GM Peter Chiarelli, along with trading partners Brian Burke and Rick Dudley, have conducted respective press conferences regarding today’s movement involving Tomas Kaberle, Joe Colborne, Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart, Rich Peverley, Boris Valabik, and the Bruins’ picks.
Chiarelli on Kaberle: “We felt we needed a player like Tomas. He has good vision. He’s a good skater. He can quarterback the power play. He’s played many games in the league. I remember seeing him and [Bryan] McCabe with Toronto. He’d be feeding McCabe one-timers to the right point from the left point. I envision a similar one-two punch down the line. It was an important piece for us to get. We had to pay a price. Joe [Colborne] is going to be a good player in the NHL. He’s progressing nicely. He’s a real good kid. We felt the time was right with our team. With the number of assets we’ve had the last two years, with picks and prospects, it’s a testament to the amateur staff and pro staff. We accumulated prospects through pro scouting. We were in a good position to make this transaction. The cupboard is still very well stocked. It’s a strong message to our team.”
Burke on how the trade unfolded: “I spoke with Kabba’s agent a few weeks ago. The player did not want to leave. He asked for an extension several times. I didn’t feel we could give what his demands would be. I told him, ‘Work with us to get something if you want to.’ He came back and said he would like us to start with the Boston Bruins. I said, ‘OK. That makes sense. I’ll try to get Kabba there. But I’m not accepting a one-team list from any agent or any player. But we will try with the Boston Bruins. We will set our price. It’s a first-round pick and a prospect off our list. If Boston meets that, we’ll make the deal. If we don’t, we want two more teams. If we can’t do that, we want two more teams after that.’ ”
Dudley on why he made the deals: “For a variety of reasons. Start with the fact that we’ve won three of our last 15. We felt we needed to make a change. It’s a move that’s both short-term and long-term. With [Alexander] Burmistrov and [Bryan] Little, neither one of them is big. It’s very difficult to have a top three of Burmistrov, Peverley, and Little. With Blake Wheeler, he’s 6-5. He makes us bigger, faster. He kills penalties. He plays all three forward positions. He’s quite young. He’s a big, strong guy that’s young. In Stuart, he’s a guy with a nasty disposition. He kills penalties and makes a real good first pass. We gave up a good player to do it. But we got pretty good assets back.”