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Transcript: 06.22 GM Peter Chiarelli Pre-NHL Draft Media Availability

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Quotes


June 22

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AT 2:00 P.M.

On the increase of trade chatter…
It’s pretty much in the background for us; we don’t really have anything significant going on with respect to the trade market right now. I think I might have mentioned kind of that second level of market after July 1 that’s probably going to be a little more active than it is now. It’s actually quieted down a little bit in the last couple of days. You know, we’re all brave souls and say we’ve got all these deals and all this stuff and then when it comes time to doing them, everything quiets down and everyone starts focusing on the draft so I think that’s what we’re seeing right now.

On whether there will be any ‘big blockbuster’ deals tonight…
You know what, there might be, there might be. I was just trying to recount last night through past drafts like how much deals were done on the day of the first round and there just seems to be in the past, maybe not in the recent past but in the further past, there just seems to be more deals done on the first round. I don’t think we’re going to get that. But, you know, there’s been a couple of well-chronicled deals that I think you might see at least one of them.

On whether this is a draft year where picks are more in play (referencing the Sergei Bobrovsky deal)…
Well, that deal, I think the value of that deal, or the consideration going the other way in that deal, was based on - I think - the [Anders] Lindback deal, like three picks were traded there. But yeah, maybe that’s a reflection of the quality of the draft. You know, like when we were just finishing up our meetings we get down in the latter portions of our lists and it gets thin pretty quick, and that’s not out of any disrespect for the players, it’s just like they just seem to get thin really quick and maybe that’s why you might see more draft picks involved in trades. I mean, I don’t characterize that as a major trade, but three draft picks for a goalie seems to be a lot.

On the likelihood of moving up in the draft…
I’d say it’s like 20-80, 20-percent chance of moving up. There seems to be more people that want to move down. I hear that this year. Just intuitively, I can’t get my head around it yet to move down, like it just seems that unless the player is so close and you want to move down a little bit - but I doubt we’ll move down.

On the value of deals around July…
Well I don’t know necessarily if it’s more – Well, I think it would be more advantageous to anyone who’s in that market because I think there’s - outside of maybe these blockbusters - you know, these guys want to wait until the first layer of July 1 free agency, and then after that, it’s like then you start weighing your possible free agent acquisition and a trade acquisition. So I think you just – it kind of is that next step, and that’s when everyone kind of gets more active.

On how it feels going into this free agency period not needing to do too much…
Well it is, I don’t want to say comfortable, because I never want to be comfortable in this position, but I’d be very content if our roster now is the roster that we go with. I’d be really content. But you know what, these crazy things happen in the trades and the free agents, and you just got to be on top of it just in case you want to do something. But, you know, everyone talks about, generally speaking, they talk about, well this team has oodles and oodles of cap space, but you’ve got to find players and you’ve got to fill those spots. So I like the spot that we’re in right now.

On whether the Bruins would need to react to other teams making moves…
No, no I certainly – like if you’re suggesting like a rival or something or someone that we feel that we’re going to have to get through in the playoffs at some point – that wouldn’t be a sole determining factor if we were to add somebody. But I don’t ignore it, but I wouldn’t like engage based on… [So, it wouldn’t throw you into a state of panic?] I think we’re in a good spot right now, you know, we’re in a good roster spot right now.

On how the Bruins evaluate the ‘best player available’…
Well, I mean that’s what we all like to use and that’s the philosophy we try and follow. 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. So, you know, when you do your first list in the final stages, that’s what we uphold – the best player available. But, you know what, there’s a lot of subsets underneath it and you really have to look closely at it.

On whether it’s more subjective than quantitative when looking at those tiebreakers…
Yeah, I would say it’s probably never quantitative, unless there’s a serious goal scorer and you have to look at the number of goals or I guess you could look at size too and stuff like that. But it’s almost always subjective. But, you know, I guess you have a certain framework for who is the best player in what areas. When it comes down to the short strokes on a couple players here and there, you have to look beyond that.

On where character fits into that for the Bruins culture…
Well that’s important – character and hockey sense. So I think you really have to be a smarter player these days to play in these rules, and we’ve seen the coaching improve, and you’ve seen a lot of different looks in all three zones. So I think you have to be a smart player, and you’ve always had to be a smart player, but I think you have to be a smarter player. So hockey sense and character are very significant in my mind.

On trade talks with other teams considering the talent on the roster…
Well, I’ve been pretty clear over the last year and a bit that I really like a large part of the makeup of our team, so guys have been backing up. I don’t get a lot of calls. I really don’t get a lot of calls. Guys come and try to cherry pick once in a while and I don’t blame them for doing it on some of our top-end guys, but I don’t get a lot of calls.

On why he doesn’t get a lot of calls…
Well, you know what, it’s kind of a cycle, like you’re a good team and no one’s really rushing to help you, so it’s harder to do business now. I was actually with [Los Angeles Kings General Manager] Dean Lombardi a little bit last night and I told him, I said, “Nobody’s gonna help you, Dean.” That’s what happens.

On if there is a desire to draft local players…
Well, when I talk about levels of tie-breakers, sometimes that plays a part. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna go out of my way if the player is better than this player, but I think we’ve got them well-placed on our list.

On if it is easier now to project players’ careers…
Well I think just with experience – like myself, our staff – I think with experience, you just see a cycle of a player, from 18 years old until they finish playing, and I think really, I’ve been in this business a long time now and a lot of members of our staff are the same so you just get more experience and you see that. It’s always hard to predict, as you know with young men, teenagers and young men, a lot of things happen in their lives between the ages of 18 and 22, and a lot of things are hard to predict. That we can have all the science and techniques and scrutiny that is available, but sometimes you can’t control certain things.

On his thoughts on Nail Yakupov…
As a player? He’s tremendously talented and dynamic and you hear about the Pavel Bure comparisons and I think that’s bang-on, like speed. I don’t know if he’s quite that fast but opportunist, speed, shot, and exuberant – like’s to play. That’s what I see in him.

On Patrice Bergeron winning the Selke Trophy…
Yeah, I mean he obviously – a lot of Patrice Bergeron is what we stand for, and in fact when we talk about players, we bring up Bergy’s name quite a bit when we talk about amateur players whom we may draft. I can’t say enough about Patrice. 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.

On if Dean Lombardi asked him for advice…
Yeah, he did actually. He asked me about a lot of the little minor things that take up a lot of your summer, and then he asked about the [Stanley Cup] hangover and all that stuff we dealt with last year, and so we talked about that. So, again, I didn’t really have any answers for him. I told him everything we tried.

On if there’s anything he learned from the Stanley Cup hangover…
Try your hardest to look at things – and I’m being general here – but no, there’s nothing specific that I learned that if we did it again. I mean maybe, I don’t know. There’s an element of fatigue that takes place – mental and physical – that is just hard to – you just can’t combat it – you got to grind your way through it.

On if he thinks the team can re-gain its hunger…
Yeah, well I mean, from what the players tell me at their exit meetings, and I would think that the motivation factor is going to be quite high, and a lot of them felt that if they won that series, they could’ve had a shot. And that’s fine and dandy to say that, but you know these players well enough, you talk to them on a regular basis, and you see when they say that and I believe them.

On if he has any more certainty regarding Tim Thomas
No, no. I might have said this in a radio interview, but he has given me a complete waiver of the no-trade clause, so he gave this to me a week and a half ago, so at the very least he’s being cooperative in that sense and if we decide to trade him. It may not seem to make that much of a difference because that no-trade clause will be nullified or gone after the end of this month, but he is being cooperative on it. But other than that, no.

On if he’s received a 100-percent definite answer regarding Tim Thomas
Well I don’t want to say one way or the other. Like, sometimes it sounds like it is and sometimes it isn’t, so I would say probably no.

On if that means he’s probably not coming back…
Well, no. It’s probably not 100-percent that he’s not coming back.

On if any team has inquired about Tim Thomas
I’ve had a couple teams that – well I’ve had more than a couple. I had a category of teams that are inquiring as to, you know, acquiring him for the cap floor. Then I’ve had a couple of teams inquire regarding him as “is he coming back?” kind of deal. So I tell him the same stuff I tell you guys.

On if Tim Thomas has given him a list of teams…
No. He’s been pretty firm in his stance.

On if a trade is possible with Tim Thomas
Well, I mean, I talked about cap floor so, if you look at it, there’s five million dollars, which is the cap hit that a team doesn’t have to pay, so yes, I think, on that basis, yes I think there would be interest. Now the thing is that there’s not a rush to get that yet because you’ve got a 10-percent bump in your cap over the summer and really, there’s no urgency to get it. But if there’s more than one team that’s competing, I’d have to look at it.

On the cap floor for next year…
I don’t know. New rules, I don’t know. If the current rules continued, you’d have 70 minus 16, so what’s that – 54? You know and that could be a fairly lofty floor.

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