BOSTON, MA - Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli knew heading into the 2012-13 season, that he wanted his core locked up - and he did just that, extending many of the key members of the Black & Gold last spring and in the summer before the lockout ensued.
So when Trade Deadline Day 2013 rolled around on Wednesday, April 3, the B's GM wasn't necessarily looking to make blockbuster trades - but said he always keeps all options open.
As it turned out, with the compact schedule and tight playoff races, there weren't too many options available. But after seeing Jarome Iginla head to the Pittsburgh Penguins from Calgary, Chiarelli made three acquisitions: acquiring future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne and a conditional second round draft pick in the 2013; versatile young forward Kaspars Daugavins, claimed off waivers from Ottawa; and depth defenseman Wade Redden from the St. Louis Blues for a conditional seventh round pick in 2014; along with physical center Rob Flick, who will join Providence, after being acquired from Chicago for Max Sauve.
"Today was the end of the most difficult trade period I’ve been a part of in my time in hockey," Chiarelli told media gathered at TD Garden on Wednesday following the Trade Deadline.
"Knew that going into it, probably just from the tightness of standings and just the compression that resulted in a shortage of players. There’s other things that contributed to the shortage, but it was mainly that, with a lot of teams in contention.
"Today we were in on a few things. I went in today with not a lot of expectation. I wanted to try and get a defenseman to help our depth.
"And the trade this morning was just the result of discussions over probably a couple of years - we liked the Flick kid as a player."
"Other than that it was the end of a long, hard period, but there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of stuff happening today," Chiarelli added, on a day that saw the B's make the first trade after noon, and the final NHL count was 17 trades involving 30 players and 14 draft picks.
Earlier in the day, Chiarelli had told me that he's always talked about adding depth, and that the B's could do that, defensively, "although I like our core."
After acquiring Wade Redden, a 35-year-old veteran D-man from the Blues, who recently played his 1,000th NHL game on February 7 - and knows Chiarelli, Zdeno Chara and Chris Kelly from his days in the Sens' organization, the B's got just that.
"He’s more of a heady player, that first pass. He’s a terrific passer, first pass, vision," Chiarelli said of Redden. "I think he’s actually got a couple of power play goals this year – I saw one. He can play on the power play, but that’s not why we acquired him. We acquire him for depth.
"I said earlier, about [Matt] Bartkowski, and I’m happy with what he’s been bringing. And we saw [Torey] Krug up here and he brings a little bit of element. Part of what we’re trying to accomplish here is to win a Cup, but to also get these players in the lineup and get contributions from them.
"Now, that’s not ultimately the priority right now, but these are players that I’ve been happy with their progression. Wade is here, and if he gets in and plays like I think he’s capable of playing, it will be a bonus."
And when it hit 3:00 p.m., Chiarelli admitted there weren’t really a lot of players available, and stayed in line with keeping his core together, cognizant of current key players he would need room to sign this summer.
"There were players available with multiple years on their contracts, and we considered a couple, but it was more about leaving us the flexibility," he said. "We’ve got some guys we have to re-sign, and I’d like to try and sign those guys. I’d like to have some flexibility in the summer."
With the passing of the deadline and less than a month left in the season, the quest for the Cup comes to the forefront, and Chiarelli is confident in his group in Black & Gold.
"I’m comfortable. The question is, is the team comfortable? I think they are," said Chiarelli. "I mean, we’ve added some new bodies. We’re seeing some further contribution by [Anton] Khudobin, so that spells Tuukka [Rask]. I think it’s important in this schedule. I didn’t want to add too many bodies, but you wanted to add enough because we’re playing every other day."
"You want to try and get these guys some rest along the way, so the extra bodies will help that way," he said.
"Having said that, we have 13 games left, I believe, in the regular season and that’s not many. It’s time to start thinking about ramping up and it’s easy to think about it, to do it is hard. That’s what our goal and objective is now."
Adding new pieces to the strong core of players in the spoked-B always changes the dynamic a bit, but Chiarelli has no doubts that the additions will blend well into the team.
"Any time you add players, it’s going to affect the chemistry," he said. "I know Wade, and I have no issues there. I don’t know Jaromir, but in talking to him and talking to other people, I don’t think we’ll have any issues there. We added a younger player, Daugavins. We’re adding the older players. They’ve had experience. Jaromir is one. Wade has been to the finals and the conference finals. He’s got playoff experience. I don’t anticipate any issues there."
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