FOXBORO — On the eve of last season, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs declared then general manager Peter Chiarelli to be “the best in the business.”
Less than a year later, Chiarelli was fired, replaced by his top assistant, Don Sweeney.
“What a difference a year makes, huh?” Jacobs said yesterday with a slight smile.
Attending the Gillette Stadium press event for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic to be held between the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, Jacobs was for the first time addressing his club’s massive overhaul following the team’s 2014-15 finish out of the playoffs.
While he said that the decision to fire Chiarelli was mostly made by team president Cam Neely and his son Charlie, Delaware North’s CEO of its Boston holdings, he did support the move and the reasons behind it.
“We just found ourselves in a place we don’t want to be. It’s going to be a workout time. We had a change when we brought Cam in and Charlie, and they wanted a change. They thought we needed a change. They thought it was the right move for the franchise,” Jacobs said. “I think Peter is a great human being and a great hockey mind, and I think he’s going to prosper out west (in Edmonton). He’s got a great young team there. We were not in the same position.
“It’s a (salary) cap environment we find ourselves in here and you’ve got to look to the future. If you watch the success of the Chicago team, and I do admire them quite a bit, they dealt with their high-priced players early on and they kept creating room. Every year, there was a change, not too unlike the change we see here (this year). We see some great players going elsewhere. Even to this year, you see very successful teams have met that problem. We didn’t deal with it in a timely enough manner and we found ourselves in a cap position that wasn’t attractive for us.”
Asked when he came to believe it was the right time to fire Chiarelli, Jacobs said: “When I recognized he wasn’t prepared to make the changes that needed to be made. But that wasn’t …Read More