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Bruins put first-round pick in play

by Shawn P. Roarke /
The Boston Bruins may be the team to watch in the next three weeks when it comes to the 2011 Trade Deadline.

Tuesday, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli all but guaranteed his team would be active on the trade front before the deadline arrives.

Certainly, Boston has been forced to be more aggressive with the season-ending injury to first-line center Marc Savard, but that move also freed up some necessary cap space to go after a marquee player.

"In the real world, I'd like to add without subtracting," Chiarelli said Tuesday on his weekly call to the Toucher and Rich show on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Chiarelli also woke up many across the League by saying on the show that the first-round pick obtained from Toronto in the Phil Kessel trade is in play. Last season, the Bruins refused to even listen to offers for that pick during their attempts to add talent for the playoff push.

Now, however, the Bruins feel their young core -- players like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask to name a few -- have advanced to the point where the team can switch from building for the future to more of a win-now mode.

"It's a valuable pick so it would have to be a valuable asset coming back," Chiarelli said.

As of Wednesday's standings, Toronto sits in 26th place in the League standings, meaning the pick could be a top-5 selection in June's Entry Draft.

Chiarelli said during the show that he has already received some action on the No. 1 pick, but refused to name names.

"Right now prices are very high, because its three weeks before," Chiarelli said. "Look at the West standings, they're so tight. The East is tight, too, just not as tight. There's not a lot of sellers right now."

Boston currently holds the No. 3 seed in the East, but is just two points ahead of Montreal for the lead in the Northeast Division. The Bruins play the Canadiens on Wednesday at the TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).

So what type of player is Boston seeking at the deadline? Neither Chiarelli nor Cam Neely, the team's president, would be specific.

"I think we're going to look at anything we feel we can do to make our club better going into the postseason," Neely said Tuesday on the Felger and Massarotti show on 98.5. "We have a really strong hockey team that we'd like to improve in a few areas. If it makes sense for us, we'll do anything."

Both Chiarelli and Neely admit it is unlikely that they will find a No. 1 center on the trade market, but they would like to add some depth at forward. There also is a school of thought that the team would like to add an experienced defenseman to bolster its blue line.
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