Don’t expect major changes to the Bruins next season. That was the message from general manager Peter Chiarelli on Friday, and that continued to be the message from president Cam Neely and owner Jeremy Jacobs on Tuesday.
“We did have a great regular season, we fell short in the second round, which disappoints everybody,” Neely said. “We’re going to reevaluate where we think we could improve upon and look at that as opposed to major overhauls, so to speak.
“When you have the regular season we had, especially that stretch from March into April, that wasn’t luck. We were a good team, and we still feel we have a good team. Maybe need a few tweaks.”
Echoed Jacobs, “This was sort of a tale of two seasons. We had the best team in the National Hockey League during the regular season. It was our expectation to carry that on forward and it didn’t happen.
The team owner said he has “a great deal of confidence in the management.”
“As they look to organize this going forward, I don’t think they’re looking at a massive change,” he said. “I think they’re looking at tweaking it, as opposed to doing any serious change.”
Asked the reason the team couldn’t beat the Canadiens, Neely said, “I think we got away from playing how we need to play to be successful, for whatever reason. I don’t want to take anything away from how Montreal played. They played a great series against us.
“But we didn’t play our type of hockey that you saw during the course of the regular season, especially at the end of the season. We weren’t getting pucks in properly, weren’t getting them in deep, weren’t able to create any kind of cycle game that we normally do.
“We didn’t have multiple opportunities when we were in the zone. It was usually one-and-done and, for us, when you look at a team and the way we play, we’re a team that usually can wear other teams down and create more scoring opportunities, which we just didn’t do.”
Benning leaving Bruins?
There was a report from TSN Tuesday morning that assistant general manager Jim Benning is headed to Vancouver to be the Canucks new general manager. Benning has been with the Bruins for eight years, and has spent seven as the assistant GM.
Neely confirmed that the club had given Benning permission to talk to other teams.
“We have given permission for Jim to talk,” Neely said. “He’s talked to a couple different teams. That’s what happens when you have success, that other teams look at other organizations that have had success and start inquiring about your management group. It’s something that a lot of good organizations have had to deal with over time and we’re dealing with that right now.”
Top line staying intact?
One of the areas the Bruins don’t seem to want to tweak is their top line, with Neely saying that they would like to figure out how to get something done with Jarome Iginla, who is an unrestricted free agent.