B's talk extension with Chiarelli; commend coaching

B's talk extension with Chiarelli; commend coaching
June 28, 2013, 4:30 pm
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BOSTON – As expected, B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien earned the ringing endorsement of Boston Bruins ownership and upper management during a season-ending media session.

Chiarelli has assembled a hockey club under the cap that’s become one of the best in the NHL over the last few years including two Stanley Cup Final appearances in the last three years. The Bruins have been a playoff team each of the six seasons with Julien behind the bench, and he finished the 2013 hockey season two wins away from becoming the only B’s coach to ever capture Two Stanley Cup titles during his tenure.

Neely told the assembled media after the press conference that Chiarelli “deserves a [contract extension]”, and the two sides have discussed terms over the last few months as the Bruins GM enters the final year of his contract during the 2013-14 season.

The success of the Bruins over the last few years says quite a bit, but at the end of the day it says this more than anything else: Chiarelli and assistant GMs Don Sweeney and Jim Benning along with the scouting staff have proven to be excellent at drafting, developing and acquiring talent within the salary cap era constraints, and those players continue to buy into Julien’s defense-based system on the ice.

Watching the Bruins march all the way to the Cup Finals for the second time in three years means a lot of things for the Black and Gold organization. It means the Bruins’ nucleus of players should be considered championship caliber, and that much can be expected of them through the next few years. It means the Boston sports talk shows have to start treating the Bruins’ decision makers in the same vein as they do with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, and as they did when Theo Epstein was pushing the buttons for the Red Sox.

It also means that there is validation to everything Chiarelli, Julien, Benning, Sweeney and Co. have built up together with Cam Neely over the last six years dating back to the dark ages of the “Dave Lewis Error.”

“I think the job that both Pete [Chiarelli] and Claude [Julien] have done since they’ve been here is something that we certainly hope would happen where we get the team back to relevance, and give us an opportunity to compete for championships. Ultimately, we did win one,” said Neely. “We got to the Finals, and it’s very disappointing to lose in the Finals, obviously. But to acquire the types of players, and draft and develop the types of players that are going to help us win championships is what Peter and Donny [Don Sweeney] and Jim Benning have done.

“Claude [Julien] and his staff to be able to get those players and have them understand the type of style Claude [Julien] wants them to play. It helps make us successful by playing that style, but it speaks volumes of the group as a whole and the type of character we want to have here to put on that Bruins jersey. [It speaks to] the staff and the coaching staff, being able to get [the players] to play a style that is going to give us an opportunity to win every night.”

So even though Chiarelli (seven years) and Julien (six years) have both been in Boston running the Bruins for a long time in a hockey world that’s full of quick turnover, the current, highly successful era of the Black and Gold will be in their capable hands for a long time to come.