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Press Conference Transcript from GM Peter Chiarelli's media availability on 9/5

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRACTICE QUOTES

Friday, September 5, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI
On thoughts about David Krejci…
You know, he’s been a real valuable player for us. You’ve seen his performance during the season, you’ve seen his performances during the playoffs. He’s come up through the ranks for us, I consider him one of the pillars of this franchise. So, to get him locked up, I think a fairly reasonable term and value. I think it speaks a couple of things, one, to him wanting to stay and be part of us continuing to win, and two obviously our commitment to try to keep this successful core together.

On this particular deal allowing him to make other salary cap related moves now…
Well, it’s more for next year. But, I mean, a little bit, a little bit. It was a priority, and we’ve been working on it for a while. So, you know, we’ve got some other things to take care of now, and we’ll peck away at it. But to know that we’ve got two of the best centers in the league locked up at still a young age is very comforting. I mean you see any of the successful teams are strong down the middle. And now, we’ve got these two guys that play the way that they play, that showed that they can play tough minutes and playoff minutes. I mean it’s a solid step for us.

On Milan Lucic having two more seasons, and his thoughts about Lucic’s future…
Well, he’s another guy that we like, and obviously I consider him a part of the backbone of this franchise. So, eventually we’ll get around to that. We’ve got a lot of things we have to do and that’s the business of hockey, and you know unfortunately, and this doesn’t apply to Looch [Milan Lucic] this is generally speaking, unfortunately when you’re in the position of success that we’ve had and players are at an age that they’re commanding, based on their years of service, they’re commanding certain salaries, you have to make tough decisions. But, you know, for Looch [Milan Lucic], we’ll get him done when his time comes around.

On if Torey Krug and Reilly Smith will be in camp even though they are unsigned…
I want them to be part of this team, and obviously to have a full camp. In my tenure here we’ve never had anyone not attend. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t.

On his thoughts about David Krejci ending this contract when he is 35 years old…
I think the ability, he’s in terrific shape. He’s been getting stronger actually, each year. Obviously, at some point that’s going to stop. He keeps himself in great shape, he plays a smart game. Players to play to that point now, with those things being in place I feel comfortable giving him that term.

On player-management relationship, and how it translates to success on the ice…
Well, I mean I think they appreciate it. Based on some of the comments that they’ve said, based on some of my private conversations with them, they know what we’re trying to do. It’s a fine line keeping the core together and making the right decisions, and we don’t always make the right decisions. But, what I’ve seen in these players that have given us service, and I’ve seen them in the trenches for a number of years, it makes it easier for me to make the decision. You know in this cap world, we’re going to have difficult decisions to make going forward even. And it’s stuff that we’re prepared to do but we have to be fully informed. But the players know we’re trying to build a team, maintain a team that’s going to challenge for the cup, and you just have to make important decisions, key decisions. You see it in other sports. You have to sometimes fish or cut bait. You know, we’re going to be in the same boat, we have been in the same boat and we’ll be in it again. We have to make the right decisions.

On if he wants to give Smith and Krug a better number than he can give right now with cap…
I’m not going to comment on that DJ, I mean, these guys, are you know, I don’t make a practice of commenting on negotiations and I’m not going to start now. They’re both valuable members of this team and I hope they’d be with us when we start playing.

On the Rogers TV deal and how it will affect future decisions…
What deal?

On the same question before, specifically on the salary cap potentially going up…
Oh, the TV? I’m thinking of a player named Rogers [laughing]. Did we ever have this guy [laughing]? Well I think that’s an assumption a lot of people make. I don’t know if that’s the case. You look at that deal, and you’d think that that infusion of money would do that. But I don’t know how the economy is going to go, so I can’t rely on that. What we looked at when we did this deal was a number of guys in and around the same number. And I had the same discussions with the other guys when we were signing them, starting with Zee [Zdeno Chara], you know and were all kind of in that number. There’s no question that these players, I don’t just mean Dave [David Krejci], the ones that we’ve signed, if they went to the open market they get more. So, they’ve made a sacrifice, we’ve made a commitment, and for that we’re appreciative.

On salary cap issues being unavoidable for a cup-worthy team…
Well without question, we push it. We pushed it last year, we made a bet, and at the end of the day it didn’t work out. But we wanted to win last year. So we pushed it, and we’ll continue to push it. You know, to push it like the way we do, we know we have to make the right decisions. But if you look at all the teams that win, they’re in the same boat. You want to maximize your resources, and we’ve got the commitment from ownership to do it, and we’ll continue to do it, but you’re right you have to make the decisions. You have to be proactive and you have to make the decisions. And sometimes they’re not always popular, but we feel that when we do, we’re making the right decisions.

On how big a deal it is to get a right handed and left handed balance on ice…
I think that’s overplayed a bit, like I think for me it’s more important for building a team when you’ve got that quality of shot on your defense. It may take away a little bit setting up your power play with a right shot on the left half wall. We’ve got the play makers on the left half wall. For me it’s not that big of a deal if we don’t end up getting a right shot. I see a couple of good right shots out there today. So, I mean I don’t have a problem with us at some point getting that player, but it’s not as big a deal as it’s made out to be. I think it’s more important when you have that equal right shot left shot or close to it on your back end.

On if Steve Eminger is coming to camp…
So he’s signed to [the] an American [Hockey] League deal, though yes he’ll be at camp. And we’ve actually also, we haven’t announced it, this is my omission, [Matt] Fraser we’ve signed. He’s at a one year, two-way deal. And we invited Ville Leino to camp, he’s coming to camp.

On who he wants to see David Pastrnak working with in training camp…
Well you know, he’s going to start the rookie camp. So let’s see how he does there. And you know, he’s obviously a skill and speed package that you see out there today again. Take it slowly; we don’t really want to put him in a high level spot quite yet. Let’s see how he does at rookie camp, the national rookie tournament. And if he lights it up, maybe he gets up into the upper lines to start. We’ll see.

On if David Pastrnak doesn’t make the team…
Generally speaking, you could send him to Providence. For him, he’d be going back to Sweden. That’s what’s in our contract. It was negotiated.

On if it was his priority to sign Krejci…
Signing him was a top priority for me. As I said earlier, we’ve been working on it for a while. The last time we signed him I think it worked its way into the season.  So I mean, he understood as long as we’re – it’s important I just like them to have the comfort of knowing their deal. If you’re negotiating, and it’s progressing along, like last time with David [Krejci], and if it crept into the season, he’d be okay. But, you know, he’s one of our assistants, he’s a terrific person, he’s you know, when you sign these guys to these large term deals, and obviously money deals, you want to make sure that their character in place. So with David [Krejci] it is. And you know, you don’t always cater exactly to their needs, but if they would like to get it done before the season starts, then we try to do that.

On if he sees any more moves happening before camp…
There’s still some stuff that I’m looking at. I want to take this camp as an opportunity to look at who might bubble up. At the same time, there’s deals that I look at, as you wrote about today, we have a number of defensemen that are still here. I want to see how they – you know how we put them in pairs, how they work together and you know the same way how you see other sports making their moves in camp, we may end up doing that. It may end up creeping through, creeping into the regular season.
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