Last summer, the Boston Bruins celebrated the Fourth of July by trading away Tyler Seguin. One day later, they snatched up Jarome Iginla in free agency.
It was a highly active offseason for the Bruins’ front office, and one that is not likely to be repeated this year.
“We’re not going to go full force into the free agency (period),” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Monday on a conference call with reporters. “We’re probably going to take a step back and look at what may be lesser deals, meaning not high-profile deals, might be available. Partially due to cap reasons, partially due to chemistry reasons.”
That’s not to say the Bruins will sit on their hands until October, though. The team already has announced that veteran enforcer Shawn Thornton will not return next season, and Chiarelli hinted that “one or two more” of the Bruins’ unrestricted free agents — a group that includes Iginla, Chad Johnson, Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter — might not be re-signed, either.
Chiarelli was asked specifically about negotiations with Iginla, but the GM would only confirm that the team is interested in bringing the 36-year-old winger back for another season.
“I’m not going to comment specifically on negotiations,” Chiarelli said. “We’d like to sign Jarome, and that’s what I can say. I mean, he has been a valuable player for us, I think there is a good fit and we’d like to sign him. So I’m not going to, with all due respect, I’m not going to comment on negotiations. So, that’s what I can say.”
The Bruins also have decisions to make regarding whether or not to make qualifying offers to their crop of restricted free agents. Chiarelli said these decisions largely have been made, but he isn’t ready to share them.
“More or less we have (decided),” he said. “We have until the end of the month to get them out. So there may be a couple we hold in a base a little bit later. But we’ve pretty much made our decision. I’m just not going to disclose it. At some point, we will, but I am not going to disclose it today.”
Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Jordan Caron, Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner all are among the current Bruins players set to become RFAs when the NHL’s free-agency period begins July 1.