The Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins have an affiliation relationship that dates back to 1992, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the two sides entered into a long term agreement that will keep the two clubs tied together for their 23rd year and beyond. But the B’s also had some partner announcements to go alongside that one on Wednesday, and named Don Sweeney as general manager of the P-Bruins while also announcing the hiring of Burlington resident Jay Pandolfo as an organizational development coach.
Sweeney will be responsible for hockey operations with the P-Bruins in addition to his current responsibilities as assistant GM for the NHL club. The former B’s defensemen has been a tireless figure within the B’s development pipeline, and conceptualized the summer development camp that completed its eighth year back in July.
“During the past eight years, I have been very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with some outstanding people in Providence,” said Sweeney, a Harvard alum and 16-year NHL veteran prior to joining the Black and Gold front office. “I can fully attest to their total commitment to developing young men as both aspiring NHL Players and quality people.
“Our partnership with Providence is about providing an opportunity for Players to develop in a competitive and winning environment. Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins have chartered a relationship with H. Larue Renfroe and his staff that continuously reinforces the ideals of a successful Player Development System.”
Pandolfo will be responsible for aiding in the development of players and prospects throughout Boston’s system, and that gig serves as his first NHL job after retiring as a player following the 2012-13 NHL season.
Pandolfo ended his NHL career with his hometown Bruins, but is best known in NHL circles as a two-time Stanley Cup champ with the New Jersey Devils following a brilliant career at Boston University. Pandolfo and fellow BU alum Mike Grier have both shared duties helping to run the informal practice sessions attended by NHL players at BU this summer. It’s the Burlington native’s unique position as an intelligent hockey mind and highly respected, recently retired player that puts him in a unique position to really help impact young player’s careers.
“Jay got a good sense of how we approach things during his time as a player here,” said Chiarelli. “He has a real common sense approach that focuses on commitment and dedication. These are attributes that he showed also as a player, and he will use in development of our younger players and prospects.”
The Bruins were happy to make the affiliate announcement with Providence, and continue a relationship that’s been great for B’s fans in Boston and Providence for more than two decades.
“On behalf of the Bruins organization we are happy to have our relationship with the Providence Bruins extended,” said Bruins President Cam Neely. “Having our AHL affiliate so close is a great asset to not only our hockey team, but to our fans, as they can watch our prospects develop. I’d like to thank H. Larue Renfroe, Jeff Fear and Matt Poore and the rest of the Providence Bruins organization for their continued commitment to Bruins Hockey. I would also like to congratulate Don Sweeney on being named General Manager of the Providence Bruins.”
P-Bruins ownership was also rightfully happy about continuing an affiliation that’s been instrumental to the success of their AHL organization.
“We are proud to continue our long standing affiliation with the Boston Bruins.” said Providence Bruins team owner H. Larue Renfroe, adding “We take great pride in helping provide a high end development environment for the prospects and coaches of the Boston Bruins. The Jacobs family, Cam Neely, Peter Chiarelli and Don Sweeney have been outstanding partners and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”