Here’s all you need to know about the man behind the Boston Bruins.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, a semi-regular fan during the recent playoff run, is thoroughly impressed with the product.
This hockey mastermind hired a new head coach and fired him a year later when he realized it was a bad decision. He then picked the next — and current — head coach. He picked most of the players, some through free agency, draft and trades. He re-signed the few that were already here.
And, most importantly, he slowly but surely built the franchise he was brought in to save into so much more.
Peter Chiarelli, please, take a bow.
Chiarelli couldn’t be more different than the guy that held the job for so many years, Harry Sinden.
Chiarelli attended and played hockey at Harvard University, got his law degree, practiced law and got his introduction into pro hockey as an agent.
Sinden graduated from the “School of Hard Knocks” and for more than three decades had the Bruins owners’ ears as the coach, GM and/or team president.
Both built exciting, profitable teams using slightly different methods: Chiarelli spent to the max. Sinden saved.
One version almost worked, thanks to some keen trades and player acquisitions. The other, well, is very close to overtaking the Big Bad Bruins Era as one of the most successful in the last half-century.
But to truly appreciate Chiarelli is to truly understand the depths to where this franchise had fallen over a decade.
The Bruins had won only one playoff series in 11 years and didn’t make the playoffs four times. And legendary Ray Bourque was on the roster for half of those disasters.
Owner Jeremy Jacobs’ name was dirt in this town. And their franchise player, Joe Thornton, was dealt away to San Jose by GM Mike O’Connell for basically a bag of pucks.