One component of Peter Chiarelli‘s job as general manager of the Bruins is to help convince everyone to buy into what the organization is trying to do and the image it is trying to actualize. He does that in many ways, including publicly praising players and coaches alike by way of contracts and verbal praise.
This week, however, it was the club’s turn to do the same for Chiarelli.
The GM was handed a well-deserved four-year contract extension Thursday. On Friday, he was given praise by his bosses. In Chiarelli’s time with the Bruins, he’s sat at the podium many times to praise others, and Friday at TD Garden was his chance to be the one being told how well he’s doing.
“He’s done a fantastic job as a GM since he got here, and he certainly deserves the extension,” Bruins president Cam Neely said Friday. “He made the postseason the last six years, and one of the things we talk about here being a Boston Bruin is not just making the postseason, but competing for Stanley Cups. We’ve been to the finals twice, won in 2011,”
Much of that on-ice success has been predicated by Chiarelli’s ability to keep that core intact. It’s something he’s preached for some time now, and while changes occur from time to time, there’s no denying that Chiarelli and the rest of his department have done a good job of putting the hockey team in the best position to win.
“Pete’s done a really good job of keeping our core group together, identifying the core group, making sure that we lock ’em up,” Neely added. “He’s done a really good job of understanding the type of player our fanbase enjoys watching. It’s a little more difficult under the cap situation than most realize. There’s certainly a lot more competitive balance throughout the league, and Pete’s done a great job and we’re thrilled to have him extended for four years, which gives us five more years with him.”
Chiarelli was hired in 2006, which means he’s already spent more than half of a decade on the job. Add four years onto the remaining year he has left, and he’s here through the 2017-18 season. That’s a risky proposition in sports, having one voice or one school of thought in place for so long, but the Bruins have made it work up to this point. Much of that is a credit to Chiarelli who makes his expectations known, along with Neely, head coach Claude Julien and everyone else who is a part of the process.
“There’s no grey area with Pete,” Neely said. “As a player, you know where you stand and I think that’s important to get the most out of the players.”
The on-ice core can’t remain together forever, something that became fairly evident this offseason with the departures of players like Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference. However, as long as Chiarelli is in the GM’s chair, the Bruins know what they’re going to be getting. They have no reason to believe that it will be anything other than success, which is why Chiarelli got his due this week.