BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that Jim Benning has been promoted to the position of Assistant General Manager and Don Sweeney has been promoted to the position of Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development.
"Jim has experience in a number of different positions, and he has achieved success wherever he has been," said Chiarelli. "His expertise in player evaluation, and his knowledge of the league-wide landscape will be extremely valuable to the organization."
The 2007-2008 season will mark Benning's second year with the Bruins organization. He spent the 2006-2007 season as Director of Player Personnel, after being named to the position on July 25, 2006.
Benning came to the Bruins after twelve seasons in the Buffalo Sabres organization, where he spent the previous eight seasons as their Director of Amateur Scouting. Prior to his tenure in Buffalo, Benning spent time as an amateur scout with the Anaheim Ducks organization.
A former defenseman, he was drafted by Toronto as their first pick, sixth overall, in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft and played nine seasons in the National Hockey League with the Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.
Sweeney, who spent last season working as the Director of Player Development for the Bruins, spent 15 of his 16 NHL seasons as a player wearing the Bruins sweater after being originally drafted by the Bruins with their eighth pick (166th overall) in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
"In one year, Don has shown great hockey aptitude, and has been instrumental in moving forward our development plans for our young players," said Chiarelli. "In his new position, Don will bring his expertise to the day-to-day hockey operations, and he will oversee our player development."
He is one of just two defensemen and four players in Boston history to play over 1,000 games, and ranks third on the team's all-time games played list. Sweeney also ranks in the top ten of the club's all-time lists in career goals, assists, and points by a defenseman. He played his final NHL season with the Dallas Stars in 2003-2004.
Sweeney, a native of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, graduated with an Economics degree from Harvard University where he played four years and was an All-American.