What took so long?
To relieve Peter Chiarelli of his duties, that is.
Based on the press conference the other day, it sounded like Cam Neely basically fired him at the trade deadline. Neely admitted that he told Pete not to “trade any assets” at the deadline. Wait, Jordan Caron wasn’t an asset?? That’s news to me! But seriously though, talk about having your hands tied. I’m not sure Pete could have actually done much, based on their salary cap situation. But it sounds like it wasn’t his decision anyway. And if you are seemingly getting your power stripped there, then…that’s not a good sign.
By the way, are press conferences mostly useless? In sports anyway. When does someone give actual information you can use during one? At least around here. We all know about Bill Belichick’s press conferences. As well as all the others. What did Neely and Charlie Jacobs say of value the other day? Not much from what I heard. I guess the other point is that, other than the part where Steve Buckley pressed for some answers (and got none), the rest of the local media tossed up some nice softballs.
Don’t get me going on the local sports media though. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I know these guys have to be somewhat like they are…complimentary of the team and everything surrounding it. If they aren’t, players won’t talk to them, team sources won’t give them info…and they usually work for an outlet that is owned by the team. But do they have to go overboard, as they ALWAYS do? I mean sometimes…wow. Like some of the stuff I am reading now about Chiarelli being the fall guy. Ummmmm, no. 3 other people got fired as well. And there will be more to come, including some players. “Fall guy”? I think not.
Chiarelli had a nice run here. Very successful. Give credit where credit is due. But it was time for a change, simple as that. It’s no secret he messed up the salary cap. Some writers have said it was because he was “going all out in 2013-14”. Ummmm, wrong again. This has accumulated over his tenure. Primarily because he has drafted poorly over the years and does not have cheap (and good) labor to take over spots where someone becomes too expensive. And also because he consistently paid guys too much and too early and for too many years. Not because of going “all out” for one year. Do the math.
In reality, Cam has probably wanted to shake things up for years. He got the Prez gig in June, 2010. Pete had been on board for 4 years already and Claude for 3. If you recall, Cam wasn’t exactly a fan of Claude’s style early on. It was no secret, as Cam made some very thinly veiled comments at the time. He was likely ready to overhaul in 2011 if they were ousted early…as they almost were, before the Game 7 OT goal against Montreal. If they lose that game, the Bruins look a lot different the next season. But then they go and win the Stanley Cup! How can Cam do some sacking then? Then there was a grace period, then they went to the Cup Finals in 2013. Again, how can he make a move?
Timing was right for this move. Missed playoffs, cap is a problem, not many decent young players have been developed…or are on track to be developed, players seem to be comfortable, etc. I suppose they want the new GM to ditch Claude at some point. But I waffle on that every day. What if the new GM is Donnie Sweeney, the assistant GM now? Also, they signed Claude to a 3 year extension last season, do they want to eat that dough already? Is he willing to change up his style a bit, be more flexible and forgiving of young players for one? There is plenty of time, but the longer he stays, the more I feel like he will stay long-term. At least another year. But I think it’s time for a change there as well. I believe the players have tuned him out and need a new voice.
As with Chiarelli, Julien has had a nice run here. I hated his style at first, then adapted of course when they won the Cup. I still am not a huge fan, but how can you argue with his overall success? But again, I believe most players have become too comfortable under him. I don’t think he’s as much of a hard-arse as he was when he first got here. He relies too much on useless vets on the last lines and just doesn’t trust any young players. I am ok with him rolling those 4th liners in the first and second periods. But not down a goal with less than three minutes left in the game. That happens far too often.
This wasn’t to single out Claude and Pete at all. EVERYONE is to blame for missing the playoffs. Cam, Charlie Jacobs, the players, just everyone. There was enough talent on this roster to make the playoffs, simple as that. And in the end, the players underachieved, absolutely no question about it. It’s been a nice run for everyone, to be quite honest. But all good things must come to and end. Let a new era begin. Get away from complacency. Fresh voices. Younger players. New system. There is usually more than one way to do things right, let’s try a different way now. Thanks for your service Pete, but you go find some new challenges yourself. I’d like to be saying the same to Claude soon as well…
Posted on April 17, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Boston Bruins, Cam Neely, Charlie Jacobs, Claude Julien, draft picks, NHL, Peter Chiarelli, Salary cap, Stanley Cup. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.