Peter Chiarelli was the General Manger of the Bruins during their magical 2011 Stanley Cup Championship run. If not for the many Bill Belichick-esque moves he made in his nine year tenure with the Bruins, they would never have hoisted Lord Stanley’s cup five years ago.
Chiarelli drafted huge contributors beyond the first round of the draft in Milan Lucic at 50th overall (2nd round) and Brad Marchand at 71st overall (3rd round). He used free agency to capture impact players like Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard who changed the culture of the team. He made crafty trades like flipping the highly inconsistent goalie Andrew Raycroft for goalie of the future Tuukka Rask and deadline deals to acquire Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley which added much needed depth to spur them to the Cup. He fleeced the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel deal that netted two first round picks that turned into Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. These deals sound a lot like they were made by the “hooded one” down in Foxboro or “trader Danny” over by the parquet floor at the TD Garden.
But I will forever have a bad taste in my mouth about the many questionable moves he made in the final years of his tenure. Sports are a “what have you done for me lately” business and Chiarelli was taking loses fast.
Trading budding super star Seguin to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson and three prospects (Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser) was just plain stupid. Only Morrow is left on the team from this trade and doesn’t make anywhere near enough of an impact to justify Chiarelli in pulling the trigger. Chiarelli then traded the young budding defenseman Hamilton for future picks. At this point, I’m ready to storm into the GMs office to protest these preposterous moves. That Kessel trade which promised a bright future for the Bruins was all for naught. These two possible young cornerstones being traded for a useless washing machine never sat well with me.
Chiarelli was fired in 2015 and replaced by Don Sweeney. Sweeney has a chance to right the perceived wrongs of Chiarelli with young winger David Pastrnak. He has propelled himself to the top line in the Bruins lineup and racked up 34 goals and 70 points this past season. This sniper deserves a serious raise. Sweeney has offered “Pasta” a 6 year $36 million contract with a 7th year option. This is not the deal Pastrnak was hoping for.
Interestingly enough, Chiarelli, the GM of the Edmonton Oilers now, signed center Leon Draisaitl to an eight year, $68 million dollar contract. He is still affecting the Bruins from the northern side of the border. Pastrnak has to believe he has earned a similar looking contract to Draisaitl because their stats are comparable. This is where Sweeney needs to prove his worth.
The Bruins cannot keep moving on from young talent. Guys like that don’t grow on trees. Pay Pastrnak already! That dude has earned it and will be a Top 6 forward for a very long time. I will never trust a Bruins GM if they keep moving on WAY too soon from young guys who can change a team. This is a transitional year for the Bruins with a squad filled with youngsters and seasoned veterans and there needs to be organizational commitment to long term improvement. Pastrnak is in that long-term plan and Sweeney needs to show him the money to keep the Bruins trending in the right direction.