The Bruins announced today that they have fired Peter Chiarelli. I think Charlie Jacobs and Cam Neely are complete idiots for doing so. And look out Cam, because you aren't likely going to be around much longer yourself.
It is extremely difficult to build a strong cup contender, much less win a cup. Just ask the fans in San Jose, Ottawa, Buffalo, etc. Peter Chiarelli did it, and he did it in a way that lived up to the traditions of Bruins hockey. I am very grateful that he was hired and that we got these last nine years--years that will be remembered as some of the best in Bruins history.
The most difficult thing to do in the modern cap era is to maintain a team once it reaches the highest levels. Just ask the fans in Detroit, Anaheim, and Los Angeles. Cup winning players become elite players and they demand high prices. Fans complain bitterly when their elite players are traded away or not re-signed. Just ask the fans of Tyler Seguin. Somehow a GM has to tear down his team, because he can't afford to keep it, while simultaneously building it back up again. You don't get to pick high in the draft when you win the President's trophy. Keeping a great team going used to be a simple matter of keeping the big money flowing from the owner. But today it is more easily said than done, and very few of the sports writers or bloggers seem to get it. It's a lot easier to sit on the sidelines and whine about how the GM paid too much for (insert any player name here) or let Tyler Seguin go or didn't draft well enough (despite Tory Krug and Dougie Hamilton). That's bad enough, but when the man in charge takes that approach the team is doomed.
As far as I'm concerned, I'd have rather seen them let go every player on the roster than fire Chiarelli. I think that much of him, and I think he was that indispensable.
The last nine years have been an extraordinary time for us Bruins fans. We have enjoyed things that we hadn't seen in decades: consistently great/good goaltending, consistently good coaching, and a culture where players were treated with respect by management. I believe that most of that will now pass into history. But it sure was great while it lasted!
My fellow Bruins fans, you may be looking forward to new faces, a new style, and new players--and you will surely get them. But I fear that the Bruins will now sink back to what they were in the late 90s--a team with it's best years behind it. Given how stupid I believe this decision to have been by Charlie Jacobs, I suspect we will now see a never-ending cycle of complaining in the media, new coaches, and new GMs. In short, my Bruins will likely become the Toronto Maple Leafs. How fun.
I am probably done here too. So long Peter, you deserved better, and thanks for the great times and Lord Stanley's Cup!
I'll see you in Timmy's bunker.