BOSTON – The Boston Bruins have signed general manager Peter Chiarelli to a contract extension, rewarding the architect who built the team with the second-best record in the NHL last season.
The Bruins announced the deal on Monday and scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to discuss it. At the team’s wrapup meeting with the media last month, owner Jeremy Jacobs said, “When we hired Peter, we didn’t hire him for four years. We hired him for the remainder of his professional career.”
“Peter has grown immensely in the last few years,” Jacobs said then. “We want to see him around long term and I think that’s his objective as well.”
Chiarelli had one year remaining on the four-year contract he signed in 2006. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
The Bruins went 53-19-10 this season, good for the third-most wins in franchise history and a 22-point improvement over 2007-08. Boston’s 196 goals-against and plus-78 goal differential led the NHL.
In the post-season, the Bruins swept the archrival Montreal Canadiens to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time in a decade, but lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime of the seventh game.
In three seasons under Chiarelli, the Bruins are 129-89-28.
“There’s a gnawing at the back of my head that isn’t normally there, and it’s about this last playoff series, it’s about this season, and it’s about unfinished business,” Chiarelli told reporters after the team was eliminated from the playoffs.
“We’re still all collectively disappointed with the way it ended. I think what’s important to note is that, throughout the course of the year, the level of expectation has risen and risen and risen, and that’s a good thing. The fact that we’re disappointed here today, while it doesn’t feel good, it bodes well for the future.”
Chiarelli, who was voted NHL Executive of the Year by a Sporting News poll of his peers, made several key acquisitions in his time in Boston, including Norris Trophy finalist Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Michael Ryder, Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler. He is also the person who brought head coach Claude Julien, a finalist for this year’s coach of the year award, to Boston.