With just one radio comment, Chiarelli raises the trade stakes

Chiarelli

If the Feb. 28 trade deadline passes with the Bruins doing nothing more than the equivalent of adding a Steve Montador- or even Dennis Seidenberg-type defenseman, general manager Peter Chiarell should be prepared for crowds of people with pitchforks to show up at his office door.

Chiarelli today upped the ante for what fans of his club can expect at the trade deadline, as he told WEEI hosts Dale Arnold and Michael Holley that even Toronto’s first-round draft pick, which the team acquired in the Phil Kessel deal and has potential to be in the top five this June, is open to discussion in trade talks.

Last season, Chiarelli held firm to the notion that he wouldn’t trade last year’s Maple Leafs pick and he held onto it long enough to draft Tyler Seguin in Los Angeles.

“I’d look at it, sure. I’ve had discussions involving that pick. I certainly would look at it,” he told the show.

“There’s been one [trade offer] that we’ve thrown around internally,” he continued. “I don’t know if I would do it, but it’s something that warrants further discussion.”

Later in the day, Bruins President Cam Neely was a guest of Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti on 98.5 The Sports Hub. He continued to raise people’s expectations that there will be a superstar coming to Boston between now and the deadline.

“It’s something that we have to be open-minded,” said Neely about moving the Leafs pick. “The differences are where we were last year compared to where we are this year, what kind of room we have. Now we’re in a different scenario that we thought we would prior to Marc Savard getting injured an out for the year.

“We all feel we’re in a good position here to do something special, and it’s just a matter of what makes sense.

“Last year was a different scenario for us as a team, for Toronto as a team, for where there was a good chance we were going to pick. We’ve got to look at everything this year. … It might make sense for us to do that.”

By virtue of being printed in the Boston Globe, the Brad Richards trade talk has been dominating the airwaves. It’s unlikely, however, the Cup-contending Dallas Stars would make such a move. There are players on non-contending teams, however, that could be available as we near the deadline. Some have been discussed and some might even turn out to be a giant surprise. Could Columbus and Rick Nash decide they need to part ways? What about Erik Johnson and St. Louis? Could David Booth become available in Florida? Anything could happen, especially if the Bruins present a blockbuster combination of players, picks and prospects to get the player or players that will push them over the top.

Only two things are definite. First, Chiarelli needs help on defense and at center. He probably would prefer to shore up the back end, and Neely said that would be his preference as well.

Second, whoever comes to Boston between now and the deadline better knock the fan base’s socks off in a move that proves the Bruins are going for it all now. Or there’s going to be a March march of protest in Bruins Land.

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