Now, Chiarelli should reach for a Star

His No. 1 center shattered, it’s now up to Peter Chiarelli again to pick up the pieces. How to mend a broken lineup? That’s Chiarelli’s charge, only this time, with a re-concussed Marc Savard done for the season, the Bruins general manager theoretically has the ability to engineer a roster makeover before the NHL trading deadline Feb. 28.

The last time Chiarelli faced this situation, last March 7, the trade deadline had expired by four days, leaving the GM and coach Claude Julien little choice but to tinker with call-ups, try different line combinations, and attempt to squeeze more juice out of the fruits of his laborers.

This time?

“We aren’t going to be able to replace Marc,’’ was Chiarelli’s blunt assessment at the end of yesterday’s news conference at the Garden in which Savard was formally mothballed until at least next season. “We’re looking now at Zach [Hamill] and we don’t know if he’s the answer or not. We’ll want some experience, too.’’

Hamill, despite his first-round pedigree (No. 8 in 2007) likely isn’t the answer now, in part because he has only two games on his NHL résumé. He is skilled, but he is small of frame and short on cred, issues that aren’t going to change much in the short haul, which is the road the Bruins are traveling at the moment with the playoffs set to begin in about two months.

Late yesterday afternoon, Chiarelli summoned rookie Jordan Caron back from Providence (AHL), which is a strong indication that fellow rookie Tyler Seguin will slide into a center’s role and the big-bodied Caron (6 feet 3 inches, 205 pounds) will get back to earning an NHL salary along the wall. Caron was very impressive through training camp and into October, but his game and confidence grew dim through November, leading to his demotion to the WannaBs just as Savard returned.

The perfect move here, especially with goaltender Tim Thomas so hot and defenseman Zdeno Chara in his prime, would be for Chiarelli to make a bold play to land free-agent-to-be Brad Richards.

The No. 1 Dallas center, who won a Cup with Tampa (2004), is the single best answer to replacing Savard, although his cap hit is almost double ($7.8 million vs. $4 million). With the Stars in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, GM Joe Nieuwendyk probably won’t wheel Richards, even at the risk of seeing the 30-year-old walk away for nothing come July 1. The mitigating factor here is that the Stars are for sale and the franchise’s value increases with each postseason win. The Stars win more with Richards, plain and simple.

18 Responses to Now, Chiarelli should reach for a Star

  1. dumbassdoorman says:

    Personally with no offence intended to Bruin's fans here, Chiarelli is NOT gonna pull the big trade. In the end when the deadline passes there will be no big name going to Boston. Yes, he has made moves in the past but, he seems to avoid the bigger deadline deals. This is feeling like a smoke n' mirrors show trying to drum up business, not that i blame him. However I think you will all be a little disappointed when it passes and he didn't make moves that most thought he should.

  2. Boston_Bruins says:

    Eh, I don't think any of us are expecting anything to happen anyways. I feel they already have a team that could win the cup right now, and I don't want them to blow the future by giving up too many pieces. Getting a top-4 PMD and maybe adding another depth forward would be ideal, unless they make a play to get a guy like Parise or something. I have no interest in bringing in a rental like Brad Richards because it would cost way too much.

  3. Boston_Bruins says:

    Good to see Caron back up. He was impressive at the start of the season. I'm really hoping to see a Marchand-Bergeron-Caron line in the future.

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    You have a good team, yes but I don't think a cup winner. Too many young players to depend on through a long playoff wars over and over. A PMD is a definate for you guys to win IMO. You have tons of future pieces and they may not all develop the way you want. You ALWAYS take a run at the cup when you can, the window is closing it always does if you live outside of Det……….that is…

  5. reinjosh says:

    I don't see Boston as a potential threat to the cup. I know you will probably call bias on this but I honestly don't think they have what it takes.

    The goaltending is set no doubt. That's your biggest asset. Look at what you added from last year to this year. Horton and Thomas. I don't think that is going to be enough to get them far enough in the playoffs. They are really only the 5th best team in the East. Put them up against Philly and Washington and they lose IMO. Pittsburgh would be iffy if Crosby is out longer but they are plucky and with Crosby I can't see them losing to Boston.

    I don't like Boston's roster. They don't have a guy who can close games and they don't have much puck moving skill on the backend (I wouldn't trust Kampfer in the playoffs). Call me crazy but I predicted the Bruins wouldn't make it past the 2nd round two seasons ago, predicted they would be between 5th and 8th last year and predicted they wouldn't make it out of the 2nd round again. Unless they make moves, I don't see them succeeding again.

    Quite honestly, you need to start forgetting about the future. If you don't I can bet you within a 95 percent chance, you won't see a cup for a long time. Chara and Thomas are only getting older. In 3 years (or less) they won't be anywhere where they are now. Without them the Bruins are a lot less strong. Your already seeing that losing Savard hurts. Think what your going to be feeling without Thomas and Chara. Betting on Seguin and the other pick (and other prospects for that matter) to fill the team needs of the future is an iffy proposition at best.

    Just some thoughts. Take them for what you want.

  6. Boston_Bruins says:

    Right now in the NHL I see an elite group of 3: Philadelphia, Detroit, and Vancouver. Pittsburgh was in that group but I don't know what to make of them with all of their injury issues now.

    After that group of 3 I think you put in Boston, Washington, and Pittsburgh. I'm cool with people putting Boston at 3rd or 4th in the East but who's the other team you see as better? Tampa has some MASSIVE holes that they need to fix. And you have to remember that the Bruins are one of the worst shootout teams in the league, and shootouts are irrelevant in the playoffs.

    It's more than Thomas and Horton though. I think Marchand is a huge catalyst on the Bergeron line. The Bruins haven't had a guy that plays with that tenacity and compete level in a long time. The fourth line has never been better, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better one in the league. And I think that Bergeron and Lucic can be the game-breakers on the team. Both have proven to raise their level of play in the playoffs. The D is a bit worrisome but I think it's almost a given that we'll see another defenseman in a Bruins jersey before the deadline.

  7. Boston_Bruins says:

    Well those young players have already been through alot though. If you believe that in order to first succeed you have to deal with failure first, there isn't too much more these guys can go through. Most of them have already dealt with an epic collapse, 4 long grueling series, and a sweep to boot.

  8. dumbassdoorman says:

    Tampa might have some major holes, however, if Roloson gets hot and they don't stop scoring they are a tough team to beat. The thing with them is they have to play there style and not adjust IMO. As much as I also hate to say it the Habs are playing well as a team and in the playoffs that counts for a lot, I would gruop them with the B's too.

  9. reinjosh says:

    No you right about Tampa not being better. That was an oversight by me.

    I completely forgot about Marchand. He's been beastly for a first year forward. He should at least get consideration for the Calder. He cam out of nowhere.

    I like Bergeron and I really like Lucic, but I just don't see either as having gamebreaking talent. That's your biggest weakness to me, along with the lack of a true PMD. Together it's going to hurt I think. I guess we will see who is right.

    I kind of do want to see a Boston trade involving the Leaf's pick though. For obvious reason's but how awesome would it be if Chiarelli traded that pick and Boston went on a run to the Cup. It would be epic.

  10. Tachmo says:

    I think some criticism on here is fairly accurate. Boston does need to bring in a finisher or closer or whatever you want to call it. Boston gets into scoring funks and hurts them badly. I'm sure every team could use this but they need a consistent forward that scores plentiful points. Savard and Kessel provided that the year they finished 1st in the conference.

    I wish Chiarelli would open up his wallet. I agree with worrying about the future too much. They have plenty in the cupboard and this is there time to make a push. They are perfectly set up to make a splash.

    Go Get RICHARDS and Kaberle or Gonchar!!

  11. canucks4thecup says:

    I agree Boston's window is definitely closing.  If they want any chance at a cup they are going to have to land a Kaberle or Richards at the deadline and do it this year.  Chara and Thomas aren't going to get any better in the coming seasons, they are at their peak

  12. Tachmo says:

    I don't know about Caron. If he can't cover his dman on his shifts he should be in the minors. 2 goals so far on his dman.

  13. Boston_Bruins says:

    He's already a beast on the boards. Just wait until he gets a bit older. He looks like he'll be a very good player.

  14. Boston_Bruins says:

    What a *****ing game. Wow.

  15. HockeyThoughts says:

    People are saying Gaborik is available. I know he's injury prone, but maybe he'd be worth the risk.

    Yes, I know they need a center, but they also need a true sniper. If they are actually ok with who they've got down the middle, why not? He'd be cheaper than Richards, they'd have him long term, and I don't think Savard is coming back anyways. I don't know, just a thought.

  16. Tachmo says:

    I would love to see Gaborik in Boston. That is the type of player they need.
    The 7.5 million per till 2014 is very scary though for a Bos team that is tight against the cap. I guess if they lose Ryder at the end of the year and Savard is done, they could take that contract on.


    that was the game of the year.. i sure hope they play in the playoffs… Troll

  18. BruinsBoy15 says:


    Marc Savard gets sent to the minors/retires. Mark Stuart and Michael Ryder are let go. The Bruins sign Nikolay Zherdev. The Bruins trade Tim Thomas and Blaker Wheeler for Vincent Lecavlier and Dan Ellis. Mark Recchi is retired. Seguin gets sent down to the minors to develop a little more. The lines for 11-12 Season for the Boston Bruins looks like this:
    Milan Lucic(A) – Vincent Lecavlier – Nikolay Zherdev
    Zach Hamill – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
    Jordan Caron – Patric Bergeron(A) – Brad Marchand
    Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
    Zdeno Chara(C) – Steven Kampfer
    Dennis Seidenberg – Johnny Boychuk
    Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid
    Tuukka Rask – Dan Ellis

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