Don Sweeney, who has served as the assistant general manager for the Boston Bruins, has been promoted to GM.
NHL.com is reporting that Sweeney, 48, has been named the eighth Boston Bruins general manager in team history, replacing Peter Chiarelli. Sweeney, who played for the Bruins for 15 years and one for the Dallas Stars, came back to Boston to work in the front office. For the past six years, Sweeney has served as assistant to Chiarelli. He also served as the general manager for Boston’s Providence farm team before being promoted to GM.
The Bruins struggled this year. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, and returning to the finals in 2013, the Bruins failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years. As a result, Chiarelli was let go on April 15. After interviewing several candidates, Bruins president Cam Neely chose to change Sweeney’s job title, and Sweeney gets promoted to GM.
“I’m excited about the challenge in front of us to get back to where we need to get to,” Sweeney said. “I know what it’s like to be booed in this city, to be cheered in this city, as a player, and I expect at times to take criticism. But that’s part of it. And I think, we finished with 96 points this year, we did not meet expectations, but we’re not as far away as what people may think.”
According to Yahoo! Sports, Sweeney sees his being promoted to GM as coming full circle. “I would like to thank the entire Jacobs’ family and specifically Mr. Jacobs and Charlie, as well as, Cam for bestowing the confidence and trust in me to direct this historic franchise in which I have been a part of for 24 years. My family and friends have been extremely supportive throughout the General Manager search process and I certainly want to acknowledge them today to show my heartfelt appreciation.”
“I am fully aware of everyone’s expectations to move the organization forward. The challenges ahead rests with the players, the coaches and the management group to work hard to make the necessary changes to bring the Bruins back to the forefront of contending for the Stanley Cup.”
Sweeney’s first responsibility since being promoted to GM is to deal with current coach Claude Julien, whose defense-first style doesn’t necessarily mesh with Sweeney’s and Neely’s style. Sweeney’s job now is to form the team that Neely has envisioned in his head. Bringing in more skill and speed, and the ability to compete in the third quarter better, will test Sweeney. It will also test the bond between Neely and the fans if Sweeney can’t put together a winning team after his promotion to GM.
[Image courtesy of CBS Boston]