Chiarelli’s best decision as Bruins GM: Hiring Claude Julien.


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Peter Chiarelli was re-signed last week to a four year contract extension.  Chiarelli has been one of the major factors in the restoration of the Bruins legacy. While some people are less than thrilled with his skills in draft selections, overall he has been a major boon to Bruins Nation. His leadership and administrative skills has re-ignited the Bruins competitive spirit and has restored the Black and Gold to the status of perennial Stanley Cup contender.

At the press conference where his extension was announced,  he was asked what his greatest accomplishment in his tenure as Bruins general manager. I would have assumed that it would have been winning the Stanley Cup. Well, I was wrong.  “I’ve got to say the single biggest thing was hiring Claude.” Chiarelli said. “He came off of being fired twice and there were a lot of questions about him so I knew he would be receptive to things. So obviously I knew what he was like – receptive to things so he could evolve with the rest of us.”

Claude Julien had been fired twice in his coaching career. Strangely enough, he had led both of his previous teams (the Montreal Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils) to winning records. The Devils’ general manager Lou Lamoriello thought he could do a better job than Julien. (The loss to the Senators and the lack of serious post-season play since 2007 proved how wrong they were in that aspect.) As for the Canadiens, well they’re the Canadiens. They reward divers and punish success.

The tandem combination of Peter Chiarelli as general manager and Claude Julien as head coach has been amazing. Julien has re-defined how the Bruins play on ice. He’s put together a team that plays a strong two-way, defensive minded game.  He has used players like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci and uses his system to play to their strengths. (It helps that they can be everywhere and do anything.) Chiarelli has been amazing at looking at the big picture for the Bruins. For every Joe Corvo trade he has made, he has made several successful trades for Boston. (Not to mention giving fans another reason to thank Kessel.)

These two gentlemen have restored the Bruins to their champion status. Chiarelli’s hiring gave us direction, and his hiring of Julien has made the team what they are today.