The Boston Bruins have relieved Mike O’Connell of his position as General Manager, it was announced today by Bruins President Harry Sinden. Assistant General Manager Jeff Gorton will assume the General Manager’s duties on an interim basis.
“The position we find ourselves in relative to the post-season has dictated that a change would be made,” said Sinden in making the announcement. “Our judgment was that it would be unfair to Mike O’Connell to continue working at this job once this decision had been made.”
O’Connell, 50, was in his 21st season in the Bruins organization. He began his Bruins tenure as a player when he was acquired from Chicago in a December, 1980 trade for Al Secord and he played six seasons in a Bruins uniform before going to Detroit in a trade for Reed Larson in March, 1986. He rejoined the organization as an assistant coach in Boston under head coach Rick Bowness in the 1991-92 season and then spent two seasons as head coach of the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Providence. He returned to Boston on July 5, 1994 when he was named Assistant General Manager, a position he held for six seasons before becoming the sixth General Manager in Bruins history on November 1, 2000. The Bruins had a 179-130-39-39 record and .563 win percentage in 387 regular season games under his General Manager tenure with a 6-8 post-season record in that span.
Gorton, 37, is in his 14th season with the Bruins and his 12th season in the club’s hockey operations department. He was named as the team’s Director of Scouting Information in October, 1994, where he created the scouting database which networks the club’s scouts via a computer network. He is currently in his sixth season as the team’s Assistant General Manager and in that position, he has been responsible for coordinating the scouting department, has handled contract negotiations and arbitration hearings, and spearheads the team’s efforts in advance of the annual NHL Entry Drafts.