Chiarelli: Canucks' comments 'inappropriate'

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Chiarelli: Canucks' comments 'inappropriate'

BOSTON -- Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that he'll speak to Alain Vigneault at some point, regarding his latest comments, in which the Vancouver Canucks coach said that Brad Marchand "plays to hurt players" and that "someday, he's going to get it."

But on Monday at the TD Garden, Chiarelli defended his player in front of the media, calling Vigneault and Vancouver defensemen Keith Ballard's comments "distasteful" and inappropriate.

"I just feel the need to respond," said Chiarelli. "Whether it's from coaches, GMs, or players, I don't like to hear that kind of stuff. Certainly, I think there's a lobbying element to it. I feel the league does a real good job in these hearings. And I don't think it's necessary to have that out there.

"I like the league to take care of these things. I don't think you have to plead them out in public. But when they talk about our players, I feel the need to respond . . . We try to take the high road on responding to stuff, but when it comes at us like that, we have to respond. That's our position."

Marchand was hit with a game misconduct for "clipping" on Saturday after he took a defensive approach to being hit by Vancouver's Sami Salo, and ducked down at the last minute, sending Salo over the top of him.

Salo left the game with an upper-body injury.

Because of the hit, Marchand had a hearing with the league on Monday. But prior to the hearing, Chiarelli defended Marchand, and told the media that he doesn't want his pesky forward to change his game.

"It's about protecting yourself," said Chiarelli. "That's what this is all about.

"We're a physical team, and we're going to be under the microscope for being that. But our players are generally clean. Every team has players that do dirty things. A dirty thing isn't an illegal thing, it just happens. That's why penalties are in place. That's why supplemental discipline's in place.

"But Marchand was protecting himself, and we're going to tell our players to protect themselves."

Chiarelli pointed out that Keith Ballard is notorious for hip checks, and asked what the difference was between his signature hits and the one Marchand put on Salo on Saturday.

"With respect to some of the comments made from Ballard, regarding what's a hip check and what's clipping, and all that stuff, I mean, I think that's naive too," said Chairelli.

"What makes a difference if you have the puck or if you don't, on a hip check? What's the difference? To say that there's a distinction, there's not. It's like a reverse check. And Ballard, he's notorious for that stuff, with or without the puck."

Chiarelli said he didn't know what to expect from Monday's hearing, but he does know that there's no need for the other side calling out Marchand before that hearing.

"I look at the hit, I certainly don't think it was clipping," said Chiarelli. "He hit him in the rear, if you look at it closely. But if they think it is clipping and they hand something down, fine, we'll accept it. Again, I think they do a good job. There's a lot of discussion amongst their group when they hand out these things.

"But the lobbying, I call it propaganda that comes out yesterday, in advance of the hearing, I think it's distasteful."

The most distasteful comments he heard was from Vancouver's coach, about Marchand going to "get it."

"I think we've learned our lesson over time, that, that's a real inappropriate comment," said Chiarelli. "That's a real inappropriate comment. And it's an unprofessional comment.

"There's a carryover effect from the playoffs. It's a big game, it's a hyped-up game. There's a lot of probably pent-up emotion that was behind Vigneault's comment. Having said all that, they shouldn't say stuff like that."

Morning Skate: Do Caps have mental block come playoff time?

Morning Skate: Do Caps have mental block come playoff time?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while thinking about and praying for the people of Manchester, England. It’s obviously an evil, cowardly act to bomb any public place, but to do it at a concert filled with women and children is the lowest of the low.

*The Capitals players are acknowledging that there’s some kind of mental block with the Stanley Cup playoffs. CSN Mid-Atlantic has all the details.

*It’s been a very odd postseason for the NHL where there are so many non-traditional teams still alive with the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Fina, and the Ottawa Senators fighting for their lives in the Eastern Conference Final. On that note, there is a ton of disappointment at the empty seats at the Canadian Tire Centre for Ottawa’s home games in the playoffs. It sounds like there are going to be empty seats tonight for a do-or-die Game 6 in Ottawa. That is an embarrassment for a Canadian city that’s supposed to pride itself on their love of hockey. Let’s hope the Senators fans have a last-minute surge to buy tickets and show some appreciation for a Senators team that’s given the Ottawa fans a totally unexpected ride through the postseason this spring. I mean, Erik Karlsson at the top of his game is worth the price of admission all by himself.  

*The Pittsburgh Penguins have the Senators on the ropes, and it’s been an impressive showing given that they’re doing it without Kris Letang.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the ownership for the St. Louis Blues giving their GM Doug Armstrong a vote of confidence.

*Another early exit from the playoffs is going to start making some players expendable on the New York Rangers roster.

*Here’s a good piece on how David Poile built the Nashville Predators, who have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. Give credit where it’s due: He manned up and made a big move dealing away Shea Weber straight up for PK Subban. It’s really worked for Music City as they’ve stepped to the next level.

*Speaking of Nashville’s rise this spring in a wide open Western Conference, Pekka Rinne has silenced the critics he might have had by carrying his team to the Cup Final.

*For something completely different: Boston law enforcement is on high alert after the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in the UK.

 

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right.