Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Transcript: 09.07 GM Peter Chiarelli Conference Call, Re: Marchand Contract Extension

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Quotes


September 7

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AT 3:00 P.M.

For a printable version of the transcript, click here.

Peter Chiarelli opening statement...
Just wanted to say a few remarks about Brad Marchand. Obviously we signed him today to a four-year deal. His style of play, his persona, his timely goals, and obviously his amount of goals bring a great component to the Bruins and the Bruins organization. It’s nice when you sign players to extensions, we say a lot of good things about players, and it’s nice too when you can sign a player like Brad, who has worked his way up through the organization, and plays the way we all enjoy watch him playing and as a general manager, you enjoy watch him playing. An in-your-face game, he sacrifices his body, and he’s really coming into his own as an offensive player. We’ve finalized the agreement with Brad. He’s signed. Unfortunately he can’t make it today - he’s moose hunting with his father out in Newfoundland and is due back midweek. So you won’t have the pleasure of talking to Brad today, but I can take some questions.

On the importance of getting a deal done at this time (Dan Cagen)…
It was important for this reason, because we’ve been on this for a little bit, and certainly we weren’t governed by September 15, because if there is a work stoppage you can pick it up when you resume. If not, you just continue to try and hammer it out. The goal, and I’ve tried to do this I think for most of our guys, is to get them done before they start playing. So this really wasn’t a hard deadline in my mind. Of course, we’re a week before it, so it’s easy for me to say that now. But we are tracking pretty good.

On other possible moves this week (Dan Cagen)…
Well I’ve had some discussions and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t really like to comment on negotiations, but for the sake of hearing something different than the labor situation, I’ll go off the rails a bit and tell you I’ve had some discussions with some of our guys.

On if there is a different perspective from players to sign contracts prior to a possible labor stoppage (Mike Loftus)…
That really never entered into our discussions. I can understand the question; it’s been written enough that that seems to be a leverage point. I can understand if you’re maybe trying to get something that you don’t think will be there when we return if there’s a stoppage. I guess there’s the specter of a new system and we’ve all been hearing about it for the last couple of months. That drives it I think, but potentially I guess from the players’ side, and maybe from our side - but, as I said earlier - to the extent that we can - and there may be some guys we’re unable to get to, but we’ve tried to be relatively proactive in extending contracts for guys prior to the start of the season and we’re trying to keep our core together. It’s part in parcel of that in what we’re trying to do, not so much governed by this September 15th date.

On the importance of signing upcoming free agents prior to the season (Mick Colageo)…
This will be Brad’s third contact, so it’s not like we haven’t seen this movie before with regard to Brad. To your general question, having operated business in the prior system and then in this current system, there is a bit of a stronger sense of urgency with the free agency age where it is. But, having said that, we’ve talked about - this is the third contract again - but we’ve talked about the pitfalls of the second contracts, but we’ve seen Brad – he’s put in some good time with us, but in all that, yes, you can’t ignore the fact that the free agency age is earlier than it used to be.

On if he sees Marchand’s game possibly changing to become more conservative with the new contract or if he will maintain his “swagger” (Mick Colageo)…
I like the whole package. He went through some stuff last year with a couple of incidents, and through the disciplinary process where we engaged in a couple of philosophical discussions with that office. So I think Brad recognizes — and you’ll have to talk to him about it — but I think he recognizes that part of his game as being a valuable part of his game and he’s a smart enough player that, as you get older, and learn the ropes a little bit more, you can tweak your game a little bit. I think last year, Brad had a good year last year, but I know he had some struggles with exactly what you’re talking about. So he will continue to learn how to draw that fine line. He’s certainly aware of it and that the line has moved a bit, so. I like the whole package. In short, I like the whole package.

On negotiating with Tyler Seguin with other young players in the league receiving long-term deals (DJ Bean)…
Again, I’m not going to go into details of negotiations. You look at comparable players, you look at where your team salary structure is, and you look at the market. You don’t look strictly at one of those things - you try and look at all of them. So we try and do that in all our negotiations, and we will continue to do that. Sometimes you’re faced with different dynamics, and you have to make decisions at certain junctures of the negotiation, but generally speaking the comparables are important, comparable peer groups, and where he fits into the team salary structure.

On Brad’s development from his start in the organization until this point (Joe McDonald)…
From the start, I remember him as - his first camp - saying that he expected to make the team and I was a little shocked at that comment. I liked the braggadocio, I liked the confidence. So that was my first impression of Brad. I knew about him as a player, I knew about obviously how he played. So you saw him develop a couple years of junior, you saw him have a good junior career. And then entering into our organization - when he’s ready to turn pro - he started in Providence and I thought, he’s a good example of a player - and Krejci was the same way - but he’s a good example of a player who really enjoyed and benefited from that apprenticeship, so to speak, at a minor league level. And you could see him become more comfortable with his game with bigger, stronger, older guys. And then there was the next transition in his game when he came up towards the end of that year, and he struggled, he was a little behind the play, and the stuff that he had excelled at in the American [Hockey] League, he had trouble. He was just a little bit behind and he was getting pushed off of pucks, but you know what, he got stronger, he got older, he got smarter, and then he had his year two years ago, and then we had the following year. So he’s like a sponge that way and it’s an important progression in being a successful NHL player - you have to learn how to adapt and he’s been really good at that. And now he’s, he’s still 24, so he’s still in the prime of his career. It was an interesting journey to watch him get to this point, and as I said earlier, I like the whole package and he plays the way that we want guys to play, in their own way, but to be aggressive and to be strong on the puck and to be enthusiastic.

On the parameters for players entering the American Hockey League in the event of a lockout (Joe McDonald)…

Well, the last time I spoke, I was basically reiterating what happened last time. And in a nutshell, it was those waiver exempt players would go down, and then as far as those “depth players” - I say that because I think there was a definition of those types of players last year - I think a lot of those guys ended up you were able to sign them to American League contracts, and then there were a few guys that required waivers that were “bonafide NHL players” that chose at some point to play and then sign AHL deals, so you’ve got a whole range of types of players. And this was last time…I don’t know if this is what’s going to happen this time. I’ve fielded a lot of calls from agents of guys who fit any of those categories, and I basically give them the same answer that I just gave you.

On if he has enjoyed seeing Marchand’s rise through the ranks of the Bruins organization, especially in terms of the goals management have laid out for him (John Bishop)….
Yeah, I have and I mentioned earlier that he’s like a sponge that way. And you know, it’s surprising. Initially, it was surprising to me because he’s a stubborn player on the ice, which to me is a good quality. It’s almost like stubborn determination. And you’d think when he’d be doing something we didn’t want him to do, based on how he played, that it would take him a while to adapt and see it our way, but he’s really good - he’s a student of the game and he knows, he sees these trends, so you can see, I went through kind of year by year and you can see him grow that way. He’s an individual who cares significantly about his conditioning. He’s always very, very strong and he continues to do great physical conditioning each year. But you’re only, you know, again, I’m a believer in the character and work ethic - if you have that, you’re going to improve, and to what extent, it depends on your skill level, but you’re going to improve and he’s shown that perfectly.

On the relationship fostered between Brad and Claude Julien (James Murphy)…

Well, I think it goes with what I said about him learning and listening. And you’re right, there have been times where he [Claude] has had to come down hard on him, but the way Claude coaches and the way that his teams play, they’re hard teams. You have to be hard and you’ve got to - I talked about this stubbornness, this edge - you have to have that to play a strong defensive game. So Brad already had that. There was a good fit from the very beginning. It was a matter of each guy learning each other’s tendencies. It’s been interesting to watch. I can’t tell you  all the details, you’d have to ask Claude and Brad, but you know, what I can say about Brad is that he really respects the observations of his peers, and he respects and listens anytime one of us talks to him and gives him our observations, so he’s been a pleasure to work with.

On Marchand having Patrice Bergeron as a mentor (James Murphy)….
Yeah, and Bergy’s [Bergeron] been a mentor to a lot of guys, which is a testament to him at his age. But you know, that line the year before with Rex [Mark Recchi] and last year with [Tyler] Seguin, it was a real terrific line. And Brad and Tyler [Seguin] also, they learned from Bergy and his work ethic and how to carry yourself on and off the ice. So he’s, again, it goes back to how he learns and listens and that’s a big part of how he’s improved and where he is now.

On if he is surprised by Marchand’s quick offensive improvement (Brian Compton)…
He’s scored. He’s always - he has a good shot, and he’s got a nose for the net. With those two things, you’d expect him to produce to a certain level. He scored in Providence, and you could see how he scored. But he also—and he’ll say this—he missed the net a lot. He’s got a real good shot. So, I think he’s just sharpened his offensive skills, and I think he’s recognized where he can create his offense. There was one thing that he used to always do that he succeeded at, and created chances off of. It’s a move—and I won’t get into the details—but it didn’t work at the NHL level, just because of the size, strength and speed of guys. And he kept going to it, and kept going to it, and finally, he figured out that it’s not going to work. And he very rarely does it, and when he does it I think back to the American League when I used to see him. It’s just, to me, he can determine what areas he has to improve and he can work on them. He really did sharpen his offense. He’s hitting the net more with his shot. So, in short, yes, it surprised me a little—the year he said he was going to score 20, that year it surprised me—but it didn’t surprise me now where he’s come.

On the status of Dougie Hamilton in terms of starting the year in the Ontario Hockey League and being able to make the jump to the NHL amidst a possible labor stoppage (DJ Bean)…

It’s less unclear. We’re told they’re working on an agreement, and we’re told that there will be the ability to take players, in the event of a work stoppage, and it cutting into the CHL [Canadian Hockey League] season. There will be some type of ability to take players from their respective CHL teams. So, I’m hoping that that will be finalized, but at the very least I’m told that it’s expected to happen in the agreement. So, I mean, to the extent - I don’t know how many we can take, and I know that they haven’t done the agreement yet, but they’re working on it. So yes, if we can take one, I can tell you that he’ll be the one.

On the current system of giving young players large contract extensions (Matt Kalman)…
That’s a big broad-reaching question that I’ve been in a significant number of meetings to discuss that very question, at the GM level. But, in short, you know we’ve - it’s a function of the market, it’s a function of the free agency age, and it makes you project earlier. It’s hard not to do it when everybody does it, and I’m not blaming everybody, because I remember when I first got here, we did that with Patrice [Bergeron]. So, it’s like there’s a betting/hedging aspect to it, whenever you project on a player and it just makes the odds a little larger. But we have, we’ve got good scouts, we’ve got good coaches, and, you know, I think our track record has been pretty good in doing that. It doesn’t mean that it’s the right system - it is the system, and if it changes, then we’ll adjust accordingly.

On if it is difficult to block out the labor situation while handling business (Mike Loftus)…
It is. And if you look at what I say is ‘business as usual,’ we didn’t add any significant free agents this year. We didn’t re-sign some of our additions, trade additions. So, we’ve kind of tightened the screws a little bit, and at the same time, everyone sees us on top or close to the top of CapGeek.com. So, I seem to always be answering questions about that. I feel that we have some flexibility with regard to that, with the nature of the [Tim] Thomas contract and the [Marc] Savard contract, in respect of the system, but I can’t ignore it, and I try not to. We’re trying to lock up core guys. We’re trying to lock up our critical mass of our team. And if we have to, you know, I’ve told the guys that look, if the system changes dramatically and we have to shuffle pieces around, I have to do that, that’s part of the business, and the guys, when we’re signing guys, they’re okay with that. So, there are some guys that may have to wait, there are some we may do and we’re trying our best to maintain the core of this team, and to keep it good for a long time.

On changes regarding the date that rookies will report (Mike Loftus)…
So, the rookie tournament has been cancelled. And our rookie camp has been eliminated also. We’re going to bring in—as the schedule permits—we’re going to bring in a number of those [players] that would have been in the rookie camp. And I’m not sure what our exact number is going to be at. It’s a little bit fluid right now, but it will probably be a little bigger camp to start than normally what we’re accustomed to. But there won’t be any ‘rookie camp’ per say.

On if Marchand was trying to adjust his game after his suspension (Dan Cagen)…
I think that was part of it. I think part of it too, was if you look at our team’s overall goal production kind of in the latter third, it went down; latter half, latter third. I think part of that is some of the injuries but part of it’s just fatigue. With Brad, I think he’s a strong body, but a smaller body, so the fatigue strikes him a little bit earlier. So, I think it was part of that. It was part of the – you know, I talked about, adapting, adjusting that you mentioned, it was part of that. So there were those two things for him.

View More