BOSTON — If free agency opened today instead of Thursday, the Bruins would not be able to make a big splash.
“Right now we don’t have the cap space to go out and make a big deal,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli after a TD Garden press conference to introduce Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton to Boston. “We don’t. But that could happen. We could make a trade and there could be cap space. It doesn’t mean we have someone in mind.”
Chiarelli said that his focus right now would be on landing a No. 3 goalie and maybe another defenseman. He also reiterated his desire to re-sign Daniel Paille despite not presenting a qualifying offer to the speedy winger as a restricted free agent. Paille will be unrestricted come July 1.
As for Marc Savard, Chiarelli said that just like goaltender Tim Thomas, the star center has not requested a trade despite the rash of trade rumors surrounding him.
There’s also a chance Boston could pursue 2009-10 contributors Steve Begin and Miroslav Satan, who are both unrestricted July 1. But those guys would be explored more likely during what Chiarelli calls the “secondary market,” which opens up after the high-end players have all signed.
There was hope from Chiarelli after the draft that this week leading up to free agency would see an uptick in trade talks, but so far it’s been pretty quiet.
“I’ve talked to a bunch of general managers, but they’re saying the same thing,” Chiarelli said. “As you approach July 1, what you do is you assess those players available for trade and compare them to who’s available in free agency. On the free agent market, you usually have to give more term and up the price, so you make comparisons. I’m doing that now and looking where the market is.”