Peter Chiarelli must wear two hats for the next six weeks and he's not happy about it.
After being introduced as the GM of the Boston Bruins yesterday, Chiarelli made it clear he's disappointed the Senators have made his departure a messy one.
Instead of making a clean break, Chiarelli will remain with the Senators as their assistant GM until July 15 in a decision mandated by the NHL last week.
It is not known whether Chiarelli will be with John Muckler in Toronto today when the Senators GM makes a pitch to free agent defenceman Wade Redden and agent Don Meehan.
"Yes, it's bizarre," Chiarelli, 41, said during a conference call with Ottawa reporters yesterday from Boston. "I'm going to work through it. This is two teams that had a disagreement and there was a resolution. This was the result."
Under the terms of the ruling by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman last week, Chiarelli can only play a limited role with the Bruins for the next six weeks.
Here's the agreement:
- He does have the right to meet with Boston coach Mike Sullivan and make a decision about his future with the team. It's expected Chiarelli will make a coaching change, but he'll need league approval before he can interview potential replacements such as former Toronto coach Pat Quinn, who is expected to be a top candidate for the job. "I have to meet with (Sullivan). I spoke with him briefly today and we're going to meet soon," said Chiarelli.
- When free agency begins July 1, Chiarelli will be able to participate in unrestricted free agent signings with the Bruins as long as it doesn't involve Ottawa players.
"If they want to sign Player X, the league has to call me to ask me about Player X and I have to say yes to that player or no," said Chiarelli. "If it's Wade Redden, then no, I can't be involved in any discussions if the Bruins want to sign him. I can't tell them anything about how I feel with players who are from Ottawa."
Chiarelli said he feels like he's being put in a situation where he's in a conflict of interest.
"It's something I feel I can work through. I am used to working with conflicts of interest and that's what this is," said Chiarellli. "I've worked through these kinds of situation as a lawyer. Yes, it would have liked a nicer, clean transition. That's not the case here."
What bothers Chiarelli the most is the Senators gave him permission to speak with the Bruins in the first place, then balked when he was offered the job.
"I guess (the Senators are) trying to protect institutional knowledge that I may have had," said Chiarelli. "I don't understand that. People leave all the time. Ray Shero went to Pittsburgh. What's he supposed to do, cleanse his mind when he gets there?"
The Senators declined to comment on Chiarelli's remarks because they didn't hear them first hand.