Chiarelli: We felt the time was right

Chiarelli: We felt the time was right

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- "Its a strong message to our team, to our fans," said Peter Chiarelli, "that we want to win, that we want to be successful."

The Bruins GM met with media Thursday about acquiring Tomas Kaberle from the Maple Leafs, as well as Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik from Atlanta. Boston forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart were trade bait for the thrashers.

The move for Kaberle is a boon for Chiarelli, who has first pursued the Toronto defensemen two years ago.

"We felt that right now on the market there wasnt a player that was close to Kaberle," the GM said. Maybe in a week and a halfs time, maybe one or two might be on the market. I didnt want to wait. This is a player that we had at the top of the list.

"The list of defensemen who fit this bill was very, very short," Chiarelli continued. "We felt we had to act and act assertively. Things happen and sometimes you cant the guy you want. The pressure was us recognizing where we had the needs and acting on it. It wasnt out of emotion; this is something that weve looked at for a while."

In 58 games this season, the 32-year old has three goals and 35 assists for 38 points.

Kaberle's productivity comes with a price. Boston surrendered its first-round pick in the 2011 draft, a conditional second-round pick in 2012 and Providence standout Joe Colborne.

"Joe was the toughest one," said Chiarelli. "Giving up Joe was the toughest one. Hes a good person and he works hard at his craft. Hes young, hes exciting; part of our organization since we drafted him. Hes worked hard and had success. Theres your premium right there."

It sounds like locking Kaberle down for the long-term could make losing Colborne worthwhile.

"Hes a guy that we want to resign. From when you acquire him to when you sign him, it gives you a flavor of the player and how he fits into the group. Of course, theres a chance that we wont resign him, but I want to resign him, we want to resign him."

The GM was happy with the week's work. Kaberle joined Boston in Ottawa for a game against the senators Friday night. Valabik is due to report in Providence Saturday and Peverley will be in Boston by Sunday.

The trades accompany Tuesday's acquisition of Ottawa center Chris Kelly. Kelly is a two-way player "with an edge" who was brought in to soften the loss of Marc Savard. Peverley is a speed and skill guy with a wicked one-timer. While Chiarelli acknowledged the difficulty in giving letting some of his guys go, he feels the Bruins have taken the necessary steps to establish itself as a Cup contender.

"These are some pretty big moves in the last week, adding Chris Kelly and these two players. Weve added some significant skill and some grit at the same time, with Kelly, and we dont feel that weve subtracted too much.

"We felt the time was right with our team," Chiarelli said. "With the number of assets weve added in the last couple of years between picks and prospects... were in good position to make this transaction. Our cupboard is still very well stocked, so to speak."

The Bruins might be done dealing, 10 days before February's trade deadline.

"If I do anything else it will be something very small, unless something significant is available and fits. For the most part, were done."

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready to check out GLOW on Netflix.

*This video of a Vancouver Canucks draft pick tearing up while watching the video of his brother celebrating him getting picked is all that is right with the NHL Draft.  

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Adrian Dater has Avs first-round pick Cale Makar talking about his hockey background, and why it doesn’t matter.

*The Calgary Flames are excited about their prospects and the pieces they were able to acquire last weekend.

*The Washington Capitals have re-signed Brett Connolly for a couple of years at short money and he appears to have found a home in DC.

*The Chicago Blackhawks are still in talks with Marian Hossa about how to resolve his contract and the allergic skin condition that might have prematurely ended his hockey career.

*Will the Tampa Bay sports go through a dry spell when it comes to Hall of Fame athletes now that former Lighting forward Dave Andreychuk has been called to the Hockey Hall?

*It looks like young Pierre Luc Dubois will be put in a position to contribute with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

*Alex Prewitt has a preview of the NHL free agency period and the stress levels that many players go through in it.

*For something completely different: This video of Drake and Will Ferrell hoop handshakes was pretty solid, and funny.

 

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

If it was based solely on his 42 years as owner of the Boston Bruins, it might be debatable as to whether Jeremy Jacobs would have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Bruins have won one championship and been to a handful of Stanley Cup Finals during Jacobs' long stewardship, of course. They also enjoyed the longest running playoff streak (29 years) in NHL history, though it began before he purchased the franchise. Altogether, the B's have won one Cup, four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff berths during the Jacobs Era.

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But Jacobs didn't make the Hall of Fame solely on his accomplishments with the Bruins organization. He's being inducted in the "builder” category, which is defined as "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general.”  In addition to overseeing the Bruins over the last four-plus decades, he has been a power broker at the league level for just as long.

"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me,” said Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."

The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was the overriding on-ice moment in his stewardship of the team, and the Jacobs family has had a major, altruistic impact in Boston. No one should overlook the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has touched so many lives with the $28 million that's been awarded to those in need since its inception in 1993.

Unfortunately, Jacobs will always have a reputation with a large portion of the Bruins fan base that his ownership wasn't willing to spend enough for truly competitive teams. At times he was viewed as an absentee owner living in Buffalo, overseeing the team from afar while Harry Sinden ran the operation. Those fans hold that grudge even today, despite the Bruins consistently spending to the salary cap ceiling while fielding competitive teams. They view Monday's Hall of Fame announcement as something akin to Montgomery Burns being inducted into the Springfield Hall of Fame.

Cam Neely disagrees.

"As a player, I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins,” said Neely, who has served as Bruins president for nearly a decade after a Hall of Fame playing career highlighted by his years in Boston. "Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen firsthand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."

That commitment to hockey is a key factor in Jacobs' Hall of Fame selection.

Jacobs was unanimously voted in as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors in 2007, and he's been a major driving force in each of the last couple of oft-contentious CBA negotiations. While Jacobs clearly had a hand in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season due to a labor dispute, and in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, those CBA negotiations ultimately led to the imposition of a salary cap and a pathway for small-market NHL teams to survive as the cost of doing hockey business continues to go up.

Without Jacobs as an often hawkish, hard-line owner, there's a chance that a team like the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators might not have been able to survive in the NHL, and it's highly doubtful they'd be able to be as competitive as they are now if teams like Toronto, New York and Chicago could outspend everybody else. So there's no denying the seismic impact that Jacobs made at the league-wide level with his leadership and commitment to growing the game, and that the NHL is better off for the battles waged in collective bargaining while he's been in a position of power.

If you polled every single Bruins fan on the street, it's unlikely he'd be a populist choice for the Hall of Fame. The lean budgetary years durinhg the playing days of Neely, Ray Bourque and others will always be part of the Spoked B history. Some will hold those grudges forever, which is part of makes us who we are as a fan base.

But faithful, rabid fans continue to stream into TD Garden, continue to spend money to support their favorite hockey team, and continue to provide the kind of support that's led to a 338-game home sellout streak. It's a sign Jacobs and Bruins ownership continue to do things very right, even if we shouldn't be scheduling any popularity contests anytime soon.