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Transcript for Peter Chiarelli's Press Conference on 3/6 Regarding Krug/Smith Contract Extensions

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRESS CONFERENCE

Friday, March 6, 2015

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI, 12:30 PM
Opening statement…
Torey [Krug] on one year at 3.4 million, Reilly [Smith] three years at 3.425 [million]. Obviously there’s the contract in the past - beginning of the year. These are players we always liked and have a bright future for us. Term was important. It’s shorter term and gives us more flexibility and it gives them more flexibility as far as performing on a short term platform and becoming more of a fixture of us going forward. The one and two year terms were important to us. These were deals that came about, the ideas and the philosophies came out a little bit more after we signed the one year deals. Later in the winter and early spring we started—not spring but January and February we talked more. They worked very hard to bring together and these are two good, young players and two good young people. 

On the contracts giving the team more security…
Well I think the way that the other first deal, their current deal ended, yeah I think there’s some significance to that. It obviously gives us comfort to have some security in a way.

On having three strong right wings and being satisfied with that…
Well certainly it’s, and whether Reilly [Smith] or Loui [Eriksson] or Brett [Connolly] end up on the left side with the current addition—am I satisfied? We have to see how we play going forward. You want to add some speed, you want to add some shooting ability, you also want to add some heaviness so all those things go into the decision making process and evaluation process, but we’ve got some good young players on the right side.

On Reilly Smith and Torey Krug developing…
Well, you know, it was more about—you’ll have to talk to them but I know Torey [Krug], you’ll see Torey’s minutes have gone up this year and with Torey it’s about defending at a higher level. We know he can really move pucks and put up points. Torey wants to prove that he can provide those higher end minutes and I think he can but this gives a good platform for it. So, one year. It shows what he can do this year and next year and we see where he fits as far as being a top four. Right now if you just look at minutes from the outside you’ll say he’s not a top four guy but he’s close. For Reilly, like I said, you’ll have to ask him, but that’s what he wanted. He’s playing in our top six. He’s had a little bit of a struggle for a short period of time here but he’s a good young player who’s going to be better.

On the significance of the timing…
No not really. These were the two I wanted to get done because of the way they finished with the one-year deal. I do like the players, I do like the people so I kind of felt an obligation.

On what you see from Smith that can compensate for his struggles…
I just - there was a period where I think we were all struggling including Reilly [Smith]. But he’s a 20-goal scorer and he’s a very smart player. He manages the power play. He’s one of our leading scorers and he’s a good young player. When I mentioned Reilly’s struggles I’m referring to the period this year where he and other players were slumping as was the team.

On seeing Reilly improve this year from last…
Yeah, I did.

On the numbers not looking like he has improved…
Well yes he has as many goals as he did last year.

On where you stand with Dougie Hamilton…
I’m not going to comment on any negotiations but nothing is going on right now.

On any groundwork laid down for future moves…
I just, your trying to get these people done. We’re going to assess over the course of the remainder of the year as to who we’re going to keep and who we’re not going to keep. We have future rights for a reason. You’re able to buy some time to do these things so that’s the way I’m going pose the rest as restricted and unrestricted.

On 3.4 million being the going rate for a 20-goal scorer…
Well it is. If you go through the numbers it is. That’s where it stands.

On feeling like you owed them after last year’s contracts…
Well it’s more about where—they both have arbitrations so it’s more where they align that way.

On Milan Lucic having one year left and hoping to extend him…
Well, what I said was generally we’ve gone into that final year summer looking at possibly extending

On that still being a possibility…
Sure.

On extending Torey Krug or Reilly Smith longer down the road…
No, once they—as far as Torey [Krug] goes, halfway into the deal next year we can look at extending. Is that your question? With Reilly [Smith] it will be in the final year of his deal so his extension will be after. It could start as early as after the first year of the new deal.

On having more evidence with Krug this year and trying to play top four minutes…
Well he’s—we’ve had discussions with Torey [Krug] on that. Our coaching staff has had discussions with Torey on that. He’s becoming a smarter defender. That’s what I’ve been seeing and that’s about where-- for a player his size, he is strong but he’s more positional than bumping which is-- he’s a gritty kid who likes to bump. He’s experienced and making it seem that [bumping] might not always be the best way to defend.

On the number of salaries committed to the roster next season…
There’s so many, as far as committed salaries I don’t have that number off the top of my head. We could get that number for you but I don’t have that off the top of my head. It’s the plan that we look into it and we do and from what the number is we look at a bunch of different scenarios as to who will be on our roster next year. These numbers fit in and they fit in well.

On Smiths salary being the same for both seasons…
No, 3.35 and 3.5.

On what contract extensions do to the perceptions in the locker room…
Well for these two they’re both restricted young players so I don’t really look at it like that. These are good young players that we want to keep, not that other players we don’t want to keep but no I don’t really look at that. There’s no real template as far as these things go. It’s the ebb and flow and the timing. We do some before the season, we do some during the season, we do some shortly after the season.

On your thoughts on signing Hickman…
He’s a 20-year-old, he’s got a two way-game, kind of heavier player, versatile player with some leadership. Usually with those OA’s [overage], they’ve gone through the draft at least twice so I think his skating is slightly above average. His skating will have to come and he’s a conscientious kid who works hard to get to the next level but he’s got a lot of character, high character stuff. I’d say decent skills. More character of a two-way forward.

On Hickman being physical…
Yeah but I wouldn’t call him - that’s not normally his game.

On Hickman being in Providence…
Yeah.

On Krug or Smith’s deals having no movement attached…
No, they can’t get them at this age. You can see the CPA on the internet by the way.

On Paul Carey being a tough kid…
Yeah he’s a group six, Steve, which means he’s unrestricted after this year but yeah he is. He’s in that 24-25 rang where maybe he’s not but there’s elements to his game that we like and we’re going to look at down the stretch here.

On the unknown salary cap number playing a role in negotiations…
Yeah a little bit. It’s more about having flexibility. So I’ve been staying away from long-term deals right now because of that. I think we really have to know where the cap is going to be. We’ve gone through different rosters at different cap numbers but you really can’t execute before you know where your cap is.
#3/6/15#
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