Jun 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Peter Chiarelli is interviewed during media day in preparation for game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins: Peter Chiarelli Worthy Of Criticism


What a difference a year can make. This time last year the Bruins were coming off a Stanley Cup Final loss and approaching free agency with the intention of making the necessary changes to ensure a return trip to the Finals. They signed Jarome Iginla and assumed he would be the final missing piece that would put the Bruins over the top.  One year and a disappointing early round playoff exit later and the Bruins are faced with one of their most frustrating offseasons in recent memory. The B’s are up against it with the new 69 million dollar salary cap and instead of focusing on making upgrades, management has had to focus their time on the potential of cutting players or trading bad salaries.

Peter Chiarelli bought a lot of good grace when the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup in 2011. However, with each passing year the fans have watched as top line talent has either walked(Jarome Iginla, Nathan Horton) or been shown the door(Tyler Seguin) due to being strapped for cash. Based off the strong reaction from fans and writers such as CBSBoston.com’s Matt Kalman, it seems like Chiarelli’s public standing has declined in the last year.

Chiarelli is shrewd and stubborn in his approach to managing this roster; one has to look no further than the trading of Tyler Seguin to see how much system and fit seem to outweigh talent and skill when setting up a team. Fitting the system has been a staple of the Chiarelli regime since he took over as general manager. Granted, it has resulted in a lot of positive developments such as great team chemistry as well as being the deepest and perhaps most balanced team in the league over the last few years.

However, if you look at the rosters of other elite or balanced teams in the league such as the Los Angeles Kings or Chicago Blackhawks, you will see that amongst the depth and balance lies pure skill and goal scoring ability. Chiarelli has yet to draft or acquire and retain a player who does that on a consistent basis. What’s even worse is that the Bruins do not seem to be in a rush to integrate a player like this into their system.

Whether it’s been a reluctance to stray even the slightest bit away from the Bruins style of play or the overvaluing of players; flaws that have been present since the early beginnings of his tenure are starting to shine brighter now. People forget how tenuous Chiarelli’s job security was entering the 2011 playoffs and entering game seven against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Another early exit from the playoffs for a team who has built the expectation to make at least the conference finals could put Chiarelli at the doorstep of losing his job with the Bruins.

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Tags: Boston Bruins Featured NHL Offseason Peter Chiarelli Popular

  • someguy47

    I am really getting sick of this nonsense from you know-it-all bloggers! Yeah, get rid of Chiarelli, the guy who built one of the top teams in the league from scratch, and while you are at it, get rid of everybody he’s brought into the team, including Chara, Rask, Lucic, Marchand, Krejci, and even his boss Cam Neely. Then you’d have what you appear to want: a sucky team that you could really sink your teeth into with your moronic criticism! I hate this time of year. It brings out the amateur “management” fans who always think the other teams players are “greener grass.” I can’t wait for hockey to start again. You know, that game they play on the ice, not in boardrooms?

    • George Costanza III

      You mean as opposed to know it all guys like you that can’t see a team trending downward or did you
      like watching the Bruins get smoked by Chicago in a couple of minutes or vs Montreal that was even more pathetic or the Cap management brought to you by Chiarelli. Chiarelli brought Chara Great move
      Chiarelli drafted Lucic and Marchand Great moves. Chiarelli trades for Kaberle,jagr were wastes of
      high draft choices that we could have used to provide talent so that we don’t need washed up old men
      on this team. Trading for Horton and then letting him walk, letting Thomas walk getting nothing in return
      Dumb and Dumber. Tim Thomas stood on his head and we won the cup since then we trending the
      wrong way and if you are to blind or biased to see that to bad. You know what if you can’t manage the
      cap then hire someone that can, lots of GM’S in other sports have cap specialists.

      • someguy47

        I love hockey. I love my team, the Bruins. A team I’ve followed for 43 years, and a team I saw struggle pathetically for over a decade before the present management came along. I can remember a time when solid consistent goaltending was something unheard of in the black and gold. My team isn’t just some colors to me, and it doesn’t just happen to be the NHL team in my hometown. I love my team because It’s made of great people, like Bobby Orr, The Chief, Big Z, Patrice Bergeron, and yes, even Peter Chiarelli. I don’t expect them to win the cup every year! I want them to be good enough to be a contender year in and year out. All I ask is that they play hard and give their all. We have been blessed with one of the best teams in 90 years of hockey history, and you dullards think it’s not good enough? You think you can fix it? Get over yourselves and sit back enjoy one of the best hockey teams in the world. It seems some bruins fans have gotten pretty spoiled. Oh, and right, I’m the know it all. Yeah, that’s rich.

        • George Costanza III

          My first Bruins game was 1958 but my seniority over you does NOT make me any wiser.
          When the Jacobs bought this team and wouldn’t spend it was so bad that the National
          Media of two countries screamed foul. #77 was grossly underpaid for years and had to
          leave this team for a chance to win the Cup. When Chiarelli came from Ottawa he
          Brought Chara with him,great moves as well as drafting Lucic and Marchand.
          Finally Jacobs had opened his checkbook. I see you didn’t put Thomas and Horton
          on your list of great Bruins. I thought they played a big role in winning the Cup,silly me.
          Everyone on that team got paid EXCEPT for Thomas and Horton who both walked
          I wonder why. Rask was a good caddy for Thomas, Rask is a product of the system.
          Rask got paid, Thomas did NOT. In big series Rask vs Philly coming back from 0-3
          Rask vs Chicago and the electric two minutes where Rask saved the day NOT.
          Rask vs Montreal game 6 Bruins 0 Montreal 4 and game 7 Montreal 3 Bruins 1.
          Chiarelli bet on the wrong horse in choosing Rask over Thomas.
          Chiarelli traded Three 1st round picks one 2nd rd one 3rd rd for Kaberle,Jagr and
          Horton and Campbell who all but Campbell left with the Bruins getting zip in return.
          Chiarelli Salary Cap Guru,Cap hell brought to by Peter Chiarelli,whats not to like.

          • Duncan Day

            Right now, the Bruins are a good team, playoff caliber. I don’t think it’s a matter of Chiarelli and the decisions he’s made. It’s getting over that hump, it’s figuring out ways to play a complete postseason series…

          • someguy47

            Right. That, and winning a cup means beating four very good teams with different matchups and different systems. It doesn’t mean anything what round you are eliminated in! The Habs wanted to beat the Bruins with every fiber of their being. The Bs were the better team, but the habs got the better of them. But even then, had Seidenberg and McQuaid been healthy, I have no doubt the Bruins would have won the series. Even Kelly would have put them over the top, because it was the habs PP that beat them, and a lot of bloggers seem to have completely mgorgotten that Kelly is one of the best PK guys in the NHL. The bottom line is that the Bruins came within a few games of winning the cup last year, and were good enough to win it this year. People can hold it against them for not winning it all, but I think those people are underestimating just how difficult it is to win a cup. The fact is that this team is one of the top teams in the league and there is no reason to believe it is going downhill. That’s just people being thick and fickle.

          • John Valleau

            Under Chiarelli, the Bruins won a Stanley Cup and contend every season. Had Bergeron stayed healthy in 2013 and Seidenberg stayed healthy this season, we could have won three Cups. I am tried of these people who whine about a general manager that consistently puts his team in a position to win.

          • George Costanza III

            What a crock of b/s thats all you got the Bruins had guys with boo boo’s, PLEASE
            Montreal wanted to win and the Bruins didn’t thats what you said, So Chiarelli players
            scratch that Chiarelli overpaid players, with the Goalie leading the way didn’t have the
            desire that Montreals coaching staff and team leaders brought out in their players that
            the Bruins could not match! Please don’t tell the Blackhawks and Kings how hard it is
            to win more than one cup or they might have to give one back each. But the Blackhawks and Kings did hold on to the players that were most important to winning
            MORE THAN ONE CUP, Toews,Kane and Quick and Carter and paid them.
            Not us Thomas (MVP in case you forgot) and Horton (beat Montreal etc) they not only
            didn’t get paid they got shown the door. So tell me Who took their place?? Jagr?
            Iginla? Rask? nope nope and nope.

          • bruinfan

            Thomas did get resigned and PC got crap for that at the time or do you forget about that. Horton chose not to resign so what the hell are you talking about. Get some facts not conjecture. Remember the Blackhawks two cups came with different goalies. Those two teams won because of their core players playing to their potential. They also lost in the playoffs too in between those wins so stop bitching.

          • someguy47

            Dude, you are either trolling or mental.

          • bruinfan

            Thomas and Horton aren’t great Bruins that is probably why he did not list them. They played here for a short period here and all the other people he named are synonymous with the Black and Gold.

      • Bratista

        Agreed! Tim Thomas was a superb goaltender and we let him slip out of our roster in favor of Rask. Yeah, Rask can goaltend, but not when it really matters.

        And letting Horty walk? Another terrible move.

        Chiarelli should go.

        • someguy47

          Perhaps you are trying to be ironic. Just in case you aren’t, Tim Thomas refused to play his last season and signed with another team once he became a free agent. He’s too old to play now. Horton decided he’d get a bigger paycheck with fewer expectations elsewhere, so he walked too. Even if they had matched the other teams offers, and even assuming Horty would have stayed, which is unlikely, they’d just be in a deeper cap hole today, and bloggers like this guy would be claiming he was overpaid and that… Chiarelli should go.

          • Bratista

            Thomas brought a cup to Boston and then got a bunch of bs from fairweather fans because he wouldn’t go to the Whitehouse and had an off-season. No surprise that he left a city that had turned it’s back on him.

            Chiarelli keeps making poor decisions and the Bruins keep getting their cup dreams dashed.

          • someguy47

            Now you are just being intentionally stupid. You claimed that Chiarelli made the poor decision to let him go, and now you claim it was something else, yet you still say he makes poor decisions.

            And you know what? You are right! Chiarelli makes very poor decisions, from the point of view of you habs fans.

          • George Costanza III

            But the bottom line is in three defining series Bruins 3 wins Philly 0 wins then Philly 4 wins and Bruins 3 wins then the fun filled two minutes vs Chicago and for the grand
            finale Montreal 7 Bruins 1 the last two games Rask has failed. The end of the last two
            years Chara has looked old and slow, could the Bruins have rested him at the end of
            the regular season? YUP just like Chicago did this year with Kane and Toews (oops I’m hurt) and LA Doughty (oops i’m hurt too) but not Chiarelli he’s much to smart for that.
            Chiarelli for whatever the reasons LET Thomas and Horton Walk when their value was
            at its highest and got nothing back. Thats after trading Wideman and a 1st and 3rd
            draft picks for Horton and Campbell. Combine that with a stupid waste of a 1st round
            pick for Jagr. Then the GREATEST TRADE in hockey history Bruins get Tomas Kaberle
            from Toronto for Joe Colborne a former Bruins 1st round pick plus a 1st round pick
            and a second round pick. For a bum Kaberle who Chiarelli as his track record has shown then let walk away for no return. So thats THREE 1st round ONE 2nd and ONE
            3rd round picks and all we got to show for them is Campbell. WOW
            All this while running the Bruins salary cap to the ground while not paying the two players that did the most to win the cup in Thomas and Horton. I don’t care what their
            value is now its what it was then.

          • George Costanza III

            Maybe if Thomas and Horton got paid for being big factors in winning the Cup they
            wouldn’t have walked. You understand the Bruins have much more Power to control
            the media or frame the story than the players. Because if the player speaks he’s
            just a disgruntled employee and what other team wants to sign/trade for that.

          • someguy47

            You guys know there’s a salary cap, right? Because all your whining and complaining about not paying players is completely ignoring it. Unlike you, Chiarelli can’t ignore it. So far he’s done his level best to keep the core group together under extreme circumstances. All this whining is sending the signal that this is the wrong strategy. I don’t want to see this team gutted! Thomas and Horton left for their own reasons, and nothing short of a time machine would have allowed Chiarelli to see that coming. This summer Chiarelli could have traded Lucic or Bergeron or Krejci or Marchand, and he’d have been able to keep Iginla and perhaps sign a free agent. He chose not to do that, and I applaud that move. What you guys don’t get is when you call for getting rid of Chiarelli, you are in fact calling for the dismantling of the team. This is HIS TEAM. There is no way that makes sense. Look at how Iginla fit in on the top line. Was he a superstar? No! He was just another Bruin. You watch, he’s going to have a huge season next year. So why is that? It’s because he was dropped into a Bruin team filled with superstars like Lucic and Krejci! Only some people, like the blogger here, can’t seem to see that. In their view, the players on the other teams will always be better.

          • George Costanza III

            You don’t want to see this team gutted. It already was but you like the Bruins version
            you know the one where they say JUST LOOK AT OUR SHOCKED FACES.
            Bottom line is this No Thomas and Horton No Cup. Chiarelli has a history of letting
            players walk with no return unlike anything the Patriots,Sox,Celtics have ever done.
            Thomas,Horton,Jagr,Iginla,Kaberle all walked away inspired by Chiarelli.
            I notice when you talk about who Chiarelli could have traded you don’t mention the
            most obvious choices that would make sense like CHARA,RASK both would bring
            good/great returns both would alter the Cap Hell Chiarelli created. But both will walk
            away and we get Zip, wanna bet.

          • bruinfan

            Two players who wanted to leave means a team was gutted. Go back to Montreal and cheer on your Canadians.

          • bruinfan

            Thomas walked while under contract and Horton said at the get go of free agency he would not resign. PAY ATTENTION

          • George Costanza III

            Easy for you say how why both players left, you talked to them? who frames the story
            the Bruins or the players. Why couldn’t we have traded them its been done before once
            or twice, and maybe helped the cap hell that Chiarelli CAUSED.

          • bruinfan

            You could not be more correct.

  • Bratista

    Dump Chiarelli! He has already cleaned house of most of our talent, don’t let him take any more!
    I can’t believe he got rid of Thornton (not the biggest scorer, but a big guy on the ice who could score and that’s worth a lot, not to mention he really fit Boston). And now they are discussing getting rid of Boychuk? And to let Thomas go in favor of Rask was a bad move too.

    Chiarelli is managing the Bruins right back into the team that couldn’t even make the f***ing playoffs. How about pulling it together and winning another cup?