Notes: Chiarelli not looking to spend on free agents

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Notes: Chiarelli not looking to spend on free agents

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli doesnt plan to make any big splashes in free agency in a financial climate thats looking more and more like ludicrous amounts of money will be spent on available players.

The free agent market had some good defensemen, but most of them have been scooped up prior to the opening of free agency, which leaves James Wisniewski and Tomas Kaberle as the best of the bunch. Chiarelli said multiple times in a Thursday afternoon conference call that hes wary of the free agent market, and doesnt intend to pay a premium for players that arent truly worth the term or the money spent on them.

The Bruins are one team that could have more than 10 million to spend on players with expiring contracts and an elevated salary cap for the 2011-12 hockey season, but the Bs general manager doesnt sound like somebody ready to burn through his available dough.

Im a little wary of the free agent market, first and foremost. The cap is high and the cap is certainly going to come down in some shape or form. So generally speaking Im wary of the market and where I think it might be going, said Chiarelli. We do have guys headed for free agency after next year that we want to resign. Theyre going to command raises.

Im really not in a position to go out and give a guy a big term contract. I think we can find that help elsewhere -- other than those big term contracts -- and still be in a good position to resign our guys as they come up in the next year or two.

Chiarelli attributed the expected lavish spending on the free agent market to be the result of some NHL teams throwing around dollars to get up to the new salary cap floor for next season. Others will simply overpay for a weaker crop of free agents than in the past few seasons.

There are still some marquee players like Brad Richards and James Wisniewski looking for employment as top shelf UFA candidates, but the depth of quality wasnt available in unrestricted free agency this summer.

I look at my free agent board and I see the number of playersthe quality of players," Chiarelli said. "The numbers may be the same as past years, but the quality is, you know . . . theres just not the high end players. Then youve got the floor of the cap and teams have to spend to it.

So youre going to get contracts I think that -- theyre generally higher in the unrestricted market -- theyll be that added premium because teams have to spend. Then all the other comps follow in line. Thats why Im a little cautious going into this market. Theres not the supply that there normally is and I think the demand is greater because of the cap floor and teams having to spend.

So those two forces mean the Bruins will likely be sitting out the first few days of free agent frenzy with nearly their entire team locked in for another go at the Stanley Cup next season.

Chiarelli confirmed that Andrew Bodnarchuk, Brad Marchand and Stefan Chaput were the only three restricted free agents that the Bruins sent out qualifying offers to. That means that former Bruins RFA candidates Matt Dalton, Cody Wild, Zach McKelvie, Boris Valabik and Jiraj Simek were all granted unrestricted free agency and arent likely to be coming back to the Bruins organization next season.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.