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Lewis out as Bruins coach after 1 season @NHLdotcom

BOSTON (AP) -The rebuilding Boston Bruins flirted with making the playoffs last season before they collapsed in the final 12 games. That inconsistency helped bring an end to Dave Lewis' tenure as Boston's coach after just one season.

General manager Peter Chiarelli announced Friday that Lewis will be reassigned to another position in the organization. Associate coach Marc Habscheid also will be reassigned.

The Bruins went 1-10-1 in their last 12 games and played shoddy defense, allowing 289 goals - the second most in the league. Boston also was short on offense with 217 goals, seventh fewest in the league.

"You see a level of play that you expect and want and it teases you, and obviously something wasn't getting through," said Chiarelli, brought in along with Lewis in a major housecleaning in the past offseason.

"I have great respect for both of those men and what they've done in the past and what I think they will accomplish in the future."

Chiarelli said he has a short list of candidates to replace Lewis, but refused to comment on specific names.

He said it's critical to have new leadership in place before the July 1 free-agent signing period.

Any free agent who's going to consider a place to play wants "to know who the coach is and what the coaching staff consists of," Chiarelli said.

The sudden removal of Lewis and Habscheid is a departure from comments Chiarelli made at the end of the season.

"I also know quick fixes don't work and so I have to be patient," he said then. "I have to balance the two things because I know our ownership demands a winner and I know the city demands a winner."

The Original Six franchise hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1972, missing the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

It's that pressure from ownership and a fan base that has grown tired of watching a losing team that may have forced Chiarelli to pull the trigger on both Lewis and Habscheid.

Lewis was 35-41-6 in his lone season on the Bruins' bench. He also was the head coach in Detroit from 2002-04, where he had a 96-41-21-6 record.

"As a coach, you go into a new organization not really sure what you have and not sure what you need. By the end of the year, I knew what we had and I knew what we needed and then you just don't get a chance to start on with the next season," Lewis said Friday in an interview with Boston's WHDH-TV.

He did not immediately return a message left Friday night by The Associated Press at his home in suburban Detroit.

Lewis had said after the season that his history with the Red Wings may have blinded him to the work that needed to be done.

"I probably took a number of things for granted that I shouldn't, thinking that the players understand," he said then. "Where I came from, it's just sort of natural, which it really isn't natural. It's a learned process, so that's where I have to improve."

Chiarelli said he wouldn't stand in the way if Lewis and Habscheid get other job opportunities. Lewis remains under contract with Boston for another three years.

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