When Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire went in front of the senate back in 2005, he famously said he “wasn’t here to talk about the past” when given an opportunity to confess his steroid sins.
During a conference call with the media on Friday to discuss Brad Marchand’s new extension, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli essentially told inquiring minds he wasn’t here to talk about the future.
After singing Marchand’s praises, commending his rise through the ranks and ascension to the role of gifted NHL scorer, Chiarelli was understandably asked about the progress he’s made with the other top-flight players that are – like Marchand was until a few hours ago – set to become free agents in one form or another next summer.
“Well I’ve had some discussions and I’ll leave it at that,” the GM said. “I don’t really like to comment on negotiations, but for the sake of hearing something different than the labor situation, I’ll go off the rails a bit and tell you I’ve had some discussions with some of our guys.”
Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Caron and Tuukka Rask will be becoming restricted free agents if not signed to extensions by July 1 next summer, while Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference will become unrestricted free agents.
Asked about Seguin – whose second contract has come up a lot of late with the likes of youngsters Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner and Jordan Eberle inking deals in the range of $6 million per year – Chiarelli noted that contracts being handed out to comparable players would certainly be taken into consideration, but that was all Boston’s general manager wanted to disclose.
“Again, I’m not going to go into details of negotiations,” said Chiarelli. “You look at comparable players, you look at where your team salary structure is, and you look at the market. You don’t look strictly at one of those things - you try and look at all of them.
“So we try and do that in all our negotiations, and we will continue to do that. Sometimes you’re faced with different dynamics, and you have to make decisions at certain junctures of the negotiation, but generally speaking the comparables are important, comparable peer groups, and where he fits into the team salary structure.”
With Seguin poised for an even bigger year after a breakout season in 2011-12, the sooner Chiarelli has some official news to confirm about a new contract for No. 19, the better it'll be for the Black and Gold -- both on the ice and on the books.