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GM Peter Chiarelli Trade Deadline Press Conference Transcript

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS TRADE DEADLINE DAY QUOTES

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI TRADE DEADLINE PRESS CONFERENCE AT 5:00 PM
Opening statement…
So I’ll start with an opening statement. Today marked — I think three busy days, really busy days for us. Maybe yesterday [Tuesday] was the busiest day. But we ended up acquiring two defensemen — a right shot D Corey Potter off of waivers today from Edmonton. He’s more of a two-way defenseman. He’s been in and out of the lineup. He’s responsible defensively, he’s got good range. And the other defenseman we acquired was Andrej Meszaros from Philadelphia and he’s, again, been in and out of the lineup, so there’s two defensemen who have been in and out of the lineup, both —  get that out there for you guys. He’s a big defenseman, a thick defenseman. I’ve had a history with him. He’s played internationally with Slovakia. He plays both sides, he’s heavy on the puck, he’s more apt to push the puck than to defend but he can defend, and he’s heavy. So we acquired these two players for depth, and when I say for depth, I just want to be clear, it doesn’t mean that they’re just reserves. It means I look at our defensive corps as a whole, and we’re just bolstering that corps and we’ve got a lot of games in a short period of time, so that was my, our intention going into this trade deadline.

On whether Andrej Meszaros will play tomorrow night against Washington…
I don’t know. He’s going to come here tonight. One of the things I said to Andrej [Meszaros] was that they’ve been playing man-to-man there and we play a zone here, so he’s got to get acclimated. So that will be Claude [Julien’s] decision.

On whether the Bruins were involved in any talks to bring high-end forwards to Boston…
You know, I was — I was in and out. My main intention of today was to bolster our depth — you know, you get in these conversations, and I know there’s been talk about [Thomas] Vanek going to Montreal, and they’ve strengthened their team. Good for them. It never seems that we’re an anointed winner of Trade Deadline Day, and I’m fine with that. They’re a better team, and I look forward to facing them. But to answer your question, yes, on the periphery, but we had healthy ice space, Steve, with Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] and potentially Adam [McQuaid], so that’s what we were looking at. We weren’t really in that mix anyways. I’m happy with our forwards.

On whether forward Chris Kelly’s and defenseman Zdeno Chara’s familiarity with Andrej Meszaros factored into the decision to bring him to Boston…
It just, you know what, it just — I’m more familiar with them, and I know we’ve acquired players, former Ottawa players … It’s more familiar — familiar with them as [far as] their character and what they’re like as people and, you know, knowing what their origins are and how they started just gives me a little more information. So that helps, but it’s certainly not a big factor.

On whether he’s disappointed that some of his proposed deals didn’t come into fruition…
Well, there was a — there was a few good deals that we were in, and yeah, a little disappointed those deals … Sometimes those deals come around in the summer and in the fall, so you lay some groundwork. That’s what happens too, at these, at trade deadline, is that you lay some groundwork for some deals later on, too. And we felt we did that, too. But I thought we were in a couple deals where it would’ve been good for the acquisitions.



On his confidence in his defensive depth…
Well, the size is good — like, you know, with Adam [McQuaid], I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Adam. We’re gonna shut him down for two to three weeks and he’s — his injury, while it keeps healing, he has setbacks, so we’re just going to give him rest, two to three weeks, and see where he is after that. So you know, we brought in two guys, two big guys that can, you know, that can both move the puck and both push bodies down low and stuff. So you know, for me, the defense isn’t about one player — it’s about the group as a whole and how they interact. That’s the way our system is, that’s the way our coach is, so these guys both are smart players, so it may take them some time — it usually takes some time for the D to adapt to our system, new D that was brought in. And I expect the same to happen with these two, but it’s a good system, it’s a system of trust, and I know they can both contribute to the group.

On whether Andrej Meszaros will play on the left or on the right…
When a defenseman can play both sides, it makes him a more valuable player, and that was one of the things with [Andrej] Meszaros, is that he can play both sides. I don’t know — like, it can change during the game. I’d like to, you know, the same way Claude [Julien] likes to use more than one center on a line, I know he likes to switch his D around, so we give him that option. It’s another tool, and it’s some more depth.

On the fact that the Bruins didn’t subtract any players from their current roster…
Yeah, you know, it’s — it’s the chemistry you want to try to maintain and preserve, and I think we’ve got a good group here. And it didn’t mean that I didn’t look at potentially moving guys off. Some of those discussions, Haggs [Joe Haggerty] I was telling you about just shortly ago was to move off some players. I didn’t really want to do it, so I guess mission accomplished there.

On the possibility of signing his players to extensions… 
No. We’re gonna wait till it’s all said and done to do that.

On this year’s trade deadline…
Well, this was a different trade deadline because there’s nothing happening for that Olympic break, there wasn’t much happening before, so what happened — of the whole feeling-out period that happens a month, month and a half, two months before the break — that happened, you know, four days ago. So everything was hyper-accelerated and so it was different — different set of dynamics. But you just kind of put yourself in that vacuum for a little bit and you go through it. So the three days were kind of really busy because everything was happening that normally takes a month and a half.

On if he talked to Zdeno Chara about Andrej Meszaros…
I watched all of Slovakia’s games and I’ve see a lot of Philadelphia’s games over the last two months. I did have some discussions with Zee [Zdeno Chara], yes. I am not going to share that stuff with you and nor will he share it with you.

On what happened to Adam McQuaid and what could happen to him…
He’s got a quad strain and it’s just – he was just really close. You’ve heard Claude say about – ready and ready to go and stuff, and he had good sessions over the Olympic break. He just re-aggravated it. We had something similar with Jared knight last year and you just have to basically shut that player down for a couple weeks and rest and he came around. But I don’t know, that’s what I expect would happen.

On if McQuaid would need surgery if his injury doesn’t heal…
I don’t know. I’m just looking at a strain right now and it just got re-aggravated.

On if he looks at Andrej Meszaros and sees the guy from two years ago…
Yeah, so Andrej has – I see a lot of what was there. He has been out of the lineup for – maybe through injuries. Maybe that’s why he was a little behind as far as injuries and conditioning because of the injuries. So he’s been in and out of the lineup. He’s a strong player, he’s not a swift player, but he’s a strong skater. He sees the ice well, he likes to push the puck. He likes to push the puck in the defensive zone, the neutral zone and the offensive zone. So he’s a – that’s an evolution of what I saw or what I’ve seen over the years, I think I’ve watched him for a number of years. For whatever reason, it’s probably because of the injuries and he’s probably slowed down a bit because he doesn’t get that proper conditioning when he’s had those injuries. I don’t know, but his play has picked up as of late. They have a lot of D, and I’ve had a lot of discussions with Paul [Holmgren] over the course of probably two or three months about Andrej [Meszaros].

On if he got close with any players still under term with their contracts…
That was some of the stuff I was talking about, the deals the day before. I thought we were close, yeah.

On Loui Eriksson’s recent absence…
Very minor heel injury. A little infection in the heel area that got infected when he put his heel in the boot. So no, we weren’t trading him, we were just taking the heel out of his boot and he should be playing tomorrow.

On the condition of the Meszaro trade…
Yeah, okay so it’s a third round pick that becomes our second this year if we make it to the conference finals and he plays in at least two thirds of all the playoff games. Okay? Or we resign him, then the third becomes a second. If we resign him after the draft – you asked, I’m just telling you - if we sign him after the draft, so if we resign him after the draft – it will be a third going in to the draft, if we sign him after the draft it becomes an additional fourth the following year. Got it?

On if he has thought ahead about the conditions…
No, no. We want to get him up and running here and see how he fits in.

On how you negotiate those conditions…
You know, that’s actually fairly standard. GMs do that a lot, I’ve seen more complicated than that. Time on ice and everything like that.

On how comfortable he feels with his forwards going forward…
Forward wise – over the last few games we’ve been lax defensively, we’re getting a little better, tightening up a little bit more each time so that will come. That’s in our team, we’re probably going to have to work on that, it’s probably due to the break a little bit. You’re never fully satisfied with everybody, I like that fact that we’re scoring, I like the fact that we’re creating chances and I like the fact that we’ve had pretty decent performances from all four lines, maybe not all at once. So I’m good there. I think Loui’s [Eriksson] game is coming, I watched him play all his games in Russia and it’s really coming. You saw he’s getting confidence, I think the tempo there helped him. Jarome [Iginla] is playing well, that line is playing well. I think Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron] line is playing well. I’m good with the forwards, they’ve shown me that I can rely on them going into the stretch in the playoffs. The D, we’ve talked about the D. So the team, I feel pretty good about our team. We’re first in the Division, we can certainly get better, this group has been through it before so they know what to expect going forward. It’s about getting them ready, getting the proper mentality in place, getting the proper schemes in place and peaking at the right times. It’s the same thing – it’s a challenge peaking at the right time and we face that challenge again.

On if he was looking at any depth in the forwards at all…
A little bit, a little bit. I thought it’s a fine line – if Adam is healthy then we have nine D. You have nine D and it’s tough, it’s tough carrying that D. The guys who aren’t playing get frustrated, they’re professionals but they get frustrated so you don’t want to add too much. So we looked a little but we were fine. Past our thirteenth forward, which has been Jordan [Caron], we’ve had some pretty solid performances. So at the end of the day I felt pretty good about our depth.

On if Corey Potter is going to Providence…
No, he’s here.
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