BOSTON – The Bruins have signed general manager Peter Chiarelli, who built the team that reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice in three years, to a four-year contract extension that would keep him in Boston through the 2017-18 season.
Chiarelli, 49, will enter his eighth season with Boston when training camp opens next month. The Bruins have qualified for the playoffs in six of his first seven years, compiling a 50-35 post-season record and winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The Bruins will hold a press conference with Chiarelli on Friday.
Boston has compiled a 291-187-62 record with Chiarelli in the front office, and has had five seasons of 90 points or more.
Chiarelli will also continue on as alternate governor on the NHL’s Board of Governors, the team said Thursday. He is also a member of the Team Canada management group for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Team Canada—easily one of the favourites for Sochi—is coming off winning gold in 2010 in Vancouver.
Under Chiarelli, the Bruins have gone 291-187-62 in the regular season. The former Harvard hockey captain spent seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators, the last two as the assistant GM, before joining the Bruins in 2006.
Last season, despite the departure of goaltender Tim Thomas—whose rights he eventually traded to the New York Islanders—Chiarelli again was creative with a roster that won the Eastern Conference. He acquired forward Jaromir Jagr late in the shortened season from the Dallas Stars, and watched a solid mix of youth and experience defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games in the Stanley Cup Finals.
“The ending wasn’t fun, and I still don’t feel good about it,” Chiarelli said this summer in his end-of-season press conference. “None of us feel good about it, but my job as a manager is to look at this season and this group from 30,000 feet and to evaluate and to make decisions going forward.
“And at the end of the day, I can tell you that I really liked what I saw.”
Chiarelli then tackled a busy off-season, where he re-signed goaltender Tuukka Rask and forward Patrice Bergeron. He added free agent forward Jarome Iginla, a veteran right wing, who the Bruins nearly acquired during the season before Iginla instead accepted a deal to Pittsburgh. He also traded centres Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and defenceman Ryan Button to the Stars for a package of players, highlighted by forward Loui Eriksson.
“I would expect to ice a team or build a team that would be a perennial contender every year. That doesn’t change,” Chiarelli said in June. “There’s a challenge with the lower (salary) cap and I think you’ll see that challenge throughout the league. We’re no different than anyone else, but we feel confident that if we have to move a player or two or not sign somebody, we feel confident with the core we have that we’ll be able to find players or have players in the mix already that can fill that spot.”
The Bruins went 28-14-6 in the shortened season and snared the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. They allowed just 109 goals—second only to Ottawa in the Northeast Division—and return many players who have seen action in 13 Stanley Cup Finals games since 2011.
“We got a real good core,” Chiarelli said this summer. “We plan to contend for a Cup again.”