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Don Sweeney on Sunday Skate: Bruins not limiting their search at trade deadline, ‘nothing that’s set in stone’ with David Pastrnak 02.08.15 at 12:46 pm ET
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Don Sweeney

Don Sweeney

Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney joined Sunday Skate to discuss the Bruins’€™ roster as the team gets closer to the March 2 trade deadline. To listen to the interview, click here.

The B’€™s have been looking for a wing nearly all season, though they are among a large number of teams who could stand to improve defensively. Sweeney said the Bruins continue to look for a wing, but that general manager Peter Chiarelli isn’€™t limiting his search.

“Everybody’€™s sort of focused on the fact that maybe our depth on the wings or scoring ability would be an area that we would like to address, having the types of players that we’€™ve lost over the last couple of years,” Sweeney said. “I don’€™t think it’€™s any trade secret that that’€™s probably the area that we’€™ve primarily been focused on, but I don’€™t think if any trade situations and discussions come up, that Peter wouldn’€™t have the opportunity to pursue in any one area that might strengthen our club.”

The search for a forward is part of an ongoing process to find David Krejci a permanent right wing. David Pastrnak’€™s play with Krejci was enough for the Bruins to burn the first year off his entry-level contract and keep him on the roster, though the B’€™s moved Pastrnak off Krejci’€™s line last week to keep the rookie away from other teams’€™ top lines.

Pastrnak was moved back to Krejci’€™s line with Milan Lucic in the second period of Saturday’€™s game, however, as the Bruins had last line change and were matching Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line against New York’€™s first line. Sweeney said Pastrnak remains a candidate to play with Krejci, but that the team is still figuring out what his role will ultimately be this season.

“There’€™s nothing that’€™s set in stone,” Sweeney said. “We’€™re just going to continue to evaluate. We’€™ll go to the trade deadline, and Peter’€™s trying to improve our hockey club. If we can do that, then David may find his way out of the lineup, may find his way back in Providence. It doesn’€™t matter. The boy has been a sponge with all things, and we’€™re so excited about his development trajectory and hopefully he doesn’€™t hit a wall here as he goes down the stretch.”

Sweeney did say that if either Pastrnak or Reilly Smith forces the Bruins’€™ hand and fills the spot themselves, it would be “the perfect scenario.”

The Bruins have around $2.2 million in cap space, though they have an undisclosed amount of unused long-term injured reserve space that will allow them to exceed the upper limit. Though they don’€™t have too much money to spend — something that can be helped by a trade partner retaining a player’€™s salary — Sweeney did say that the Bruins have the assets to add players to their liking.

“I think we have the assets to be able to pursue any type of deal outside of a straight cap add-on,” he said. “Obviously, the wiggle room we have from just adding a player without necessarily moving some money around is going to be more problematic than not, but from an organizational standpoint of having assets to be able to pursue deals and talk deals and potentially explore them, we absolutely are in a position to do that.

“Obviously, the cap dollars are what they are. We’€™ve been in the station all year long. We’€™ve managed that and we have to continue to do that down the stretch. Our cap situation doesn’€™t grow as the season goes along because we’€™re in LTI, but we do have some wiggle room.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Pastrnak, Don Sweeney,
Bruins extend affiliation with Providence, hire Jay Pandolfo 08.27.14 at 5:41 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have extended their affiliation with the Providence Bruins and hired former Bruins forward Jay Pandolfo as a development coach. They also announced that Don Sweeney, currently an assistant general manager for the Bruins, will also serve as GM of the Providence Bruins.

Pandolfo, a Winchester native and Boston University graduate, spent the majority of his 15-year NHL career with the Devils. After a season with the Islanders in 2011-12, Pandolfo finished his career with the Bruins in 2012-13. In playing for Boston, he was also reunited with former Devils coach Claude Julien.

Sweeney is entering his ninth year in the Bruins’€™ front office. He will retain his current responsibilities as assistant GM in addition to his new Providence duties.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Don Sweeney, Jay Pandolfo,
Don Sweeney’s shining moment 07.10.10 at 7:39 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — These are proud times for Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney.

All one had to do was take one look at the massive crowd that turned out at tiny Ristuccia Arena here for the final day of the team’s week-long development camp for rookies and young prospects.

It was Sweeney who organized and ran the team’€™s first such off-season camp in July, 2007. He said after Saturday’s workout that the 2010 edition was another success, featuring star prospects Tyler Seguin and Joe Colborne.

“Not really comparing years here, I think we’re excited about the skill set we’ve gone out and identified and brought in,” Sweeney said. “Be it through the draft or through the acquisition side of it, I think, overall, our group should be proud and excited about the guys they’ve identified and brought in.

“Now, it’s time for the players to continue to get better and our coaching staff, who we feel teaches the game very, very well, and our management group, to continue to push these guys all forward. That includes our workout guys, everybody. You see all of our group here, from player personnel, to scouts, you can tell how much our organization is taking care of it and that comes from Peter [Chiarelli] and filters down.”

Under Sweeney, the team has brought the club’€™s top prospects to Ristuccia in advance of the main September training camp.

“Make no mistake about it, the ultimate goal is to produce the best NHL players we can,” Sweeney said. “The more we can build camaraderie and using that as an example of them understanding they have a chance to be teammates and be part of something where we hope to win.

Development camp gives the prospects the opportunity to get to know each other on and off the ice while teaching them the level of dedication and training necessary for them to reach the next stage of their careers.

“Ultimately, we’re just trying to win,” Sweeney said. “I hope with all my heart that these guys come in here and they grab a hold of it right from the get-go and the culture we’re trying to create and the momentum we have and they continue to push that forward and I think that helps in that regard.”

“We referenced earlier in the week where Joe Colborne had reached out to a number of these kids and gave them a little heads up. That’s the stuff we hope each and every one [understands]. Next year, it might be somebody else that reaches out to a young draft pick and so you’ve created that momentum and the culture that we’re hoping to continue to build going forward.”

Colborne was only too happy to help.

“These guys have been coming up to me the whole camp with questions,” Colborne said. “I’ve tried to be as welcoming as possible and make sure they all feel comfortable because I know what it feels to be a new guy coming in with no idea. So I’ve been up front with them, trying to give them the heads up on what the tougher parts of camp are, the things you’re going to have to learn and they’ve all taken it in stride and improved since the start of camp.”

One of the bonding activities that Colborne helped lead was a bowling outing on Thursday night.

But perhaps the biggest confirmation of Sweeney’s optimism came from Colborne, who just completed his third such development camp with the B’s.

“Right from Day 1, when we were doing the program with the Marines, that’s all they talked about was doing that extra little bit that will be the difference between winning a Stanley Cup championship or losing in Game 7 like we did this year,” the 20-year-old Colborne said.

“Obviously, you can tell the management is hungry. The guys like [David] Krejci have been back here and he’s ready to get going. It’s going to be a very hungry group next year and hopefully, I’ll be part of it.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Don Sweeney, Joe Colborne, NHL
Benning signs multi-year extension with B’s 09.30.09 at 5:53 pm ET
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B’s GM Peter Chiarelli announced Wednesday afternoon that Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning has agreed to a multi-year extension with the club. Benning is entering his fourth year with the B’s — and third season as assistant GM — after departing the Buffalo Sabres organization following a 12-year run in their front office. Don Sweeney was also named an assistant general manager of the Bruins last week, and both Sweeney and Benning will share the far-ranging hockey duties encompassed by the role.

‘€œJim plays a critical role in our management group,’€ said Chiarelli. ‘€œHe takes a very aggressive and proactive approach in his recommendations and assessments underscoring his tremendous management ability and experience.  His player evaluation is amongst the tops in the industry and his business acumen supplements our group greatly.  We were very fortunate as an organization to hire him in 2006 and we are even more fortunate to secure him for the long term.’€

Benning and Chiarelli will hold a Thursday morning press conference at the TD Garden to further discuss the deal and the assistant GM’s role within the organization.

Read More: Don Sweeney, Jim Benning, Peter Chiarelli,
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