The New Boston Bruins GM Will Have a Lot of Work To Do

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The Boston Bruins knew as soon as they let Peter Chiarelli go, he’d quickly find another job in the NHL. Yesterday, he was named general manager and president of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers.

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What was Boston’s loss is certainly Edmonton’s gain. Chiarelli (as long as he doesn’t repeat his cap mistakes with the Oilers) will be able to turn around a team that has had serious talent, but has been bereft of solid leadership. Now, it’s Boston’s turn to find the right general manager to make several crucial decisions for the Black and Gold moving forward.

This is what the new general manager (signs are pointing to assistant GM Don Sweeney at the moment) will have to face in his first few days in office.

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  • Decision #1 – Keep or Fire Claude Julien. There are two separate but equally loud sections of the fan base when it comes to Julien. Half of the fans blame the Bruins woes solely on Chiarelli’s poor cap management and believe the Bruins bench boss was doomed by the GM’s choices. The other half argues that a lot of blame falls on him.  His biggest mistake was in refusing to play younger players who could generate offense in favor of his defensive system.

    Cam Neely seems to be in favor of letting Julien go. If Sweeney gets the job, then it’s pretty clear Julien will leave Boston.

    Decision#2 – Who to Keep In Free Agency. There are several players who won’t have a contract come July 1. The B’s are still in a tough cap situation, and will have to stretch every last dollar. The Bruins will need to figure out which players must stay in Boston (Dougie Hamilton), who should stay in Boston (Adam McQuaid), and which players should be thanked for their service and sent on their way (Matt Bartkowski).

    Decision#3 – Keep or Move Milan Lucic. If this question was posed two years ago, Bruins Nation would rise up in one voice and object on general principle. Now, it’s a question that deserves consideration. Lucic had a very disappointing season in Boston this year. Even with his poor numbers, his trade value would be extremely high. He’s a player that can help define a team. Quite a few teams would make seriously generous offers to have his talent.

    Decision#4 – Keep or Move Dennis Seidenberg. Dennis Seidenberg stated that he was willing to waive his no-trade clause if he was no longer wanted in Boston. The Bruins could certainly use the money to give them more breathing room when it comes to the cap ceiling.

    Decision#5 – What will the identity of the Bruins be? Will the Bruins go with a younger, faster set of forward lines? Can the Bruins continue to play defensive-minded hockey with the players they have now? Will the new GM be able to bring back the days of the ‘Big, Bad, Bruins’ or will he and the (possibly) new coach have a different game plan moving forward for 2015-16?

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