Bruins fire GM Peter Chiarelli

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015
ESPN

The Boston Bruins have fired general manager Peter Chiarelli after missing the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

The Bruins announced Chiarelli's firing in a statement Wednesday, saying that the move was "necessary in order to ensure sustainable success for the club both in the short term and the long term."

The Bruins also announced they have fired amateur scouts Mike Chiarelli (Peter's brother) and Denis Leblanc and European head scout Jukka Holtari. Mike Chiarelli had been with the team for seven seasons and was responsible for scouting in Ontario. Leblanc and Holtari had been with the team for eight seasons.

Coach Claude Julien and the rest of his staff "will remain in place at this time," the team said in the statement. The Bruins also will retain all of their current assistant general managers and player personnel staff, and will not name an interim GM.

"We are grateful for Peter's service to the Bruins organization over the last nine seasons," Bruins president Cam Neely said in the statement. "His efforts undoubtedly helped the team achieve great success during his tenure and he helped restore the proud tradition of Boston Bruins hockey."

The Bruins reached the playoffs seven times and won the Stanley Cup in 2011, their first championship in 39 years, in Chiarelli's nine seasons as general manager.

But they went 41-27-14 this season, finishing two points shy of a playoff berth.The team posted an overall regular-season record of 386-233-85 under Chiarelli.

"Tough to see him leave. It is the business that you are in, and we as players deserve some of the blame for today," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron told ESPNBoston.com. "Peter has helped me grow as a player and person over the years, and I wish him nothing but the best in the future."

The Bruins also reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2013 but lost to theBlackhawks. Boston won the Presidents' Trophy last season after finishing with the league's best regular-season point total but was eliminated by the rivalMontreal Canadiensin the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Bruins were hampered this season by injuries to defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton and center David Krejci. But Chiarelli also made two costly decisions last offseason.

After letting Jarome Iginla leave as a free agent, Chiarelli failed to replace his scoring potential, and the Bruins dropped from No. 3 in the NHL in goals scored to No. 23. He also traded defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders just before the season -- a salary-cap move that left the team short.

With one game left in the season, Chiarelli called it "a failure on everybody's part."

"But being a failure doesn't mean there has to be a complete overhaul of everything," he said.

A Harvard graduate, Chiarelli was the assistant GM in Ottawa when he was hired to take over the Bruins in 2006. Coach Dave Lewis lasted just one season, during which the team missed the playoffs, before Chiarelli hired Julien to replace him.

ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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