Chiarelli: Bruins unlikely to move from No. 24

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Chiarelli: Bruins unlikely to move from No. 24

PITTSBURGH The Bruins seem locked in on their 24th overall selection in the first round of Friday nights NHL Draft at the CONSOL Energy center, and it doesnt appear theyll be moving upward.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli gave it a 20 percent chance that Boston will move up from the 24th selection in the first round, and it still appears theyll be selecting whichever defenseman drops into their draft position.

In fact Chiarelli said that the draft trade chatter has slackened off for the Bruins, and he didnt expect to do anything of significance until after the July 1 free agency period. That means the Bruins wont be in on Rick Nash or trading for negotiating rights for players like Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, and things will be quiet for the next week aside from their draft picks selected this weekend.

Its pretty much in the background for us; we dont really have anything significant going on with respect to the trade market right now. I think I might have mentioned kind of that secondary level trade market after July 1. Thats probably going to be a little more active than it is now, said Chiarelli. Its actually quieted down a little bit in the last couple of days.

Were all brave souls and say weve got all these deals and all this stuff and then when it comes time to doing them everything quiets down. Everyone starts focusing on the draft, so I think thats what were seeing right now.

There may be a chance the Bruins move up in the first round if they feel one of their targeted picks isnt going to last until the 24th pick, but it may just come down to picking the best player left in the group of eligible players.

Id say its like 20-80, 20-percent chance of moving up from the 24th pick. There seems to be more people that want to move down. I hear that this year, said Chiarelli. Just intuitively, I cant get my head around it yet to move down, like it just seems that unless the player is so close and you want to move down a little bit - but I doubt well move down.

Dont get your hopes up for an action-packed night of trades from a Bruins perspective because it isnt likely to happen.

Haggerty: Legacies on the line at edge of another Bruins collapse

Haggerty: Legacies on the line at edge of another Bruins collapse

BRIGHTON, Mass – Let’s start with the straight fact that it’s asinine, apologist drivel to let the Bruins off the hook, and perpetuate an off-the-mark myth there isn’t enough talent on the B's roster to be a playoff hockey team.

They are middle-of-the-road in the talent department to be sure, and the roster depth clearly isn’t what it was in their elite years, as the Bruins balance an aging core group with an influx of youthful talent from the next generation. But this is also a proud, talented group with one of the best all-around centers in the NHL in Patrice Bergeron, a former Norris Trophy winner and future Hall of Fame defenseman in Zdeno Chara, a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate and in-his-prime All-Star left winger in Brad Marchand, an emerging 20-year-old offensive superstar in David Pastrnak and a former Vezina Trophy winning goaltender still in his prime in Tuukka Rask.

That doesn’t even mention high-end players David Krejci, David Backes and Torey Krug that are game-changing talents in their own right.

Combine that with the other players on the Bruins roster and this is a team interspersed with proud Stanley Cup winning players and enough talent to still take care of business in the final eight games and punch their playoff ticket. Winning a Cup in 2011 can never be taken away from Chara, Krejci, Bergeron, Marchand, Rask and Adam McQuaid, and neither can the seven straight seasons in the playoffs under Claude Julien.

But there’s a danger now of some late-in-the-game tarnish on Black and Gold legacies for some of those distinguished, proud players if they once again collapse down the stretch this season and miss the playoffs for the third year in a row with a late-season nosedive. Four consecutive regulation losses have cast doubt into everything for the Bruins and roused all the same old uncomfortable questions from the past three years.

Bergeron and Marchand need to find their best games and dominate the way elite players do in big-game situations like Saturday night vs. the Isles. Pastrnak, Brandon Carlo and Frank Vatrano need to show they're ready for the playoffs.Rask needs to finally show he's ready to shine as a No. 1 goalie and lead his team to victory in a big game rather than buckle under weighty pressure. 

“This is their legacy, those guys. They are Stanley Cup champions and they missed last year. Each year we talk about writing our own story, and I believe that because guys come and go,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “But generally there is a core group of guys and it’s their legacy. I’m sure they want to reach the playoffs and get back to being a Stanley Cup contender every year.

“That’s what they want and to a man I’m sure they would tell you that. I do believe that they believe it’s different [this season]. Until you change the course of your results, those questions are going to come. We have to change the results to make then go away. One week of not getting results that we want doesn’t mean we’re panicking, but we do understand what’s at stake. We want to be playing in April and May.”

If the Bruins can’t pull out a win on Saturday night against the Islanders, who just pushed even with them at 82 points on the season, then their playoff lives will no longer be under their own control anymore. It will become another late-season choke job by a team that will have its character and courage questioned. The highs of six years ago will be matched by the bitter lows of the past three seasons.

People won’t talk about a scrappy, little underdog Bruins team that just couldn’t get over the hump once again. Instead, they’ll lament a formerly proud, tough-minded group of hockey players that somehow turned into NHL tomato cans all too willing to play the victim once the going got tough late in the regular season.

That’s no way to go out if you’ve ever had your name etched on Lord Stanley’s Cup, and the Bruins that know better should be taking that to heart right now.