Bruins dismiss general manager Peter Chiarelli after nine seasons
Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely announced Wednesday that general manager Peter Chiarelli had been relieved of his duties. Chiarelli was with the Bruins for nine seasons, signing his contract back in late May of 2006.
During that time, the Bruins made the playoffs seven years in a row (2007-2014), won the Presidents’ Trophy (2013-14), made two Stanley Cup Final appearances (2011 and 2013), including the team’s first Cup in 39 years (2011). The playoff streak ended this year, when the Bruins were eliminated on the final night of the season.
There have been fans calling for Chiarelli’s job for quite some time, but the Johnny Boychuk trade on the eve of this season, combined with the little to no movement at this year’s trade deadline, might have been the icing on the cake.
Chiarelli’s has received criticism for some of his recent trades. The biggest one that he has gotten heat for is the Tyler Seguin trade in July of 2013. I completely agree that Seguin would not have reached his full potential if he stayed in Boston’s defensive system, but Chiarelli could have gotten so much more for him.
The Bruins were extremely lucky that Reilly Smith became the second liner he is today, or it would have been a complete bust. To put it simply, Chiarelli’s Seguin trade was the equivalent of Mike O’Connell’s Joe Thornton trade. And to wrap some of this trade talk up, we are all still waiting for the “future considerations” promised to the Bruins by the LA Kings for the Marco Sturm trade.
This last season has been one of his worst. Giving away two second round picks for one of Tampa Bay’s under-producing players in Brett Connolly did not help his case at all. Connolly then reported for practice for the Bruins and broke his finger, making him almost useless for the Bruins.
Let’s take a look at the beginning of the season and the Boychuk trade that everyone is still upset about. Putting it into perspective, Chiarelli essentially traded Boychuk for a poorly producing third liner and a third round pick.
And just to add salt to the wound, Boychuk has had his best NHL season so far, racking up nine goals and 35 points in his 72 games as an Islander. That really helped his case and showed some solid reasoning for his seven-year, $42 million contract extension.
Bringing it back to Wednesday’s announcement, Neely also announced that their “search for a new general manager will begin immediately.” And there are already a few names popping up on who might take over that position. Two of these names are former Pittsburg GM Ray Shero, whom the Bruins originally looked at and wanted before Chiarelli, and also current assistant GM Don Sweeney.
Either way they go, a decision on the future of coach Claude Julien will be left up to the new GM to decide, according to Neely. Neely also hinted that he wanted to see the Bruins be more of a physical team again, claiming that “we got away from our identity…we weren’t as tough to play against as we’d like to be”
This could mean a much more physical Bruins team in the future, and a possible comeback of the “Big Bad Bruins” we all know and love.