Chiarelli On Toucher & Rich: New Bruins Eriksson, Iginla Fitting In

BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins kick off their 2013-14 season on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, ready to make another run at a Stanley Cup Championship.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday, excited to kick off a new season.

Chiarelli had his hands full over the off-season, dealing forward Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars for forward Loiu Eriksson and prospects, while also replacing departed forward Nathan Horton with veteran Jarome Iginla. Both new additions had some success on their new lines in the preseason, and though Chiarelli knows there will be some growing pains throughout the year, is impressed with what the two have shown so far.

“They’ve fit in,” Chiarelli said. “Iginla is compatible with that line. He’s a shooter and is big and strong, so he has a lot of the same traits that Nathan Horton had… That line will be good, it’s a heavy line.”

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“Both of the lines will take some time to get full chemistry, but you can see it coming,” said Chiarelli. “(Eriksson’s) coming on now. They were looking for each other a lot during camp. It’s a selfless thing, but they are trying to be friendly so to speak, and sometimes that plays against the chemistry of the line. But that line is coming around, and Loui as a two-way player, it’s very compatible with that line.”

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Chiarelli confirmed that Boston’s third line will be without Carl Soderberg on Thursday night, and Jordan Caron will likely take his spot. While the line that impressed Chiarelli in the presason won’t be intact on Thursday, he is still excited for the production the third line can bring to the Bruins this season.

“That whole line has had a strong camp,” Chiarelli said of the third line. “(Chris) Kelly has been skating well. Reilly Smith is a young player, a very smart player. He has the left shot, right wing, so there is the element of soft hands you have to do that on the right side. He’s not real strong in battles but he’s good, he’s sneaky and comes out with pucks.

“It’s a little disappointing that Soderberg won’t start that game, but he’ll be back relatively soon,” Chiarelli added.

Chiarelli also talked about Boston’s crop of young defensemen, and how he feels having cameras around the office while making ‘Behind The B’:

Tune in to every Bruins game of the 2013-14 season on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Bruins! Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes prior to every game!

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