One month after firing general manager Peter Chiarelli on April 15, the Bruins have promoted assistant GM Don Sweeney to replace his former boss.
The 48-year-old Sweeney becomes the organization’s eighth GM and second straight Harvard alum to hold the position. Sweeney was the team’s assistant GM for the last six seasons.
“I am both excited and humbled for the opportunity to be named the general manager of the Boston Bruins,” Sweeney said in a team news release. “I am fully aware of everyone’s expectations to move the organization forward. The challenges ahead rests with the players, the coaches and the management group to work hard to make the necessary changes to bring the Bruins back to the forefront of contending for the Stanley Cup.”
Sweeney will further discuss his promotion at a news conference at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
His primary responsibilities have been in player development. In 2014-15, Sweeney assumed the title of Providence GM and was in charge of hockey operations for the AHL franchise. For the last eight summers, Sweeney has overseen the team’s annual development camp. Veterans David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Brad Marchand, and Milan Lucic are among the players who participated in the camp.
Sweeney has also worked on contract negotiations and scouting. He was part of the group responsible for identifying and signing Torey Krug as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State.
Sweeney will report to president Cam Neely, his former teammate. Sweeney and Neely played together for parts of eight seasons.
“Don has excelled in every role he has been in with the Bruins organization and has a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of our hockey operations department,” said Neely. “His commitment and drive to bring a championship caliber team to the Boston fans was evident every step of the way through this search process, and I am confident that his leadership of our hockey operations department will lead to success.”
Sweeney was also an ex-teammate of Chiarelli. Sweeney played at Harvard with Chiarelli for three seasons. Sweeney was an admissions officer at Phillips Andover Academy in 2006 when Chiarelli hired his former college teammate to serve as the team’s director of player development.
Sweeney played in 1,115 career games, all but 63 with the Bruins. He concluded his NHL career in 2003-04 after playing 63 games with Dallas. The defenseman scored 52 goals and had 221 assists. In Boston, Sweeney made his living as Ray Bourque’s stay-at-home partner.
Sweeney is a native of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. He was drafted by the Bruins in the eighth round of the 1984 draft. He attended St. Paul’s in Concord, N.H., before enrolling at Harvard.Follow Fluto Shinzawa on Twitter at @GlobeFluto