Chiarelli, Julien getting 'impatient' for an NHL season

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Chiarelli, Julien getting 'impatient' for an NHL season

SAUGUS Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli have both been through the drill before.

The Bruins head coach was serving in the same capacity for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, and Chiarelli has lived through three work stoppages along the way as a player agent (1994-95), an assistant general manager (2004-05) and finally as the GM of the Bs this season.

Chiarelli and Julien have kept busy by traveling to Niagara and Belleville to check out Dougie Hamilton and Malcolm Subban and making themselves regular attendees at Providence Bruins practices and games. But just like everybody else both GM and coach are waiting impatiently through the peaks and valleys of the CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.

So on Thursdays deadline set by the NHL to save an 82-game schedule beginning on Nov. 2, Chiarelli was hoping for the best while bracing for another potential flat-line in negotiations. The worst: no conversations will pass before the end of business on Thursday and then the NHL will be expected to cut a significant portion of the regular season schedule a month or more on Friday.

Its a hockey bummer, of course, but one that Chiarelli is advising all of his employees to ride through.

Im not used to being on the sidelines and watching. I obviously respect the two parties greatly and know theyre trying to get something done here, said Chiarelli, who along with Julien dropped in on a Mens League game at Hockey Town USA on Wednesday night as part of efforts to stay involved with the community during the lockout. I told all my scouts not to get too high or too low with all of the media stuff and false starts. Of course, Im finding myself getting too high and too low.

Im a little impatient, bored and frustrated . . . all of that stuff. But theyll figure it out.

Julien meanwhile was at the helm of the Habs franchise when the NHL lost a year in 2004-05, and was actually fresh off a dispatching of the Bruins during the previous springs Stanley Cup playoffs. The Bs coach learned some level of patience by sitting out an entire hockey season, but wasnt eager for hockey history to repeat itself again this season.

Julien is still optimistic that wont happen.

Having gone through it before, I know the stages that you through . . . but it wont make things any better. Im like everybody else that Im anxious to get it going. Its out of my control. Were stuck in the middle and just trying to prepare as best we can, said Julien. We want to be ready yesterday. If it starts then well be ready to go. Theres no doubt about that. That keeps you motivated, but theres an empty dressing room that we hope fills up soon.

Im still very optimistic that theres going to be a season. I continue to think that way. There are times when you get more excited that you hear news, and then the next day it kind of gets thrown out the window. But in my mind Im staying as ready as I can be because Im a believer there will be a season.

So both Julien and Chiarelli will wait patiently through the NHLs Thursday deadline to start the regular season on Nov. 2, and keep an ear to the ground for the next piece of heartening news amid a disheartening lockout. Perhaps it will be next week or next month, but both members of the Bruins organization feel its coming this season eventually.

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

BOSTON — Sonny Gray is not what the Red Sox need.

As of Monday, the power rankings of their trade targets should go as such: 1. Third baseman 2. Reliever 3. Back-end starter.

When he was addressing the addition of Doug Fister three days ago, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted that a premier starter is not what he lacks.

“Unlike maybe some other clubs, I don't believe that we need to add a top-of-the-rotation-type starter,” Dombrowski said. “We have [Chris] Sale. I think David Price continues to make strides to come back. His stuff is good he's just got to get back. [Drew] Pomeranz has thrown well for us. [Eduardo] Rodriguez has thrown well. We know Rick Porcello is a good pitcher.

“So we're not, maybe other clubs are looking for that No. 1, No. 2 type starter. That's not really important for us. I think it's more important to be in a position where we add depth for us, somebody that can help us win major league games if needed.”

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on Monday reported that the Red Sox “have quietly sent some of their most respected evaluators to his last two starts. This could fall under standard due diligence, but one source familiar with their intentions said the Red Sox are keen for Gray – and when president Dave Dombrowski targets a player, the price for other teams jumps accordingly.” 

Due diligence is indeed all the Red Sox are up to, a baseball source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told CSNNE.com on Monday.

The Red Sox’ trade chips are limited, if they don’t want to drastically diminish their farm system. Gray is very close with David Price, but Gray's 4.45 ERA isn’t inspiring. He has a 3.60 FIP — fielding independent pitching — and has great talent. But again, he doesn’t play the hot corner.

Offense on a whole is a greater need. The Sox entered Monday with the third lowest slugging percentage in the AL. Hanley Ramirez is now battling some left knee pain as well as his shoulder issue, after he took a pitch off the knee Sunday.

It’s warmed up, but the Sox power bats have not also warmed up.

“I wouldn’t hinge this all on just temperature,” manager John Farrell said Monday. “And I don’t know that we use that as an excuse prior. . . Over the last three or four weeks, it’s kind of stagnated a little bit. I think the biggest thing for us as a group is to still maintain a consistent approach at the plate. When we think about getting too much muscle in a swing, eventually the strike zone expands, you don’t get the pitch that you’re looking for. We can’t afford to maybe go away from that approach for the sake of maybe trying to drive the ball with greater consistency.”

Tzu-Wei Lin was starting for the Sox on Monday, yet another in the third-base carousel. Jhonny Peralta and Pablo Sandoval (rehab assignment) are going to alternate time at third base starting Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. 

That’s where they need help.

The bullpen can’t be overlooked either. Carson Smith started a throwing program again Monday, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return, or at what effectiveness.

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

Mike Giardi reports that there are some people in Paul George's camp that think the Boston Celtics would be a great fit, both short and long-term.

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