Peter Chiarelli said Milan Lucic has been in a group of players that have underperformed with the Bruins this season. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli joined Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Joe McDonald and Pete Blackburn Sunday morning to talk all things Bruins heading into the final few games of the regular-season as the team battles to make the playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Weekend Shows audio on demand page.
A lot of players have been criticized for their play this season, one of those players being Milan Lucic. Chiarelli said he has been just like most players on the roster, a group that has underperformed this season.
“I think I would put him in the overall group that we’ve all kind of underperformed,” Chiarelli said. “I haven’t made any real decisions on really anything and that includes Milan’s case. He’s done a lot for this organization. But, like I said, I think a lot of personnel have underperformed, so I would put Milan in that category like the rest of the group, myself included.”
Also a major topic of late with the Bruins is the job security for both Chiarelli and Claude Julien. Unlike past seasons, the final games of the regular-season have much more importance and therefore Chiarelli is in a different position than he’s ever been in.
“Yeah, interesting is a good way to put it,” he said of this season. “The year has been a bit of a difficult year. We’re battling for a playoff spot now. Much chronicled about Claude’s job and my job, but we’re professionals. We try and get the best out of our team — I try and make the right decisions and it’s a grind every game to watch. It seems like every game goes to overtime and it’s been difficult, but part of the business.”
When asked if he thinks his position should be reviewed, especially having made the postseason seven straight seasons, he didn’t want to go into that.
“I am not going to comment on that,” said Chiarelli. “I am a professional paid to make the right decisions and make decisions that are best for the organization. These are things that happen in our business. … If it’s my job, it’s my job, but I hope that it’s not.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
On the trade deadline: “I am satisfied with the way it worked out. Listen, you can arm-chair quarterback on deals that would have been, could have been, but you don’t know how those deals would have been until those players are in your locker room. What I can tell you is that with [Brett] Connolly getting injured that was a disappointment. He’s a good young player that will really help our team. I am happy with that deal. And bringing in Max Talbot, he’s been a good addition. I am happy with the two things that we did. It’s unfortunate that Brett got hurt, but those are things that happen.”
On if he likes the current contracts of Bruins players and the salary cap: “I’m fairly comfortable with it. The big issue with the mismanagement of the cap is the overages on [Jarome] Iginla and that was a risk that we took to try and win a risk that we took in hopes that some of the young guys would step up [in some spots this year.] I am comfortable with all our contracts. They are all movable if we have to move them. We tried to be aggressive with the cap and I am not saying it didn’t work this year, we had a lot of things occur this year, including cap difficulties. There are a lot of teams that have success with that cap issue and cap discipline. Put it on the list of things that have been criticized for us and things we will need to overcome.”
On Tuukka Rask: “He’s been important for us this year. Obviously a very good goalie and we rely on him. This stretch it’s going to be important for him playing and playing a lot. I can’t say without talking to our coach in-depth on the goaltending plan — I’ve done that, but I am not going to disclose to you what it is. He’s played a lot of games. There are a lot of goalies that have played a lot of games in that group, so I would expect that to continue.”