Boston, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, August 27, that the club has agreed to a long-term affiliation agreement with the Providence Bruins.
Chiarelli also announced that Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney has been named the General Manager of the Providence Bruins and that Jay Pandolfo has been hired as Development Coach. In Sweeney’s role as General Manager of Providence, he will be responsible for hockey operations with the P-Bruins in addition to his current responsibilities. Pandolfo will be responsible for aiding in the development of players and prospects throughout Boston’s system.
The P-Bruins have served as the American Hockey League affiliate for Boston since their inception in 1992, making the 23 consecutive season affiliation between Boston and Providence one of the longest standing player development agreements in either league’s history.
“On behalf of the Bruins organization we are happy to have our relationship with the Providence Bruins extended,” said Bruins President Cam Neely. “Having our AHL affiliate so close is a great asset to not only our hockey team, but to our fans, as they can watch our prospects develop. I’d like to thank H. Larue Renfroe, Jeff Fear and Matt Poore and the rest of the Providence Bruins organization for their continued commitment to Bruins Hockey. I would also like to congratulate Don Sweeney on being named General Manager of the Providence Bruins."
“We are proud to continue our long standing affiliation with the Boston Bruins.” said Providence Bruins team owner H. Larue Renfroe, adding “We take great pride in helping provide a high end development environment for the prospects and coaches of the Boston Bruins. The Jacobs family, Cam Neely, Peter Chiarelli and Don Sweeney have been outstanding partners and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
“The city and fans of Providence have a history in the AHL that dates back to the league’s formation in 1936,” said David Andrews, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hockey League. “Providence has been a natural partner for the Boston Bruins for the last 22 years, and it is wonderful to see that relationship extended for the foreseeable future.”
With the P-Bruins serving as the primary pipeline for Boston, over 190 players that have spent time with Providence have played for the big club as well. Current players in the organization that have played at least one game for both Providence and Boston include: Matt Bartkowski, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Alexander Khokhlachev, David Krejci, Torey Krug, Matt Lindblad, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Tuukka Rask, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky.
“Having a solid working relationship with your AHL affiliate is so integral to the long term success of your NHL team,” said Chiarelli. “With Providence and H. Larue Renfroe's stewardship, we have that and more. We look forward to many more years with the Providence Bruins.
Sweeney enters his ninth season in the Bruins front office and is in his sixth as Assistant General Manager. He joined Chiarelli’s staff in June of 2006 as the team’s Director of Player Development and added the position of Director of Hockey Operations to his resume in July of 2007 before being named Assistant GM.
“Don takes a lot of pride in the development and success of the younger players, most of whom come through Providence,” said Chiarelli. “Don has been in charge of Providence for some time now and he will continue to oversee that important relationship with enthusiasm and passion and ultimately, success.”
The 16-year NHL veteran was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 1984 Draft (166th overall) after spending four seasons at Harvard University where he graduated with a degree in economics. The former NHL blueliner is one of just two defensemen and four players in team history to have played in over 1,000 games in a Boston sweater and still ranks third on the team’s all-time games played list.
“During the past eight years, I have been very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with some outstanding people in Providence,” said Sweeney. “I can fully attest to their total commitment to developing young men as both aspiring NHL Players and quality people. Our partnership with Providence is about providing an opportunity for Players to develop in a competitive and winning environment. Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins have chartered a relationship with H. Larue Renfroe and his staff that continuously reinforces the ideals of a successful Player Development System.”
Pandolfo, 39, appeared in 899 NHL games throughout his career, notching 100 goals and 126 assists for 226 points. The forward also brings 131 games of postseason experience to Boston, where he racked up 11 goals and 22 assists, winning two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003. The Burlington, MA native played his final NHL season with the Boston Bruins in the 2012-13 season, where the winger skated in 18 games.
“Jay got a good sense of how we approach things during his time as a player here,” said Chiarelli. “He has a real common sense approach that focuses on commitment and dedication. These are attributes that he showed also as a player and he will use in development of our younger players and prospects.”
Prior to being drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft (Second round, 32nd overall), Pandolfo skated four seasons at Boston University (1992-96) where he picked up a career 169 points (ranks 11th most in school history) and 79 goals (tied for ninth in school history). Under Head Coach Jack Parker and Assistant Coaches Bill Berglund, Mike Eruzione and Blaise MacDonald, Pandolfo and his BU teammates won the NCAA National Championship in 1995. The left wing was named Terrier Captain in 1996 – the same season he finished as the runner-up for the Hobey Baker Award.
“We are excited to have Jay rejoin the Bruins organization as he brings a wealth of NHL experience to our group,” said Sweeney. “He knows what it takes for forwards to play in all sorts of different roles on Stanley Cup winning teams. I believe Jay will be a huge asset to aid our staff in the development of our young players.”
Pandolfo announced his retirement from his 15-season NHL career in January of 2014.
“I am very excited to start the next chapter in my career and rejoin the Boston Bruins organization as the team’s Development Coach,” said Pandolfo. “Working with the younger players in the system and helping them improve as professionals is an opportunity I am grateful for and a challenge that I look forward to.”