Peter Chiarelli

Boston GM preaches trade deadline caution: “It’s a fine balance with chemistry and you have to be careful”


It’s no secret Peter Chiarelli wants to add some depth for Boston’s Stanley Cup defense. But to hear the Bruins GM explain it, he won’t do it at the expense of team chemistry.

“That’s probably my priority when I look to add something,” Chiarelli told ESPN Boston, when asked if he was wary of upsetting the current mix. “I do want to add something, and I’d like to help the team. I’d like to add to our depth, but that’s a priority. It’s a fine balance with chemistry and you have to be careful.”

It’s an interesting position for Chiarelli to take. He was one of the league’s most aggressive GMs at last year’s deadline, acquiring Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley before breaking the bank to get Tomas Kaberle out of Toronto. While Kaberle was largely a disappointment, Kelly and Peverley played key roles in Boston’s Stanley Cup victory.

“I’ve been quite expressive in saying that we want to add, we don’t want to subtract,” Chiarelli said. “We demand performance, and we want to try and repeat.”

While he might be preaching caution, Chiarelli has plenty of trade avenues to explore. Kelly, Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Joe Corvo are all impending UFAs and according to Capgeek, the B’s could have as much as $13 million in available cap space at the deadline.

That said, Chiarelli has stated on numerous occasions he likes his current group and will work hard on extending his free agents. One such player, defenseman Johnny Boychuk, inked a three-year deal worth $10.08 million yesterday.

“Winning the Cup, you tend to fall in love with your players, and I think you have to be careful,” Chiarelli said. “You see all the intangibles in a long playoff run, so you tend to monetize that. It’s something that I’ve tried to stay away from and will continue to try to stay away from.

“But the team did win us a Cup, and I’m going to try to sign as many guys as I can.”

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.