Chiarelli 'not inclined' to trade Thomas

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Chiarelli 'not inclined' to trade Thomas

While the speculation exists that the Bruins organization or goaltender Tim Thomas or perhaps both might be eyeing a parting of the ways via a deal this summer, Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli said the team hasnt crossed that bridge yet.

The 38-year-old Thomas is entering the final year of his contract with the Bruins, and the Bs goaltender was good-but-not-great during a seven-game series loss to the Washington Capitals.

Thomas finished 11th in save percentage among playoff goalies after putting together a pedestrian .922 save percentage during the regular season, and he coughed it up in Game 5 at TD Garden with a couple of soft goals surrendered in the third period.

With two young goaltenders in the Bs pipeline in Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin and Thomas experiencing low moments on and off the ice during the regular season, Chiarelli said hes satisfied with the status quo from his goalies. Thomas no-trade rights are gone as of July 1 and his contract could be attractive now to a team starved for goaltending, but thats not a bridge hes crossed.

I view it the same way I saw it going into the last summer: the biggest difference being Tuukka Rask obviously didnt play towards the end because of his injury. Theres no uncertainty there with regards to Rask being back and healthy, said Chiarelli. I know Ive seen speculation about moving a goalie and all that stuff, but certainly Im not inclined to do that. Tim didnt have statistically the year he had before, but I thought he had a very good year. We have, if not the best, one of the top three goalie tandems in the league.

Thomas wouldnt come right out and clearly say whether he definitely wanted to stay in Boston or go elsewhere, and simply said he never thinks about it in those terms. He was asked about playing the rest of his days as a Boston Bruins and retiring as a member of the organization and his answer wasnt an unqualified yes.

Its so early why even get into that? said Thomas. Who knows how long Ill playor not? Well cross that bridge when I get there.

He also said he wouldnt change anything he did either on or off the ice during the regular season, and that includes skipping out on the White House visit back in January.

I did the best I could. On and off the ice I tried to do what I felt was right. I tried to prepare myself as much as possible to do the best job I could do on the ice, said Thomas. Thats obviously the most important thing as a hockey player.

Thomas for his part clarified his wethey statements after Game 7 by saying he was using the word they to make sure his teammates were getting credit without him involving himself in the complimentary statements.

Its because Im trying to give them credit without giving credit to myself. They deserve a huge amount of credit. Dont read too much in the theyus thing, please. What Im trying to say is that this is a special group of guys in here. Whether we won the Cup last year or whether we failed this time. Its a special group of guys that bodes well for the future of the Boston Bruins.

How much longer will Thomas be a member of that special group? It could be a year, it could be longer than that or he could have played his final game as a member of the Black and Gold as one of their best goaltenders in a long history of greats.

The summer should be full of answers for both Thomas and the organization after a playoff run that never lived up to anybodys expectations.

Wednesday, Jan. 18: Landeskog wants to stay in Colorado

Wednesday, Jan. 18: Landeskog wants to stay in Colorado

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while thoroughly enjoying Nick Offerman co-hosting on the Today Show this morning.

*Gabriel Landeskog knows his name has been mentioned in trade rumors with teams like the Bruins, but he wants to stay with the Colorado Avalanche.

*The New York Rangers are facing a goalie crisis for the first time in 11 years as Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to show signs of hockey mortality.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the New York Islanders seeking to speak with fired Florida coach Gerard Gallant about their new opening after firing Jack Capuano.

*Ondrej Pavelec has been brought back from the AHL to Winnipeg to rescue the Jets from their goaltending situation, and he wants to stay for as long as he can.

*Rene Bourque has reached the 700 game mark in his NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche, and he hopes to keep it going.

*Young star Jack Eichel’s hunger for greatness could certainly lend itself to a leadership role with the Buffalo Sabres

*For something completely different: Hollywood is thinking of rebooting “White Men Can’t Jump” and this is simply the worst idea ever. I’d rather watch a movie with Woody and Snipes 25 years later than a lame reboot.

 


 

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to trade Brandon Carlo

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to trade Brandon Carlo

There’s been smoke for weeks signaling trade talks between the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche, and things are reportedly heating up with the Bruins potentially reaching a tipping point with their subpar play on the ice. According to Bleacher Report columnist Adrian Dater, things may be progressing between the two teams because the Bruins are beginning to entertain the idea of trading away 20-year-old top pairing rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Bruins Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jr. was expected to be out in Colorado scouting the Avalanche/Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, and perhaps getting a long look at players like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie among others.

The expectation is that 24-year-old Landeskog is in the middle of these trade discussions, and that he would be one of the players targeted by a Bruins team that could use more size on the wing, and more players that can put the puck in the net. Certainly Landeskog has done that in his brief NHL career after being a No. 2 overall pick, and has four 20-goal seasons on his resume prior to a disappointing, injury-plagued current season in Colorado.

The word around the league was that talks fizzled between the Bruins and Avs previously when Joe Sakic asked about the availability of the Colorado Springs native Carlo, and those discussions hit the same crunching roadblock that Winnipeg did in discussions with Boston about Jacob Trouba.

Perhaps that has changed in the last 24 hours after Cam Neely and Don Sweeney watched their Bruins completely no-show against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, on Monday afternoon. Now one would expect that Bruins management is getting desperate feeling that a third “Did Not Qualify” for the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in their future if they don’t make a bold, swift move to shake up their dazed hockey club.

But let’s not pull any punches here. The entire Bruins management group should be fired on the spot if they trade a 20-year-old, top pairing shutdown defenseman on an entry level contract like Carlo unless they are getting a bona fide superstar in return. Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak should all be young, untouchable assets for a Bruins organization that is years away from legitimately holding a chance at a Stanley Cup.

Landeskog is not a bona fide superstar. He’s a good player that’s topped out at 26 goals and 65 points in the NHL, but he’s also the Captain on a horrendous, underachieving Avalanche team over the last three years.

If the price were right for Landeskog it would make all the sense in the world for the Bruins to deal him, but it’s a giant honking red flag that Colorado is looking to unload a player like him that’s signed for a reasonable $5.5 million price tag over the next four seasons. Teams don’t trade young players like that with term unless there’s more to the story, and that’s something the Bruins would do well to consider before giving up a player that could be a top-4 shutdown defenseman in Boston for the next 10 years.

Teams like the Bruins that are in reloading mode also shouldn’t be trading 20-year-old players for 24-year-old players that have already cashed in on their second contract. That’s exactly how the Bruins can get right back into salary cap trouble, and do it with a team that’s producing far less than the Peter Chiarelli groups that were at least still making the playoffs.  

Certainly the Bruins have other young D-men like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon coming down the pipeline, but none of those defensemen are in the mold of a true shutdown D like the 6-foot-5 Carlo. With Zdeno Chara in the final few years of his career with the Black and Gold, the B’s are going to need Carlo to slide into that defensive stopper role given his size, strength, wing span and willingness to do the dirty work the D-zone.

That goes beyond the simple fact that rebuilding the back end with ALL of those young stud D-men is the best way to actually build the Bruins back up into a legitimate Eastern Conference power. 

It would be a giant mistake for the Bruins to ship away a player like Carlo with the hope Landeskog can put Boston over the hump for the playoffs this season, and perhaps ease some of the intense pressure currently weighing on Sweeney and Neely. That kind of desperate move smacks of doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and that’s one way to ensure that the Bruins will never escape the web of mediocrity that they’re currently caught in.