Peter Chiarelli Talks CBA, Politics and More

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has had quite an interesting offseason. Since the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs back in April (seems like ages ago, right?), he has:

  • stunned the hockey world by selecting Malcolm Subban, younger brother of Bruins nemesis PK, in the draft (along with a promising crop of later-round selections like Matt Grzelcyk)
  • ensured the continuation of the Merlot Line by re-signing Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell
  • brought in two hockey sons of legend: Chris Bourque and Christian Hanson
  • made an unsuccessful bid for Zach Parise
  • negotiated a deal with Tuukka Rask despite tightened purse strings

Now, in Halifax because two of his team’s prospects–Subban and Dougie Hamilton–were in the Canada-Russia Challenge, Chiarelli opened up to an Ottawa radio station about all sorts of pertinent issues to a GM. Thanks to Days of Y’Orr for the downloadable interview link.

Much of the talk, of course, was dominated by uncertainty about the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement. Chiarelli has maintained a positive outlook about negotiations from the start and stayed that course even when the hosts threw out hypothetical situations that would have the season not start on time. He praised both sides of the negotiations and pointed out that everyone involved simply wants to play hockey.

The hosts, laughing slightly, also asked if the upcoming presidential elections would affect Tim Thomas‘ desire to play in the future. Chiarelli replied that he felt Thomas was happy with Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee choice, Paul Ryan. However, when asked if there was any chance Thomas might play anywhere this upcoming season–not necessarily Boston–Chiarelli paused before answering and said he really couldn’t tell. All he knew for sure was what Thomas said about taking a year off from playing. He does still keep in regular contact with him and his agent, plus Thomas knows that Chiarelli has been looking into potential trades.

Young talents like Hamilton and Tyler Seguin were also topics of discussion. The Bruins have depth at center–six centermen, according to Chiarelli–which allows him flexibility with where to put Seguin on the lineup. He said Seguin was terrific at center upon re-watching some games where he played that position, but that he also successful on the wing, so he’s going to keep him there for now.

They also discussed the state of goalie development in Canada, especially regarding Subban, and how Rask has always known he’ll eventually become the starter but he’s going into that role a little earlier. (Chiarelli said Rask has been in Boston training and has already put on about five or six pounds of muscle.)

You can click here to hear the whole interview. Chiarelli is a calm, well-spoken guy, so it’s an enjoyable listen.