Front Office Issues in Boston?
Every Bruins fan on the face of the earth remembers the date June 15th, 2011. On this date, the Bruins won game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks to win their first title in 39 years. That championship team was created by GM Peter Chiarelli, and since then he has gotten high praise by Bruins fans, and is regarded as one of the best GM’s in the league. Let’s stop this here and take a look at what Chiarelli has done over the past several years.
2011, Cup year: He traded away Blake Wheeler and added Chris Kelly and Rich Peverly, who helped them win the cup, but Kelly has had ONE good season with Boston, and Pevs wasn’t any better. Meanwhile Wheeler is a strong forward with a big body, and a goal scoring knack, being consistently good every year in his time in Winnipeg. And oh by the way he’s still VERY young.
2012, 1st round exit: He traded two time vezina winner, and Stanley Cup MVP and Champ Tim Thomas for absolutely nothing, because he took a year off. Yes, trading him was the right concept, but if you got absolutely nothing for it (and oh by the way still had to pay 20% of his contract), you were better off releasing him.
2013, defeat in cup finals in 6 games: He FAILED to trade for Jarome Iginla, and got a version of Jaromir Jagr that is nothing like the current version of Iginla. Soon he would lose Jagr to FA, and basically got him as a rental. In fact the only reason the Bruins made it to the cup finals was because two (at the time) rookies got hot, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton, who carried the Bruins through round one (hardly) and round two against NY. Then, he traded Tyler Seguin who by the way was a top 10 player last year. In return, he got Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith. Smith is a great young forward, and Loui is an all star caliber player who just caught a bad break last year with injuries. This is PC’s okayest (if that’s even a word) trade he’s made, but many have and should criticize it due to what they lost in Seguin (who led the team in points in 2012). These same people also believe if Seguin was on the team, the Bruins might’ve been able to keep pace with Montreal this year, and might’ve edged them out in the best of 7. Then he signs Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask long term. Yes he should do that, but an eight year, 56 million dollar deal for each of them is a bit harsh on their cap, and has cost them numerous times since.
Last year, 2nd round loss to Montreal: Hey would you look at that, Chiarelli finally gets his man in Iginla…… But for one season. Due to the cap issues previously stated, the best He could do was trade for Andrej Meszaros who was the worst rental in the history of rentals. The Bruins made no improvements, while the Habs added Bruins killer Tomas Vanek (who oh by the way was heavily favored to go to Boston at the deadline). In the offseason due to these cap issues previously stated, the Bruins had to let go of locker room character in enforcer Shawn Thornton, and had to wait until training camp was already a month in progress to sign the teams promising young players in Smith and Krug. He also signed star center David Krejci to a long term deal, but like Bergeron and Rask, Krejcj will be making more than six million dollars a year. The Bruins also had to say goodbye to a very likable defense among Bruins fans in Johnny Boychuk (who’s contract was favorable in clearing space for this cap dilemma that Boston is plagued with). The Bruins would receive a second round pick, and a conditional third round pick from the New York Islanders. Two games into the season, the Bruins are struggling. The team is starting five players that belong in Providence but due to this cap situation, are with the big club. I’m sorry Mr. Chiarelli, but when you have Ryan Spooner centering your top line on opening night, and expect the team to thrive right off the bat, you have another thing coming for you. And to make matters worse, the Bruins have TEN free agents to deal with this offseason.
So, yes, Peter Chiarelli has made the Bruins the elite defensive team they are. He is the reason they’ve won one, and appeared in two Cup finals over the past four years, but his recent actions suggest that he’s not the same GM that he was when the Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup. He’s left the 2014-2015 Bruins team in a financial downfall, in desperate search for leadership, and has not helped improve the defending President’s Trophy team in regards to returning to the Cup finals. Chiarelli has a great hockey mind, but the recent trends of this Bruins organization, and the recent transactions made by the Bruins GM suggest that his future in Boston may not be as secured as people believe.
– Anthony (@abuonopane55)