BostonBruins.com – In the hours leading up to the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said hockey sense and character are a big part of what it takes to wear the Black & Gold.
“I think you really have to be a smarter player these days to play in these rules,” he told members of the media. “We’ve seen the coaching improve, and you’ve seen a lot of different looks in all three zones.
“So hockey sense and character are very significant in my mind.”
In his six seasons with the organization the general manager has cultivated a certain culture based on loyalty and teamwork.
One player on the Bruins current roster to truly embody this philosophy is the alternate captain and 2012 Selke Trophy winner Patrice Bergeron.
“A lot of Patrice Bergeron is what we stand for,” Chiarelli said. “In fact …we bring up Bergy’s name quite a bit when we talk about amateur players whom we may draft.”
The forward finished the regular season with 22 goals and a team high 42 assists, and also led the league in plus/minus with +36. His hard work on both ends of the ice made him a shoe-in for this year’s award, which is given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.
“I can’t say enough about Patrice,” Chiarelli continued. “It’s awesome that he won that award and I guess the voting was very lopsided which doesn’t surprise me. So he deserves it.
“He’s a two-way player who loves to play in and knows how to play on both sides of the puck. So those are players, I mean they’re hard to find and I’m glad he’s with us. ”
Bergeron isn’t alone is this selfless style of play. Earlier this summer two other centers, Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell, made it clear they would rather continue playing for the B’s than test their talents on the trade market. Following their contract renewals, the Chiarelli described the pair as “glue guys,” and stressed how important it is to keep them around.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The general manager continued his search for those players at this year’s draft, and said sometimes evaluating the best player available is a subjective decision.
“When it gets down to the nitty-gritty and there’s tiebreakers in certain areas you’ve got to look at the team need; you’ve got to look at team fit; you’ve got to look at our coaching style; you’ve got to look at the style we want to play going forward.”
B's Director of Amateur Scouting Wayne Smith characterized this year's Draft as a "complete success," and believes the team's six selections will contribute to the club's achievements on and off the ice.
"They were all players that we had ranked highly on our list that fit into the Bruins style of play as far as character goes and commitment to winning," Smith said.
"So, we’re really comfortable and confident with what we’ve done, and really excited about it."