Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was part of a series of NHL conference calls today to talk about the March 4 trade deadline.
Along the way, he revealed something that had nothing to do with wheeling and dealing. When asked if he received good news about winger Michael Ryder, Chiarelli responded: “My guess is that – and it’s a guess right now, but it’s an educated guess – is that he’ll be in the line-up for tomorrow.”
Ryder has been out since he was high sticked Feb. 5 and then had facial surgery Feb. 9. He’s been skating with the team for more than a week.
Chiarelli also fielding the expected questions about his approach to the trade deadline. With the conference-leading Bruins enduring their worst stretch of the season with losses in six of their last seven games, one might think the urgency to make a deal has intensified. But Chiarelli is taking a calm approach.
“Well, it hasn’t changed our approach (to deal),” he said. “We’re at some point going to struggle, and we were prepared for it. Part of it is the young guys hitting a bit of a wall. They look like they’re coming out of it a bit. It’s part of a long year.
“Our approach and strategy hasn’t changed with respect to the deadline. It just goes … the players of interest to us are still of interest to us, and we’re still pursuing those players.”
Chiarelli has stressed time and again that he has to be almost 100 percent certain an acquired player won’t break up the chemistry of this current Bruins squad. Today he expanded on that notion.
“Well, part of it is deciding if you have to subtract to add. If it means taking away a significant piece, or any piece for that matter, you really have to really look at it and think about it long and hard if you want to do it,” said Chiarelli, less than two weeks away from his third trade deadline as the Bruins’ GM. “You have to weigh the piece, the player or players that you’re moving out and the player or players that you’re moving in. I guess part of that is the blend of experience. You want to make sure if you’re adding to either the experience or youth, more likely experience, I mean, you have to look that ratio.
“Really, it’s the significance of the player that you’re adding, and is it worth what you’re giving up in the long run. You talk to your coaching staff at length about the room and how these players will interact and how they will react. These players all want to win and be part of a winning team. Your have look at it very carefully.”
There might be some temptation for Chiarelli to make a move in reaction to something New Jersey or Washington, the Bruins’ two closest pursuers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, do leading up to the deadline, but Chiarelli said he’s keeping his focus in-house.
“Well certainly, I’m not going to change our stance as we approach the deadline. We’ve got a relatively short list of players that we’re looking at. We know we’re in competition with other teams to get those players. So as that list shortens and we’re not getting any of these players, it’s only natural we’d try and step up our efforts. We look at our list more than we look at our competitors.”