March 5, 2014

Chiarelli: Bruins were 'in and out' on other deals

By Jesse Connolly

Thomas Vanek, who Boston was rumored to be pursuing, is heading to Montreal. The longtime Bruins-killer had 44 points in 47 games during his stint on Long Island. (Getty Images)

As it stands now, there were a total of 25 deals made in the final day and a half leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Unlike in recent years, many of the swaps involved a number of marquee players.

Longtime Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo was sent to Florida. Marian Gaborik headed from Columbus to L.A. The first-ever captain-for-captain exchange went down, with the Rangers dealing Ryan Callahan to the Lightning for Martin St. Louis.

Amid all that, as is often the case for GM Peter Chiarelli, none of the Bruins’ moves were of the swing-for-the-fences variety, as Boston claimed defenseman Corey Potter off waivers from Edmonton and traded a third-round pick (which could become a second-rounder) to Philadelphia for Slovakian rearguard Andrej Meszaros.

But that certainly doesn’t mean that the Bruins’ brass didn’t explore those juicier options.

“I was in and out,” Chiarelli said when asked about dabbling in other deals. “My main intention for today was to bolster our depth. You get in these conversations and I know there’s been talk about (Thomas) Vanek going to Montreal. They’ve strengthened their team and good for them.

“It never seems that we’re an anointed winner on trade deadline day and I’m fine with that. … We had LTI space potentially with [Dennis Seidenberg] and potentially Adam (McQuaid), so that’s what we were looking at. … I’m happy with our forwards.”

The Bruins hope newcomers Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter can help alleviate the loss of Dennis Seidenberg, above, come playoff time. (Getty Images)

The rumor mill had tied Boston to a number of key players on the block, including aforementioned wingers Gaborik and Thomas Vanek, Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin and Buffalo rearguard Christian Ehrhoff. The latter two didn’t get moved on Wednesday.

“There were a few good deals that we were in,” said Chiarelli. “Yeah, (I’m) a little disappointed. Sometimes those deals come around in the summer and the fall. You lay some groundwork. That’s what happens at these trade deadlines, you lay some groundwork for deals later on, and we felt we did that. I thought we were in on a couple deals that would’ve been good acquisitions.”

Bigger names have a greater asking price, and Chiarelli admitted to entertaining the possibility of moving a roster player.

“It’s the chemistry you want to try to maintain and preserve,” he said. “I think we’ve got a good group here. It didn’t mean I didn’t look at potentially moving guys off. Some of those discussions involved some players. I didn’t really want to do it, so I guess mission accomplished there.”

The GM expressed his confidence in the way his roster is now currently constituted, both on the back end and up front, where he didn’t make any adjustments.

“Forward-wise, the last few games we’ve been lax defensively. … That will come. It’s probably due to the break a little bit,” Chiarelli said. “You’re never fully satisfied with everybody. I like the fact that we’re scoring. I like the fact that we’re creating chances, and I like the fact that we’ve had pretty decent performances from all lines – maybe not all lines, but we’re good there.”

Chiarelli pointed out how Loui Eriksson’s play in Sochi should give him a boost, and that he’s been impressed by the play of his top two lines.

“I’m good with the forwards,” he said. “They’ve shown me I can rely on them.”

Boston entered the day in first place in the Atlantic Division and just one point back of Pittsburgh for the top spot in the East with 21 games to go until the postseason begins.

Adam McQuaid, who's hampered by a quad injury, will be shut down for 2-3 weeks. (Getty Images)

“I feel pretty good about our team,” Chiarelli said. “We’re first in the division, we certainly can get better. This group’s been through it before, so they know what to expect going forward.”

McQuaid shut down

Due to a nagging quad injury, Adam McQuaid will be shut down in the short term with the hope that rest will do the beleaguered rearguard some good.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Adam,” Chiarelli said. “We’re going to shut him down for two or three weeks. His injury, while it keeps healing, he has setbacks. We’re just going to give him rest, two to three weeks, and see where he’s at after that.”

Chiarelli said it’s a quad strain similar to the one prospect Jared Knight endured last season.

Meszaros deal details

Chiarelli explained how the third-round selection the B’s sent Philly could change.

“It’s a third-round pick that becomes our second this year if we make it to the conference finals and he plays in at least two-thirds of all the playoff games,” he said. “Or, if we re-sign him, the third becomes a second. If we sign him after the draft, it’ll be a third going into the draft. If we sign him after, it becomes an additional fourth the following year.”

Eriksson expected back Thursday

After missing Tuesday’s morning skate, the B’s game against Florida and Wednesday’s practice, Chiarelli reiterated that Eriksson’s absence had zilch to do with the trade deadline.

“(It’s) a very minor heel injury,” the GM explained. “We weren’t trading him. He’s just taking the heel out of the boot and he should be fine for tomorrow.”

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ