Boston Bruins general manger Peter Chiarelli, fresh off helping Team Canada win gold in Sochi as part of the executive staff, joined Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning to discuss the team’s plans heading out of the Olympic break and into the trade deadline.
“I don’t know if I’d even call it [a seller’s market]. There’s just not a lot of activity,” Chiarelli explained. “A seller’s market would suggest short supply, and I guess that’s the case. There’s a lot of teams in the mix. A lot of teams are at the cap that are contending that don’t want to give up players on their team but would have to in order to get a player. So there are a lot of forces that are really pushing against the market opening up.
“We have a few more days left before [March 5]. I’m sure there will be deals, it’s just right now, things are really tight.”
Fred Toucher asked Chiarelli if there would be any limitations on the team acquiring a player, and if the Bruins are solely looking for a veteran defenseman to try to replace Dennis Seidenberg.
“If we were to do a trade to improve our team, I would look at anything,” Chiarelli said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a veteran defenseman, a veteran, or a defenseman. But that’s something I’ve been focusing on.”
Chiarelli admitted there may be no major move out there to be made.
“We’re trying to improve our team,” Chiarelli said. “The market is very tight. I would anticipate doing something. I’m not looking for a blockbuster. That type of deal might be hard to do this year and even adding, with the number of teams that are still in it, may be hard. But we’re going to try our best.”
Changing topics, Rich Shertenlieb asked Chiarelli what his message is to fans who were notified this week that their season-ticket prices have increased anywhere from 18 to 40 percent for next season, doubling ticket prices since the Bruins won the Cup in 2011.
“In hockey operations as part of the Bruins, we’re trying to win the Cup every year,” Chiarelli said. “And we’re going to continue to try to win the Cup every year, and we would hope that they would support us. I understand if there are some people who can’t afford it, but we’re trying to do the best we can here. We’ve been spending resources to try to bring Stanley Cups here, so we would hope that they would stay with us. It doesn’t shock me because I know where other prices have gone to, in operating costs and salaries and that. It’s unfortunate that prices rise like they do, but they do.”
Chiarelli also spoke about his Olympics experience, which he said should help the games of the Bruins players who competed. He also said Patrice Bergeron impressed many folks while playing on the world stage.
“Over there, they saw his competitiveness, they saw really how good of a player he is all around,” Chiarelli said of Bergeron. “He made his way up the lines pretty quickly, sliding up with [Sidney] Crosby, and he was taking all the important right-hand faceoffs. He had a terrific tournament. He was really good and he got better as each game went along, and it did open their eyes.
“[Canada head coach Mike] Babcock had been in the West for the most part until this year, so he didn’t see a lot of [Bergeron]. He finally saw him and truly recognized how good he was.”