Press Conference Transcript
|Peter Chiarelli was introduced on Wednesday as the Bruins seventh General Manager in the team's 82-year history. |
In a late morning press conference at the TD Banknorth Garden on Wednesday, the Boston Bruins introduced Peter Chiarelli as the seventh general manager in the team's 82-year history. The 41-year-old Chiarelli shared his vision of the future, promising to change the face of the organization, bring speed and character to the club, and restore the luster and winning tradition to the Bruins.
Owner Jeremy Jacobs opened the press conference with a candid assessment of the previous season. After an extensive interview process, one in which he was intimately involved, Jacobs is confident that Chiarelli is the right man to lead the club.
"At the start of last season, I was optimistic about this team's prospects," said the owner. "There was certainly no one more disappointed than myself as the season unfolded. As the owner, I have to take and do take, the responsibility for the performance. I guess if the buck has to stop anywhere, it has to stop with me. The ending has actually brought on a new beginning. Not only are we introducing a new General Manager today, but also we are changing our approach. We are creating a culture where players want to come here to play and fans want to watch exciting hockey in one of the best arenas in the world.
"I was impressed by the talent and energy and expertise of the many candidates we interviewed, but Peter (Chiarelli) was the one candidate who stood out the most," continued Jacobs. "I found Peter to have a strategic approach to hockey operations, a deep appreciation for the way the game is played, a solid reputation as one of hockey's top emerging leaders, and a passion and energy towards building a strong, transparent team. I have faith that he will bring a new dimension to Boston Bruins hockey."
Charlie Jacobs, the team's executive vice-president, is committed to bringing Lord Stanley's Cup back to Boston and hiring Chiarelli is the first step.
"I think that what we looked for in a leader is someone who has a vision first and foremost, and is articulate during all the different channels. Peter has the ability to convince and also to articulate how he sees our team evolving. We also wanted to find somebody, and I think you will find this in Peter, who is absolutely, unequivocally committed to bringing a winning team into Boston. Peter is that. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, he has to be committed and he is."
Following statements from the Jacobs' and Harry Sinden, the new general manager addressed the media for the first time. As he began to convey his plan, the passion in his eyes was evident.
"I want to talk a bit about team building because that's very, very important," said Chiarelli. "Team building is about picking the right players, and that's my job. I want players that can skate. I want players with energy. I want players that can close gaps and win pucks. I want a real true combination of speed and character.
"I have been lucky in my time in Ottawa to be under the tutelage of John Muckler. He was a part of five Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers. That was all about speed and character. I am going to bring that plan to the Boston Bruins.
"I like an up tempo game," he added. "I like skating, transition, and puck movement. That's part of the theme I am going to instill into this organization."
Chiarelli, who is currently employed as the Assistant GM for the Ottawa Senators, will not be allowed to undertake his Bruins' GM duties until 15 days after the NHL's free agency period begins. Free agency is expected to begin on July 1, but may be delayed if the NHL has not determined the new salary cap figures for the upcoming 2006-07 season.
"I don't think there will be any problems. I'm a lawyer by trade and we learn to deal with conflicts all the time," commented Chiarelli in response to his transition settlement. "The message, the mission I put forward in the interview process was very clear to the Jacobs' and Harry, and I think that will carry forward very strongly."
From his days in Boston as a former Harvard hockey captain, Chiarelli understands the composition of the Boston hockey fan. He is committed to bringing that shared passion to the front office and changing the face of the organization.
"I want to introduce a new, fresh culture here in Boston," said Chiarelli. "I want players to want to play here and I want players to want to stay here. I want players to move families here. I want them to be proud. I want them to be proud to wear the Boston Bruins logo on their chest.
"In my experience as an agent, I got to know the concerns of players. There are on-ice concerns and there are off-ice concerns. They are truly valid. Sometimes they get lost in translation. In my experience in management, I have gotten to be part of a team. When you're part of a team, you want to win, so sometimes you lose sight of some of the things players are thinking. I believe because I have experience in both, I will be able to tie them together and unite a common strong bond to the Boston Bruins."
Chiarelli emulates the characteristics of the Boston Bruins – desire, pride, and heart – among many others. He, along with ownership, understands the importance of bringing the Bruins' winning ways back to the best sports fans in the country.