The wait for a new GM following the firing of Peter Chiarelli is finally over, as on Wednesday the Boston Bruins promoted assistant GM, Don Sweeney to become the eighth General Manager in team history.
Sweeney wore the black and gold sweater for fifteen years and was an assistant captain. Following the end to his playing career in 2004, he has been in the Bruins front office serving as the Director of Player Development (2006-2007), Director of Hockey Operations (2007-2010), and was the assistant GM from 2010 until today.
During his inaugural press conference as General Manager today, Sweeney stated "as of today, Claude is our coach. He has had a lot of success during his time here winning a cup and making it to the finals again."
This statement by Sweeney could be foreshadowing a possible coaching change, but time is running out. If Sweeney were confident in Claude to be the Bruins head coach then he would have stood up there and said "damn right thats our guy."
Rumors of a possible coaching change have been circulating the team since the end of the season and when Peter Chiarelli got fired.
Most of the possible head coach candidates the Bruins supposedly had their eyes on have already found a new home. Former North Dakota coach, Dave Hakstol, recently became the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Mike Babcock signed a massive eight year, $50 million deal to become the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. And Todd McLellan has also recently been named the new coach of the Edmonton Oilers.
Very similarly to this past season, the Bruins seem to again be too late when making a move. Had they fired Claude right at the end of the season then they probably could have made some type of move towards Babcock, Hakstol, or McLellan. But now they are in a tough position with Claude Julien, as all of the top candidates for the Bruins' head coaching job are now gone.
It will be interesting to see what Don Sweeney does as his first order of business, and that is to make the decision as to whether Claude stays or goes. But as of now, it is clear that the Bruins and Cam Neely are very confident in Don Sweeney.