|Bruins don’t convey preference for internal vs. external hire for GM||04.15.15 at 3:48 pm ET|
The Bruins do not have a preference on whether to fill their vacant general manager spot with an internal or external candidate. Cam Neely and Charlie Jacobs said in a press conference Wednesday that hockey operations will report to Neely in the meantime.
“We’re going to take our time and go through the process and make sure we make a decision is best for the organization,” Neely said.
Assistant general manager Don Sweeney would figure to be the top internal candidate for the job. Asked whether promoting from within would bring about enough change after firing Peter Chiarelli, both were noncommittal.
“It’s really about what we feel is going to be best for organization,” Neely said.
Added Jacobs: “Find the best candidate. Period.”
|Bruins fire general manager Peter Chiarelli, three scouts||04.15.15 at 10:56 am ET|
The Bruins announced Wednesday morning that they have fired general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The firing comes after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years. The only other season under Chiarelli that the B’s failed to qualify for the postseason was 2006-07, his first with the club.
“We are grateful for Peter’s service to the Bruins organization over the last nine seasons,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a press release. “His efforts undoubtedly helped the team achieve great success during his tenure and he helped restore the proud tradition of Boston Bruins hockey. We ultimately feel that this change is necessary in order to ensure sustainable success for the club both in the short term and the long term. Our search for a new General Manager will begin immediately.”
The B’s also fired amateur scouts Mike Chiarelli (Peter Chiarelli’s brother), Denis Leblanc and European head scout Jukka Holtari.
No interim general manager has been named, though assistant general manager Don Sweeney is the most obvious internal candidate.
“Peter Chiarelli has done a tremendous job for the Boston Bruins over the last nine seasons,” Jeremy Jacobs said in a statement released later in the day. “During that time I have come to know, and like him, both professionally and personally. This decision was not an easy one for Cam and Charlie but, ultimately, the right one for this organization. They have my full support in this decision. I know Peter will move on and continue to do great things in the league and I would give him my highest recommendation.”
The highlight of Chiarelli’s tenure came in June of 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in his fifth season with the team. The B’s were back in the Cup Final two years later, falling to the Blackhawks in six games.
While drafting was Chiarelli’s most notable shortcoming, his dealings with veteran players were a reason the Bruins became an Eastern Conference powerhouse. Chiarelli’s move from Ottawa to Boston inspired top free agent Zdeno Chara to do the same, while the re-signings of Chara and Patrice Bergeron prior to the 2010-11 season locked up the team’s two best players right before they led the team to the Cup.
Chiarelli was also bold with his roster management. His trade of Tyler Seguin to the Stars in the summer of 2013 did not yield a proper return for the caliber of scorer the Bruins dealt, while the Bruins’ signing of Jarome Iginla left them with millions of dead money against the salary cap this season. The cap crunch forced Boston to shed salary going into this season, with Chiarelli opting to move Johnny Boychuk because the free-agent-to-be would yield the best return of players not expected to stay in Boston long-term.
Chiarelli still has multiple years remaining on his contract. He will continue to be paid by the Bruins until he takes a job with another club.
|Torey Krug named to US Men’s National Team for World Championship||04.14.15 at 3:34 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug was one of 15 players named to the US Men’s national team as part of the squad’s initial roster announcement. Team USA will compete in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship May 1-17 in the Czech Republic.
Other NHL players named to the team include Marc Arcobello, Justin Faulk, Jake Gardiner, Matt Hendricks, Trevor Lewis, John Moore, Jeremy Morin, Connor Murphy, Dan Sexton and Ben Smith.
Leominster native and former University of New Hampshire forward Steve Moses was also named to the team. Moses most recently played in the KHL.
|Bruins assign Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak, Zach Trotman to Providence for AHL playoffs||04.13.15 at 9:27 pm ET|
Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak and Zach Trotman will play postseason hockey this spring after all, just not the way they had hoped.
The Bruins assigned all three players to Providence on Monday, which will allow the trio to play in the Calder Cup playoffs next week. The Baby B’s clinched their playoff spot last Friday.
Pastrnak, the team’s first-round pick in last summer’s draft, played 47 NHL games this season. He finished with 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points. Spooner had 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 29 games for Boston this season, while Trotman played in 27 games as the Bruins dealt with various injuries on the blue line.
All three players figure to be on Boston’s NHL roster next season. Trotman is on a one-way deal, while Pastrnak will be in the second year of his entry level contract. Trotman is a restricted free agent who is expected to be re-signed.
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|Zdeno Chara won’t need surgery, vows to return to normal self||04.13.15 at 2:28 pm ET|
Zdeno Chara‘s PCL may be toast, but he says he’s got a healthy offseason ahead of him.
Chara will not require knee surgery after tearing the PCL on Oct. 23 and missing nearly two months. He admitted that he wasn’t right when in his first 10-15 games back.
“Obviously I was not looking good and [took] a lot of criticism for that, but that’s the only way you can do it,” he said. “What are you going to do? You’ve just got to play. You’ve just got to go through it and eventually you play out of it. It took me a number of games, but then I started feeling better and better, made more adjustments and honestly, towards the end I had no issues. I was skating back to normal. It just takes time.”
The ligament Chara tore is pretty much destroyed — he said “maybe 10 percent” is still attached – but it stabilized after two or three months. Chara, who will continue to wear a knee brace, feels the PCL will not be an issue this summer.
In the final week of the season, Chara was hit twice in the left ankle by shots. He said he is in fine health now heading into the offseason.
If that’s true, that will be a departure from the last couple of years. Chara played through injuries until the end of the last two seasons entering this year, with a hip issue hindering him in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final and broken fingers hurting his play against the Canadiens in the second round last season.
Instead of having to recover from such injuries in a relatively short offseason, Chara now has all of the spring and summer to train. He will continue to tweak his workout plan.
This season was a step back from Chara’s 2013-14 season, which was one of the best of his career and deserving of the Norris Trophy (he finished second). Asked whether he can tell after a season with injuries if he is still the same player, the 38-year-old was adamant in his response.
“I am,” he said. “Believe me, I will be.”
Continued Chara: “I know there’s a lot of questions asked about my age and this and that, but trust me, it’s not an issue. If it [wasn’t] an issue last year, why would it be this year? One year, you’re not going to lose everything.
“It’s something that an injury did happen, and obviously, it slowed down the whole season. As much as I would like to have a great season, it’s not going to happen when you miss two months off the ice and then it takes another month just to get your timing back. For sure, it’s not ideal. It’s difficult to deal with, but I will find a way to be [great] again. I have no doubt to be at my top performance.”
|Peter Chiarelli, Claude Julien unsure of job security with Bruins||04.13.15 at 1:24 pm ET|
Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien held their annual breakup day press conference Monday at TD Garden. They’re well aware it could be their last public appearance as Bruins employees.
After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, both Julien and Chiarelli are at risk of losing their jobs. Chiarelli seemingly had authorization to notify Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille that the Bruins would not be re-signing them. As such, he said he is able to handle this breakup day the way he has in previous years.
Charlie Jacobs said in January that missing the playoffs would be unacceptable and that the team’s leadership was under review.
“The job uncertainty, the questions surrounding us is part of the job and you have to deal with it and move forward, but it hasn’t impacted my interviews, my discussions, my dealings with Claude,” Chiarelli said. “Business as usual.”
Julien and Chiarelli don’t know whether they’re staying or going. They also don’t know when they’ll be notified.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Chiarelli said. “As I said, business as usual until we hear otherwise.”
This is the first time in Julien’s eight-year tenure in Boston that the Bruins have not made the playoffs. Asked if one year was enough to warrant being on the hot seat, Julien said it doesn’t matter.
“The bottom line is it’s a tough business and right now it’s not my decision to make,” Julien said. “It will all depend on how it’s being viewed from above me and [I’ll] deal with it from there. I’m like Peter. I’ve had exit interviews today with players and my job continues just like any other year. Again, I’m kind of repeating what Peter said: Unless I’m told otherwise, I’ve got to continue to do that.
“I’ve been here for eight years and enjoy being here and certainly look forward to staying here. Again, having said that, I also understand the nature of this business.”
|Bruins won’t re-sign Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille||04.13.15 at 12:23 pm ET|
Much of the conversation of Monday’s breakup day at TD Garden revolved around the future of the Bruins. Some current players won’t be part of it.
Paille and Campbell have already been notified that they won’t be back. Bartkowski has not yet been told whether he’ll be offered a contract. Soderberg will not return to Sweden. He’d like to stay with the Bruins, but he would get more money and opportunity elsewhere.
The free agents are just part of the equation. Especially if Peter Chiarelli is to be relieved of his duties, trades could be a big part of this offseason. The biggest name to watch in that regard is that of Milan Lucic. The 26-year-old left wing is entering the final year of his three-year, $18 million contract, and though he wants to stay, that might not be the right business move for the Bruins.
“I like to think that I’m worth it,” Lucic said of his contract. “I showed in the past that I earned the deal that I’m currently on with my play on the ice. That’s one of the things that I have to do in order to [get another big contract] moving forward. I have to prove that I’m still worth that, and you have to prove that by your play on the ice.
“I still believe I can bring a lot to the table as a player. I plan on doing that moving forward.”
Lucic’s modified no-trade clause allows him to submit a list of 15 teams to which he would accept a trade. He is coming off an 18-goal season, marking the second time in the last three seasons that he has averaged less than 0.25 goals per game. Lucic scored at a 0.37 goals per game rate in his 30-goal 2010-11 campaign.