After an extremely disappointing campaign, the Boston Bruins missed the playoffs this year for the first time since the 2007-2008 season.
This is also the first time the Bruins have missed the playoffs under Head Coach Claude Julien, who was hired in the summer prior to the 2007-2008 season.
Just one season after winning the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s winningest team in the regular season, the Bruins posted a record of 41-27-14, which was just not enough to beat out the streaking Ottawa Senators or the Pittsburgh Penguins for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
When he was appointed CEO of the organization back in January, Charlie Jacobs said that any result for the Bruins other than the playoffs was completely unacceptable, according to an article by Jack McCluskey of ESPN.com
Several days after the Bruins’ season came to an abrupt end, management followed through with their prior statements, announcing that General Manager Peter Chiarelli, as well as three scouts, had been relieved of their duties.
Jacobs and Team President Cam Neely made the announcement official in a press conference that took place Wednesday, April 15.
Chiarelli spent nine seasons as General Manager, and made several notable moves which helped Boston capture their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years in 2011.
“We are grateful for Peter’s service to the Bruins organization over the last nine seasons,” Neely said.
“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.”
Besides the fact that Chiarelli recently mismanaged the Bruins’ salary cap issues, McCluskey wrote that a poor track record of draft picks didn’t help Chiarelli’s case, as his three first-round picks from 2007-2009 have all underperformed, and are no longer with the organization.
Two people that could potentially fill the empty position are Bruins Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney and former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, who was let go by the team in May of 2014. Shero, who had a successful tenure in Pittsburgh, once turned down an offer to become the General Manager of the Bruins.
According to an article from NESN.com written by Nick Goss, whoever the next GM of the Bruins is will have some tough decisions to make, including the fate of Claude Julien and his coaching staff.
While Julien has brought nothing but success to Boston until this season, it is unclear whether or not he will be behind the Boston bench come next season.
When Jacobs and Neely gave Julien the opportunity to explore other coaching options, Julien made it very apparent that he wants to stay in Boston.
Having signed a multi-year contract extension with the team earlier this season, Julien said, “I signed a contract to coach here, I want to coach here.”
It will be interesting to see what types of changes will be made as the offseason progresses.
The new General Manager may decide to cut in to the veteran-filled roster and send somebody packing, which could help the ongoing salary cap issues that Boston has been facing for some time.
According to Greg Wyshynski of yahoo.com, Neely said that the search for a new General Manager will begin immediately.
Ed Messer can be contacted at email@example.com