November 12, 2006
Briuns record a surprise to GM
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
BOSTON -- The heat has been turned up a notch in Beantown.
The Bruins spent a lot of money to land free agents Zdeno Chara (five years, $37.5 million -- all terms US) and Marc Savard (five years, $20 million) last summer, and aren't off to the kind of start to the season GM Peter Chiarelli anticipated.
"By nature, I'm a patient guy," Chiarelli told the Boston Globe. "But we have to start winning."
But where does he turn?
Certainly goaltending has to be at the top of the list. Tim Thomas hasn't exactly been solid in posting his 2-3-2 record with a 3.73 goals-against average (statistics don't include last night's game), and Hannu Toivonen, currently on a three-game conditioning stint with Providence of the AHL, hasn't fared much better in going 2-3 with a 4.20 GAA.
Several teams have called the struggling Bruins (4-7-0-2), including the underachieving Philadelphia Flyers who tried to pawn off Robert Esche.
Boston didn't bother returning the call.
It's believed, however, that Boston has made several calls to the San Jose Sharks about Evgeni Nabokov, but GM Doug Wilson isn't going to move his most valuable asset until it's absolutely necessary.
The Glen Murray for Nabokov rumour is likely just that -- a rumour. Would the Bruins trade Murray and his $4.1-million salary? Sure. But with Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and Patrick Marleau playing as well as they have, the Sharks aren't in desperate need for Murray's offensive potential.
The asking price for Nabokov is pretty simple: A franchise-type defenceman.
Oddly enough, nobody wants to give those up at the moment. Chiarelli, who was an assistant GM for the Senators before landing the GM's job in Boston, said he's not used to looking in the standings and seeing his team with a losing record.
"I want to win," said Chiarelli. "I've never lost. In Ottawa, we never (missed) the playoffs. So this kills me."
Chiarelli is getting ready to make changes here.
He put fourth-liner Jordan Hoggan and defenceman Wade Brookbank on waivers on Friday in an attempt to get some salary off the books.
"It's unfortunate. They're not the problem," said Bruins assistant GM Jeff Gorton.
"But, we've got a 23-man roster and we're tight against it. This is part of the process. We have to keep our options open with our 23-man roster."
STEPPING UP: Senators coach Bryan Murray was pleased to see W Peter Schaefer step up in the club's 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Held pointless in 11 games, Schaefer had a goal and an assist and owned the boards for the first time this season. It was a huge step in the right direction for Schaefer, who has obviously struggled in the early part of the season. "It was nice to contribute, there's no question," said Schaefer. "I just want to be able to do it consistently." Murray said he liked what he saw. "He was battling, he had good position on the puck, he made plays down low and that's the kind of player he is," said Murray. "He's not a big, huge man, but he can do that better than most players in the league if he really applies himself."
SHOTS ON NET: The Senators opted not to skate yesterday. Instead, only G Ray Emery, G Kelly Guard, along with Fs Dean McAmmond, Brian McGrattan and Chris Kelly went to the rink. The rest of the players stayed at the club's downtown hotel after they arrived late from Pittsburgh. It isn't known if Emery will be ready to play against the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow, but he's on the road to recovery from the forearm injury ... Bruins D Jason York had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Friday. York, a former Senator, had been troubled by the injury and doctors weren't sure what was wrong. "Rest wasn't working, so (doctors) went in (to take a look at the knee)," said Boston coach Dave Lewis. "One of the reasons was to see exactly what was going on. Do an evaluation and see if there was need of repair." ... The Senators dressed seven blueliners last night -- including Christoph Schubert -- because D Wade Redden is still feeling the effects of the groin injury that forced him to miss four games ... The Senators wore poppy's on the back of their helmets last night to commemorate Remembrance Day. All six Canadian teams are wearing them this weekend.