Peter Chiarelli Content with Bruins Roster, ‘Not Actively Looking’ to Add Anyone Through Free Agency


Peter Chiarelli Content with Bruins Roster, 'Not Actively Looking' to Add Anyone Through Free AgencyBruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said earlier in the week that he expected things to be quiet for his club when free agency opened on Sunday. He wasn't playing possum.

There were no surprise moves. The Bruins didn't get into the bidding wars for any of the free agents available and the club wasn't planning on changing that later on Sunday.

"I don't anticipate anything happening today based on what's happened up to this point," Chiarelli said in a conference call with reporters Sunday afternoon. "I'm not actively looking for anything. If something can improve our team I'll consider it."

That approach isn't likely to change too much the further it gets into the free agency period, either. Chiarelli wouldn't completely rule out adding players to his roster, but he isn't going to be actively shopping at any point this summer.

"The secondary market I would take the same approach, not actively looking," Chiarelli said. "But whether it's the secondary market in free agency or the next market with respect to trades, we'll continue to look at that stuff, but we're not actively looking."

The lack of activity means the Bruins roster for the upcoming season is largely set. They have 12 forwards coming back from last season already under contract, with the only questions remaining being the status of Nathan Horton as he returns from a concussion, Jordan Caron's ability to take on a full-time role on the third line and a battle for the 13th forward spot.

Chiarelli admitted he did kick the tires on a few guys, but never came close to consummating any deals.

"We dabbled in a couple things that really never got going anywhere," Chiarelli said. "I'm not going to say specifically what positions up front, but they were forwards."

Anyone added in free agency would have likely supplanted Caron from that slot on the third line, but Chiarelli isn't ready to do that to the 2009 first-round pick just yet.

"Jordan finished strong last year and at first glance that is what you would think," Chiarelli said. "I don't want to hand any job to him, but we're trying to integrate him into the lineup and he certainly showed promise at the end."

The Bruins also have five veterans returning on defense, with 2011 first-rounder Dougie Hamilton expected to claim the final spot in the top six. Chiarelli may still add a veteran as a seventh defenseman for insurance, but other youngsters like Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski will also have an opportunity to compete for jobs in Boston.

"I am satisfied or happy I guess would be a better word as to where our younger D are and how they're developing," Chiarelli said. "We may end up getting a guy on a two-way contract, a veteran guy that might challenge for a spot, but generally speaking I'm content as to where our young D are."

That's a departure from past years under Chiarelli when the Bruins were more active on July 1. That ranged from the huge splash with the signings of Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard in 2006 to adding significant role players like Shawn Thornton in 2007 and Michael Ryder in 2008 to more modest signings like Benoit Pouliot last year.

"In past years we've actually had 1 or 2 players that we really wanted to be part of our team and we'd go after them," Chiarelli said. "That applied to Ryder. I didn't have a player like that this year that I thought I could get right off the hop. That speaks to how I feel about our team."

Clearly, Chiarelli feels this team as constituted is capable of getting back to the heights of that 2011 Cup run. After all, but for a couple of players, this is the team that won that title just 12 and a half months ago.

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