Home > NHL, Once Upon a Time, Op-Eds > Boston Bruins fire Peter Chiarelli.

Boston Bruins fire Peter Chiarelli.

I guess my first question, since this news will be a day old by the time you probably read this (all one of you) and it would therefore read better as an op-ed, is “why?” Because, like, what?

I mean, let’s go over the facts here. Sure, Chiarelli seemed to hate teams that scored goals. So much so that he traded a young, cost controlled guy in a salary cap league (more on that a little later) for no apparent reason other than because his approach to the game was “score goals.” What the heck, dude? But the team won underneath him. This is the first time the team missed the postseason since the first year after the last lockout, when they were undergoing a rebuild to adapt to the new salary format after said lockout and make it all better. In that time they reached the finals twice and actually won their first cup since the 1970s, which I’m guessing is a period a good 70% of the current fanbase can’t even remember. He signed Zdeno Chara, tied up important dudes like David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron for the long term, and repeatedly ripped off the Maple Leafs in hilarious fashion. Not really a tenure I’m going to look back on altogether unfondly.

There is the team’s frustrating, anal-retentive obsession with “defensive hockey” that persisted through most of his term. I’ll admit that when things were going good, defensive hockey seemed nice. When things were bad, well, the Bruins’ failure to put anything in the damn net and general wasting of every opportunity they got to do so seemed like the most frustrating on the face of the earth. The Seguin trade is the capstone of this. Maybe he was traded because Charlie Jacobs is a senile old plutocrat horrified that The Young Folks don’t live by an absurd moral code that I’m sure even he and his contemporaries don’t follow. Or maybe he was traded because a good offensive player (you might even perhaps say one of the top ones, if you, I don’t know, looked at the league scoring race) because He Didn’t Fit Into Our System. Why the fuck was defense so important than the team couldn’t even consider inching towards a different style of hockey, at the expense of one of it’s brightest young talents? Who knows. Nowadays people toss around the term “outdated” to describe the Bruins play style, pointing to the Rangers team that won the President’s Trophy this year (remember that thing?) or the Canadiens team that outran the B’s all season long. I don’t know about outdated, but I think we could all agree that the Bruins needed a retooling. On the ice. Bad teams do bad and good teams do good, guys! How long is it going to take for some new guy to right the ship? Please don’t let that new guy be Mike Millbury. Oh God please.

I guess in the end you could just as well say that Chiarelli was an above-average general manager good at cycling talent in and out in a salary cap league where such an ability might in fact be the most important talent a GM can have. Sure he sucked at finding offense, but why fire a GM who got this team into the postseason almost every year that he was here? This was always vaguely pegged as a rebuilding year anyway. I don’t get it. Hopefully the Bruins aren’t about to nosedive over a cliff thanks to ownership meddling, management fads, and general incompetence. If they are, I hope to remember my parachute.

UPDATE: Damn, I forgot it. *SPLASH*

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