as I can.

Gregory Campbell

Yeah, I mean, I agree with Chris. It is a very rare thing and I haven’t, unfortunately, experienced what we have in Boston, and that was one of the most attractive things about Boston, the fact that I really, really enjoy being around my teammates, I really want to play for my teammates and I’m really friends with all my teammates. And I’ll touch on it again – there is so much turnover in the league now due to contracts and whatever, and it’s really an art to keep a team together. Obviously Peter’s done a great job with that and he recognized the fact that, aside from all the other strengths that this team has, one of the big strengths is that we are such a close group of guys and want to play for each other and want to win for each other. So I haven’t experienced it in the league. The last thing that was close to this was a team that I played on in major junior and we won that year. It’s a trend that usually teams you like to be on and you have fun coming to the rink every day, usually those teams are the ones that are most successful.

On what the pause is with the Kelly signing (Joe Haggerty)…

Peter Chiarelli

It’s a salary cap thing. It’s called tagging room about future commitments, and so because of that, we won’t be able to register until July 1st. Basically, it’s a formula based on salary cap and future commitments.

On if he has spoken to Tim Thomas since his Facebook post (DJ Bean)…

Peter Chiarelli

I haven’t seen his infamous Facebook post. I’m aware of it. I’ve talked to his agent in the last little bit, and nothing’s changed. If you’re asking me, ‘Has he clarified that he’s not playing for the year?’ he’s stated that through his agent that he’s not playing for the year, so I guess that’s where that stands. But nothing’s really changed since the last time I spoke.

On if Tyler Seguin will remain a wing now that they locked up centers (DJ Bean)…

Peter Chiarelli

Well, you know, Kells is a center and Pevs [Rich Peverley] is a center and they’ve played wing, so for the short term, yes. He’s had success at the wing, and short term may be one, two, three years – who knows? At this point we don’t have any reason to put him to the middle.

On if the Thomas decision impacted any negotiations (James Murphy)…

Peter Chiarelli

Well, as I said before, James, like when we talked about Tim [Thomas], I’m operating under the premise that our goalies will be Tuukka (Rask) and Anton (Khudobin) so yeah to have an impact because Tim won’t be playing for us. So I mean there’s a whole – I’m not going to tell you everything – but there’s a whole host of things that trickle down from that one event. So, yes – short answer - yes, it has had an impact.

On cap implications and if he has to rearrange the roster (James Murphy)…

Peter Chiarelli

Not really. From the perspective of [Marc] Savard on – I’ve said this before – Savard on LTI [long-term injury] and being able to push up Tim, push his cap hit up – that’s the approach that I would take.

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