Just talked with Boston GM Peter Chiarelli as he left his Causeway St. office for the day, and while acknowledging the trade market is slow, he remains cautiously optimistic that he can add a roster player or two prior to the NHL's trade deadline at 3 p.m. (ET) Monday.
His targets: a forward who can play on one of coach Claude Julien's top three lines, and a defenseman capable of logging valuable minutes among the backline six pack.
''I think those deals are there to do,'' said Chiarelli. ''You're never sure, but....I'd like to be further along in some of these discussions, down to the short strokes, but yes, right now, I think we are getting closer and there are one or two deals we could close.''
Asked if clubs were requesting that Chiarelli give up picks and/or prospects, or whether he might have to part with a current roster player, the GM said, ''I've been clear in telling people I've talked to that I don't want to move anyone off our roster.''
Per league rules, Chiarelli is prohibited about discussing players currently with other clubs, which leaves us only to speculate on possible moves. As mentioned in today's Globe, one solid candidate could be Sami Pahlsson, the versatile ex-Bruin forward now with Columbus, and veteran defenseman Jaro Spacek, currently wasting away with the Canes.
''My motivating factors are, first of all, depth,'' said Chiarelli, when asked his target areas. ''And then injury, especially to our forwards. Both Nathan (Horton) and (Rich Peverley) remain out, and though we expect both are going to be back, you have to make sure you are covered.''
Peverley, out with a wrenched knee, is a virtual certainty to return by the end of March or start of April. Chiarelli said last week that, unlike some pessimists, he believes the concussed Horton will be back this season, though he acknowledged today that no one can accurately predict when/if players will recover from brain injuries.
Meanwhile, Chiarelli only had a cursory update on injured defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who was drilled early in the third period Saturday night in Ottawa by a clean but crushing hit by Chris Neil. Boychuk made it off the ice under his own power, but was finished for the night, his head clearly rattled by the hard-charging Neil.
''Johnny's still having headaches,'' noted Chiarelli. ''We're not sure if it's a concussion, or if it officially can be called a concussion at this point--but we'll know more about that tomorrow.''
Joe Corvo, smacked in the head when boarded by Kyle Turris in the third period Saturday, was OK yesterday. ''He tested fine,'' said Chiarelli. The league announced today that Turris will not face further discipline for the hit.
According to Chiarelli, he expects to call up two players today from AHL Providence. Both Andrew Bodnarchuk and Josh Hennessy were demoted yesterday. ''One or both could be back tomorrow,'' said Chiarelli. ''Or maybe it will be two others....we're still deciding.''
The Bruins practice at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Wilmington and play next when the Senators come to Causeway Tuesday night for a rematch.
Check back here at the boston.com Bruins blog throughout the day on Monday for trade deadline updates.