Bruins confirm McIntyre will leave university

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Boston Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney confirmed Zane McIntyre will leave the University of North Dakota.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first hinted McIntyre may leave school last week.

McIntyre, who was this year’s Mike Richter Award winner as the top NCAA goalie, had a 29-10-3 record this season to go along with 2.05 G.A.A. and a .929 save percentage.

The 22-year-old was also finalist for the Hobey Baker award this season.

McIntyre was the Bruins sixth-round selection (165th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Related: Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins

Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins

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Cam Neely spoke last month about the big, bad “identity” of the Boston Bruins, and how getting away from that identity had made them not as “tough to play against as we’d like to be.”

And so it was no surprise when new general manager Don Sweeney, flanked by Neely, spoke today about getting back to that identity, in hopes of returning to the playoffs and competing for a Stanley Cup.

“We’re not as far away as people may think,” Sweeney said. “We have to get back, a little bit, the aggressiveness that was lost in our group.”

Sweeney suggested that the Bruins, having won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and gone to the finals in 2013, had grown “stagnant” or overly “comfortable” with their mix.

Not anymore, he promised.

“There will be some changes going forward,” he said. “There will be personnel changes. There will be staff member changes.”

On that note, Sweeney did not commit to keeping head coach Claude Julien.

“I have some things that I want to sit down with Claude and go through in a very orderly fashion, as to where I think things need to change, and what direction we need to change as a group,” said Sweeney.

“So it’s just about lining up philosophical approaches that I believe in, that he believes in, and that we can move the group forward.”

Sweeney, the longtime Bruins defenseman who’s been in the front office since 2006, was asked about the importance of returning to the “style” that people have come to expect from the organization.

“I think it’s incredibly important,” he said. “It’s one thing to throw the words ‘culture’ and ‘identity’ around, it’s another to live it, breathe it, and teach it.”

Of course, it’s still another thing to assemble the players to be successful with that style.

Or any style, really.

Because the Bruins did not win the Stanley Cup in 2011 by aggression alone. To suggest they did would be to ignore the actual hockey-playing performances they received from the likes of Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Nathan Horton, Mark Recchi, and the list goes on.

That team, big and bad as it was, had a lot more than toughness going for it. An elite goalie. An elite defenseman, still in his prime. An elite two-way center. A scoring center. Depth on defense. Four lines that all contributed. Energetic youngsters. Veteran leaders. And on top of all that, the Bruins stayed relatively healthy through 25 hard-fought playoff games.

The 2014-15 roster still had some of those things. But it did not have all of those things.

Conceded Sweeney: “I think it would’ve taken a lot of things to fall our way for us to be in a position to challenge this year.”

So…a lot of things on Sweeney’s plate.

That includes throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at tonight’s Boston Red Sox game.

Welcome to the spotlight.

Related: Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs

Bruins name Don Sweeney as new general manager

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The Boston Bruins looked inward to replace Peter Chiarelli as Don Sweeney has been announced as the team’s new general manager.

Sweeney, 48, is a former NHL defenseman that spent the vast majority of his 1,115-game career with Boston. He also has nine seasons worth of experience within the Bruins’ front office, including his service as an assistant general manager for the last six years. Before that he served as the team’s Director of Player Development and then Director of Hockey Operations.

Among his duties as an assistant general manager was overseeing the development of the Bruins’ prospects at every level. In 2014 he also took over as the general manager of AHL Providence.

”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 Bruins president Cam 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.”

Before selecting Sweeney, the Bruins reportedly considered former Capitals GM George McPhee. They also had interest in Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton, but Glen Sather wouldn’t give permission for any to interview him during New York’s playoff run. At one point Ray Shero was linked to the Bruins as well, but he became the New Jersey Devils’ general manager.

Report: Sinden has role expanded in Bruins GM search

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Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Sinden, who coached the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1970, has reportedly had his “senior advisor” role expanded in the wake of Peter Chiarelli’s firing — and is now helping in the club’s subsequent search for a new GM.

From the Boston Herald:

According to a well-informed NHL source, team owner Jeremy Jacobs, concerned that both son Charlie and Neely lack experience running an NHL franchise, also has asked the 82-year-old Sinden to play a larger role than in recent years.

Sinden might be involved in the selection of the new GM. That, of course, is widely expected to be assistant GM Don Sweeney.

In addition to his stints as head coach, Sinden served as Boston’s GM for 28 years and 17 as club president (a role he undertook in 1989.) It wasn’t until the summer of 2006 when he “retired” into his current consulting role which, according to the Herald, had Sinden frequently working out of his second home in Florida.

“I think [Jacobs] just wanted someone to be a sounding board and an advisor,” a source told the Herald.

Boston’s search for a new GM has been methodical thus far. Sweeney is the leading (and, importantly, the in-house) candidate, but the club appears to be leaving no stone unturned; Boston has already interviewed former Caps GM George McPhee and was reportedly denied permission to speak with Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton.

Report: Bruins interviewed former Caps GM McPhee

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Former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee (aka “GMGM”) is at least being interviewed for a couple GM openings, as HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned on Saturday.

It’s unclear how serious the Toronto Maple Leafs may be, but CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty believes that the Boston Bruins are more interested in B’s assistant GM Don Sweeney or New York Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton:

In other words, there’s no good reason to disassociate from the sense that Sweeney and Gorton are the two main people of interest for the B’s GM job with the current Boston assistant GM as the expected choice.

If a team is looking for experience, McPhee is the right man for the job. He spent a whopping 17 seasons as the Capitals’ general manager, enjoying the sort of longevity that’s truly rare in the NHL and sports in general (few beyond fellow ex-Caps GM David Poile can relate).

Again, Haggerty indicates that McPhee might not be a leading candidate for the Bruins’ gig. Still, last summer showed the front office situations can change on a dime, so we’ll see.

More Bruins front office rumblings

Rangers haven’t granted Gorton permission just yet

Bruins are interested

Boston fired Peter Chiarelli in April; fired scouts too