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The Beginning of a New Era?

Thursday, 06.1.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Boston Bruins
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The Beginning of a New Era?
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By Cam Neely

Peter Chiarelli was introduced on Wednesday as the Bruins seventh General Manager in the team's 82-year history.
On Friday, the Boston Bruins announced that their new general manager would be Peter Chiarelli and on Wednesday, May 31, he was officially introduced at a TD Banknorth Garden press conference. After the lockout, a difficult season, and the current vacancy in this position, timing could not be better to look to the Bruins’ future with hope and optimism, as there is only one way to go -- UP!

This was a tough season to be a Bruins fan, as we watched the team lose some favorite players to trades and lose a significant number of games. It seems that after a season of difficulty though, the momentum is finally starting to shift. Hopefully, Chiarelli will be given a clean slate and the ability to start from scratch. He is a good student of the new NHL system, which focuses on young, fast players, as evidenced by his success in Ottawa where he was the Assistant GM. It is an improvement to have someone like him in charge of choosing and negotiating with next year's talent, because he knows the type of players that are successful in today’s NHL. Beyond choosing new talent, if Chiarelli has the opportunity to implement a new playing system that uses the speedy, mobile players that are proving to be the most valuable commodities in the NHL, then we will surely see some more wins in Boston soon.

I personally would not be surprised if we saw some additional management/personnel changes. It may be that simply changing the general manager is not enough of a new beginning to create the on-ice product that the Bruins fans want to see. Aside from signing more play-making talent, a shift in attitude will be necessary too, and it remains to be seen if Chiarelli has the ability to create a “winning atmosphere.” Having the right talent is vitally important, but having a great locker room atmosphere is essential, from your top player right down to your training room staff. That said, it’s tough to create that type of surrounding without the leeway to change the way things are done. Hopefully, Chiarelli will be given the freedom not only to change the players on the ice, but to change the status quo off the ice. I believe ownership truly realizes that change is inevitable to return the Bruins to their rightful glory.
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