Friday, September 3, 2010
Chiarelli 'happy' to have Marc Savard
By James Murphy
Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed Friday that he had spoken to Marc Savard and told the center the Bruins will not trade him.
"We told Marc we are not moving him and he is part of the organization," Chiarelli told ESPNBoston.com.
Chiarelli acknowledged Friday that he did indeed have trade discussions regarding Savard, but apparently they weren't enough to entice the GM to pull the trigger on a deal. Chiarelli also acknowledged that teams have inquired about other Bruins players, as well.
"There is all these things that happen and there are always things that swirl around about moving guys, and I cannot respond to anything in kind because I don't directly comment on trade rumors," Chiarelli said. "I can tell you, though, that there was discussion and inquiries on Marc and they became public.
"There has been a number of inquires on a lot of the players, some become public and some don't for obvious reasons, but as we told Marc, that's part of the business and he understood that. I made sure he knows what we think of him: He is a Boston Bruin and an elite offensive player we're happy to have on this team."
Since the NHL entry draft back in late June, Savard's name has been constantly bandied about in trade rumors. Due to the Bruins' salary-cap woes and the anticipated addition of another talented center in Tyler Seguin to an already deep center corps, Chiarelli reportedly was open to trading his star pivot, who led the team in scoring in three of the past four seasons.
As the summer went on and rumors continued to swirl, there was no word from Savard, agent Larry Kelly or the Bruins until last month when Savard told the Ottawa Sun that he was "hurt" by the constant rumors that Savard was being shipped out of town only nine months after signing a seven-year contract worth $28.5 million.
Coincidentally, as Friday's interview with Chiarelli was taking place, the NHL had come to an agreement with the NHL Players Association on an amendment covering long-term contracts and approved Ilya Kovalchuk's revised 15-year, $100 million deal, five weeks after rejected the Russian's 17-year, $102 million contract.
A source told ESPN.com's Scott Burnside that in exchange for the NHLPA's agreeing to the amendment, the NHL agreed to stop looking into the contracts of Savard, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa and Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger.
In exchange for allowing those four contracts and Kovalchuk's new deal to stand under the old rules, the NHLPA agreed to new regulations governing how front-loaded, long-term contracts count against the salary cap.
Not knowing that an agreement had been reached, Chiarelli was still confident Savard's contract would not be rescinded.
"No, not nervous at all," Chiarelli answered when asked if he was nervous about the outcome of the investigation. "We will comply and have complied with the league and we have done what they have asked us to do so far as far as the investigation goes. ... I don't anticipate there being any further problems. I had an hour session with their lawyers in early August and everything seems good."
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. ESPN.com's Scott Burnside contributed to this report.