Peter Chiarelli and his hockey operations team are trying to improve the team before the deadline. (Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff)
GM Peter Chiarelli recently concluded a conference call to comment on the March 4 trade deadline. Some highlights from the call:
* During his first two years at the Boston helm, Chiarelli hadn’t been keen on acquiring rentals prior to the deadline. However, because this year’s team could make a deep playoff run, Chiarelli said he would consider trading for a player with an expiring contract. The Bruins are also facing a cap squeeze next season (Tim Thomas, David Krejci, and Phil Kessel are the top three priorities to be extended), so expiring contracts aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
* Chiarelli said the Bruins are in a window where they can compete for a Cup. But they also have a core of young players that he doesn’t necessarily wish to dismantle. “As much as you want to seize the opportunity and as much as our market demands it, with the other franchises doing so well, I’m more apt to be patient and not pick apart the young foundation we have,” Chiarelli said. “It’s tempting. It’s something we have to look at long and hard, especially since there are players out there that can give you an immediate impact in certain situations. Our job is to balance that. We also understand that we have some young players that may never see our lineup but are good players. We have to recognize those players and use them as chips in any future deals.”
* Chiarelli said teams have to be cautious about acquiring the best player available versus making sure the fit is correct. As an example, Chiarelli referred to Peter Bondra, the winger the Senators acquired in 2003-04 from Washington. Chiarelli was in the Ottawa front office at the time. “Terrific player,” Chiarelli said. “But we couldn’t get him in the right fit in our lineup. You have to be careful about just adding the best player.”
* Despite the 1-3-1 road trip, Chiarelli said the recent stumble hasn’t changed the team’s deadline strategy or pursuit of certain players.
* Yet another indication that Manny Fernandez won’t be traded: “I’m happy with our goaltending duo right now. I think it’s a position of strength as we go forward in the playoffs.”