One Cup is clearly not enough.
And now, with Peter Chiarelli signed to a four-year extension, the Bruins general manager will have the long-term stability — through the 2017-2018 season — to try to bring another to Boston.
“We want to compete for the Stanley Cup every year,” Chiarelli said during a news conference Friday at TD Garden to announce the signing. “It’s my mandate, my charge, to do that. We have to be proactive in this cap world. We have to be aggressive.”
To get started on that road, Chiarelli emphasized the Bruins will have to revamp their amateur scouting, which hasn’t exactly produced the hoped-for results over his tenure. The general manager has already begun making moves toward that end, dismissing Wayne Smith as director of amateur scouting this summer. He said he would like to be able to integrate younger players with the experienced core the Bruins have put together to provide the Bruins with more salary cap flexibility, adding that the team will see an “influx of young players” this season.
“It’s a challenge everybody has, but we’re certainly going to face it head-on,” Chiarelli said.
And he has the backing of the Bruins to do so.
“He’s done a fantastic job as GM since he’s been here and certainly deserves the extension,” Bruins president Cam Neely said. “Pete’s done a really good job of keeping our core group together, identify the core groups, making sure that we lock them up. He’s done a really good job at understanding the type of player that our fan base really enjoys watching.”
Principal owner Charlie Jacobs said, in fact, it was a particularly easy negotiation to add the extra four years onto Chiarelli’s contract, which was set to expire at the end of the upcoming season. While the Bruins have been handing out long-term deals to their most important on-ice assets, they have now done the same in their front office.
“We committed over 100 million dollars in a matter of about a week just this summer to two players,” Jacob said, of deals given to center Patrice Bergeron and goalie Tuukka Rask. “I think that that speaks volumes about the amount of trust we place in not only Peter but his hockey operations department.”
Added Jacobs, “I feel very confident in the hockey minds that we have here running this franchise. We see this as an asset that is really Boston’s, and we’re just here as stewards.”
Chiarelli, of course, is the principal steward, and has been most responsible for getting the Bruins to the postseason in each of the last six years, including two trips to the Stanley Cup Final. Boston won the Cup in 2011 in seven games over the Canucks before losing in six to the Blackhawks last season.
That certainly wasn’t where the organization was when he first started.
“There were some hard decisions and there were sleepless nights, especially that first year,” said Chiarelli, 49. “To be consistent and to stick by your standards and to stick by your principles, eventually that trickles down and you start seeing the fruits of your labor. So you just stick to it, recognize trends and move quickly where it’s needed.”
And when asked what he was most proud of in his time in Boston, Chiarelli didn’t hesitate: “The single biggest thing was hiring Claude [Julien].”
With the move, the Bruins are getting a continued measure of stability. Chiarelli has already been with the organization for seven years, beginning in the summer of 2006, and now he has five more guaranteed on his contract. That’s important in building a winning team.
But there are also pitfalls with that.
“You have to continue to perform,” Chiarelli said. “You have to keep everybody on their toes. There’s stability, there’s strong leadership, but you have to keep everybody on their toes, especially in this cap world. You can be stable and proactive, and that’s what I’d like to think we do as a group.
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The Bruins announced the schedule and roster for their rookie camp, which begins Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. Attending the camp will be forwards Anthony Camara, Mitchell Dempsey, Campbell Elynuik, Alex Fallstrom, Justin Florek, Seth Griffith, Jayden Hart, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, Matthew Lindblad, Wayne Simpson, Ryan Spooner, and Maxime Villemaire; defensemen Mickael Beauregard, Chris Casto, Alex Cord, Tommy Cross, Jesse Lees, Steven Spinell, and Zach Trotman; and goalies Adam Morrison and Malcolm Subban. The rookies will play three games in Coral Springs, Fla., as part of their camp. On-ice rookie camp sessions are open to the public.