Peter Chiarelli didn’t want to give up on this season.(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Peter Chiarelli opened his press conference by explaining why he didn’t trade for a defenseman, so it’s not like the GM thought he’d made all the necessary moves at the trade deadline.
Chiarelli explained that the team was better off taking its chances with the depth defensemen the Bruins have — Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky – rather than spending big on a player who might not be markedly better.
Prices were high at the deadline and the Bruins aren’t having a great season. As such, Chiarelli didn’t push all his chips in. He made a hockey deal brighten next season’s prospects by getting 22-year-old right wing Brett Connolly from Tampa and he added forward depth with Max Talbot, but he opted against a major move this season.
The Bruins sit in the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference and rental players netted teams like Arizona (Antoine Vermette) and Carolina (Andrej Sekera). Asked if he was tempted to get in on the action and sell, Chiarelli said it a consideration that the B’s didn’t go far with.
“I feel that we have a team that will make the playoffs, and if you can get in, when you get in, anything goes,” he said. “So we talked about it, but I didn’t — we didn’t — really go down that route. In fact, we never went down that route.”
Charlie Jacobs’ comments in January about an organization-wide “evaluation process” suggested that people could be fired if the team missed the playoffs. The trade deadline was Chiarelli’s last big opportunity to do something to potentially save his job.
Chiarelli balked at the idea of drastically overpaying for players or moving a first-round pick. In that sense, he showed restraint in not doing something detrimental to the franchise for the sake of just getting into the playoffs.
“I feel that we’ve improved the team, and as I said, I think this is a good group, and some years, you don’t win the Presidents’ Trophy,” Chiarelli said. “Some years, you finish sixth or seventh; some years, you don’t make the playoffs. [It is] incumbent that we make the playoffs – and you have down years for reasons that I won’t get into, but you all know why, sometimes, you don’t, and sometimes, you do. We’ve tried to improve the team, we feel we’ve improved the team, and we hope for a good run coming up.”