BOSTON - On Thursday afternoon, Bruins incoming General Manager Peter Chiarelli held a press conference at the TD Banknorth Garden to announce Dave Lewis as the Bruins next head coach. Lewis, the 27th head coach in team history, was also signed to a four-year deal.
“I was fortunate to be able to interview five excellent candidates,” said Chiarelli, fresh out of the Ottawa Senators front office where he will stay as their assistant General Manager until July 15. “All of whom had very admirable qualities and characteristics for a head coach.
“In the end, I chose Dave Lewis for a variety of reasons. Dave and I shared many common objectives with the ultimate goal of having this team return to its winning tradition. He is a highly motivated team-focused NHL coach with over 30 years of solid experience from both a player and a management perspective.”
Lewis has spent the last 20 years with the Detroit Red Wings organization as a player, coach, and professional scout. Most notably, Lewis won three Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, and 2002) under the tutelage of the legendary Scotty Bowman. Following the retirement of Bowman, Lewis took over as head coach of the Red Wings from 2002-2004 and compiled a 96-41-21-6 record and a .668 winning percentage.
Lewis, who is said to be a strong motivator, will be handed the responsibility to turn around a Bruins team that struggled this past season. The new coach will have a solid core of young players to work with as he begins to recover Boston’s winning tradition. Coming from Detroit, winning is something Lewis is familiar with.
“I don’t want to talk an awful lot of what I want to do here because I am a big believer in showing,” said Lewis who turns 53 on July 3. “You can say you’re a leader, but you don’t have to tell me. I will find out. That’s how I operate.
“The same actions apply on the ice. You can’t hide in the jersey when you step out on that ice. If the player says he is a character guy, show me. If the player says he is a great, skilled player, show me. If he says he is a tough guy, show me. So that’s where I’m coming from.”
Lewis led the Red Wings to two Central Division titles and a Presidents Trophy with the league’s best overall record in the final year of his two-year stint as head coach. The Kindersley, Saskatchewan native was replaced as bench boss after the lockout and stayed with the organization on the pro scouting staff.
Lewis comes from a winning tradition in Detroit and vows to bring it back to Boston.