"That's probably my priority when I look to add something," Chiarelli told ESPN. "I do want to add something, and I'd like to help the team. I'd like to add to our depth. But that's a priority. It's a fine balance with chemistry and you have to be careful."
Chiarelli could decide to focus on acquiring a depth forward as the status of winger Nathan Horton, who remains sidelined with a concussion he suffered on Jan. 22 against the Philadelphia Flyers, remains unknown.
Although the 26-year-old has missed eight games and is not expected to join his teammates on their upcoming six-game road trip, Chiarelli's approach to the deadline is not likely to be affected by his absence as he believes that Horton won't be out for an extended amount of time.
"I expect him to be back. He's progressing, and I would think he'd be back," Chiarelli said. "In the back of my head, it's that he may be something that we have to replace, but I would expect him to be back. But we look at players and say, 'Hey, maybe this player could add to our depth, but maybe he'd have to play a certain spot, too,' like Horton's spot."
However, another key forward, Rich Peverley, appeared to suffer a knee injury on a knee-on-knee hit from former Bruin Hal Gill during Wednesday's contest against the Montreal Canadiens.
There were no updates on Peverley's condition following the contest, though a potential long-term absence could force Chiarelli to acquire depth up front.
Chiarelli hopes to be able to lock up as many of the team's pending unrestricted free agents as possible, which include Chris Kelly, Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Joe Corvo.
More Trade Deadline Info
List of Trades
| No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses
| Top 25 Available Players
| Team-by-Team Cap Info