Boston Bruins: It’s Cam Neely’s Team Now


With Peter Chiarelli’s departure from the Boston Bruins, there is a power vacuum at the TD Garden. That empty space is being currently filled by Bruins President Cam Neely.  At the moment, all department heads in hockey operations are reporting to him as the team looks to replace their general manager.

Cam Neely wasn’t happy with how the team performed.  Neely felt that the team wasn’t the ‘Big, Bad Bruins’ anymore. It certainly wasn’t the new and improved speed team that they were trying to make happen this season.

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“I think maybe we got away a little bit from our identity that we had in the past,” said Neely on the current state of the Bruins. “I don’t think we were as hard a team to play against as we like to be, and we were in the past. I thought that got us some success. Our transition game probably needs some improvement, so getting the puck out of our end, through the neutral zone. I think we’ve got to find ways to create some more offense.”

“I think we’re a team that could create offense, and we’ve shown that in the past. I think it’s just our transition game from our zone and coming out of our zone. It made us look a little bit slower than we were. We didn’t really have . . . we had less opportunities off the rush than we normally do. Those are things that we can certainly change. Obviously our bread and butter, our strength, is keeping the puck out of the net, but we also have to find ways to create some offense.”

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  • “As you have success and those players get better and you have to pay them more, you need those (lower-paid) entry-level players to come in and be able to have an impact,” said Neely of his plans for the next phase of the Bruins. “It’s expensive to always get ready-made players. It’s a nice luxury to be able to have, but when you don’t have the cap space to be able to do that, you’ve got to find entry-level players.”

    David Pastrnak fills the mold perfectly for Neely’s new vision in Boston. Now it comes down to making the best of the Bruins rough cap situation. That’s why players like Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille got the heave-ho.  The Bruins will need to re-sign proven players who can score for the Bruins (like Ryan Spooner). They’ll also need to get a contract to Dougie Hamilton who will be entering free-agency.

    Whoever ends up with the general manager’s slot (and perhaps the head coaching job), they’ll be expected to move the team forward. With Cam Neely’s stamp of approval, the Bruins will come back surging in the 2015-16 season.

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