To an outsider, it seems almost insane that a team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011, made it back to the finals in 2013, then won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2014 could in 2015 be on the verge of firing its coach, Claude Julien, and GM, Peter Chiarelli.
Reading that over, maybe it is insane.
It sort of sounds insane, right?
But that continues to be the speculation in Boston, where Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely are, according to the Boston Globe, willing to “make Chiarelli (hired in 2006) and Julien (2007) pay the price” for the club’s disappointing 2014-15 campaign.
“Whether it’s Cam or Charlie who said we’re all under review, I understand that,” Chiarelli told the newspaper. “We’ve had a lot of success here in my tenure and Claude’s tenure. We’re having a down year. It’s unfortunate that we’re under review for one year. But I understand. We’ve got to make things better.”
To be sure, Chiarelli has made some questionable decisions. Just before the start of the season, he traded defenseman Johnny Boychuk due to salary-cap constraints — the same constraints that meant the loss of free-agent winger Jarome Iginla.
At the time, the Boychuk trade was one Chiarelli conceded “doesn’t make us better now” but needed to be done. Except, given how things have been going on the blue line lately, it’s fair to say the B’s have missed Boychuk in a big way. Perhaps more than they expected to.
Chiarelli, of course, also traded Tyler Seguin in a deal with Dallas that most feel the Bruins lost. So in reality, this isn’t just about one season. The Bruins haven’t drafted and developed particularly well under Chiarelli either.
As for Julien, well, maybe he’s just reaching the natural end of his tenure with one team. It happens to all coaches eventually. Look around the NHL and only Detroit’s Mike Babcock has been employed by the same team longer. All 28 other teams have made changes. Some have made multiple changes.
The Bruins could still turn their season around. But if they don’t — and especially if they miss the playoffs — as hard as it might be to believe, we may actually be witnessing the end of an era in Boston.
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