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Timeline shows GM Chiarelli's rise to success

by Adam Kimelman /

Peter Chiarelli is the seventh person to hold the position of general manager of the Boston Bruins, but he's rapidly becoming one of the most successful.

He's built a team that's gone to the Stanley Cup Playoffs six straight seasons, won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and got back to the Final in 2013.

It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but there have been far more highs than lows during Chiarelli's seven seasons in charge of the Bruins, and that's a big reason why he was re-signed for four more seasons Thursday.

Here are some of the more memorable moments of Chiarelli's tenure:

May 26, 2006 -- The Bruins announce the club has hired Chiarelli as the club's new general manager. Chiarelli had spent the previous seven years with the Ottawa Senators, first as their director of legal services, and for the final two years serving as assistant GM.

"I would like to be very clear that the instructions given to me by the Jacobs are very clear," Chiarelli said days later at his introductory press conference, "and that is to return a winning tradition to the Boston Bruins organization and I am going to do that."


Chiarelli proud to remain with Bruins
General manager Peter Chiarelli signed a four-year contract extension Thursday that will keep him with Boston through the 2017-18 season. READ MORE ›

June 29, 2006 -- In Chiarelli's first major decision, he hires Dave Lewis as Bruins coach.

July 1, 2006 -- Chiarelli technically doesn't start working for the Bruins until July 15, but his Ottawa roots paid off in the first hours of free agency as the Bruins sign defenseman Zdeno Chara to a five-year, $37.5 million deal. The team also signs center Marc Savard to a four-year, $20 million contract.

June 21, 2007 -- Less than a week after firing Lewis, Chiarelli names Claude Julien the 28th coach in the franchise's history.

March 4, 2009 -- Looking to add depth and a veteran presence, Chiarelli acquires Mark Recchi from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Matt Lashoff, Martins Karsums and a 2010 second-round draft pick.

April 3, 2009 -- The goaltending situation is solidified when Tim Thomas signs a four-year, $20 million contract extension. Two months later, Thomas wins his first Vezina Trophy. 

Sept. 18, 2009 -- The Bruins trade restricted free agent forward Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the Maple Leafs' first- and second round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft and their first-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Chiarelli knew trading a 21-year-old forward coming off a season that saw him set career-best totals of 36 goals and 60 points made him ripe for criticism, but said at a press conference the day after the trade it was a move that had to be made.

"This trade is really about two things," he said at the time. "One, it's about a player that did not want to play in Boston. And two, it's about the threat, or a perceived threat of an offer sheet."

Chiarelli also knew how important the draft picks coming back to the Bruins would be.

"I can't stress the importance enough of the fact that these picks are significant, especially in light of the strength of the amateur draft coming up. There are some serious players that are coming up," Chiarelli said.

When the Maple Leafs struggled in 2009-10, the trade looked a lot better. Boston ended up with the second pick in the 2010 draft and picked Tyler Seguin, and with the Leafs' pick in 2011 selected defenseman Dougie Hamilton at No. 9.

March 3, 2010 -- Looking to add some depth to his defense, Chiarelli acquires Dennis Seidenberg, along with Matt Bartkowski, from the Florida Panthers for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and a 2010 second-round pick.

May 14, 2010 -- The Bruins lose Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Philadelphia Flyers, completing one of the biggest collapses in Stanley Cup Playoff history. They became the third team ever to lose a series after leading 3-0, and the Bruins also led 3-0 in the first period at home in Game 7.

Despite the stunning end to the season, Chiarelli found hope.

"I think we're going to learn from it," he said at the team's break-up day a few days later. "I think you saw that push at the end of the regular season with the up-and-down year we had. I think the guys came together, so I think you saw that and they will learn from last year and this season."

June 22, 2010 -- The Bruins acquire forward Nathan Horton and center Gregory Campbell from the Florida Panthers, in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman, a first-round pick in the 2010 draft and a third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Oct. 8-9, 2010 -- The Bruins solidify their immediate future in a 48-hour period, signing Patrice Bergeron to a three-year, $15 million contract, and a day later locking in Zdeno Chara with a seven-year, $45.5 million extension.

"You want to try and lock up your core, and that's what we're trying to do here," Chiarelli after the deals were done. "They are two very important players who are now in the mix for a while."

Feb. 15, 2011 --Looking to solidify his third line, Chiarelli acquires Chris Kelly from the Ottawa Senators for a 2011 second-round pick, and three days later trades for Rich Peverley from the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Mark Stuart and forward Blake Wheeler. That same day, he brings in defenseman Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Joe Colborne, a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 second-round pick.

June 15, 2011 -- Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand score two goals apiece and Thomas makes 37 saves as the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, bringing the Bruins its first championship since 1972. Chiarelli joined Art Ross (1929, 1939, 1941) and Milt Schmidt (1970, 1972) as the only men to win a Cup as GM of the Bruins.

June 7, 2013 -- Tuukka Rask makes 26 saves as the Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 to complete a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference Final and return to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three seasons.

June 24, 2013 -- Leading 2-1 in the final two minutes of Game 6 at home against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Bruins give up goals 17 seconds apart as Chicago wins the game 3-2 and closes the series.

July 4, 2013 -- The Bruins trade Seguin and Peverley to the Dallas Stars for All-Star right wing Loui Eriksson, forward prospects Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser, and defense prospect Joseph Morrow.

Much like the Kessel deal that resulted in Seguin coming to Boston, Chiarelli understood the risk in trading a 21-year-old proven scorer whose best days could still be coming. But getting Eriksson and three strong prospects made the deal worthwhile.

"These are moves that are predicated on being a successful franchise going forward and making the prudent moves in a timely manner so that you can capitalize the market as it stands," Chiarelli said. "… There’s an opportunity to get a very good player, who's a natural winger [Eriksson], and to get some good prospects and to lower your cap.

"You have to manage your team, you have to manage your players, you have to manage your cap, and that was part of the reason why we made this move."

July 10, 2013 -- Chiarelli again solidifies the team's future, signing Rask, a restricted free agent, to an eight-year, $56 million contract, and two days later locking in Bergeron with an eight-year, $52 million contract extension. The deals keep Rask in goal through the 2020-21 season, and Bergeron, whose deal starts in 2014, through the 2021-22 season.

"I try to be proactive on our core guys," Chiarelli said on a conference call to announce Bergeron's contract. "We want to try to get these guys locked up. I call them [Bergeron and Rask] pillars of the team."

Aug. 29, 2013 -- Chiarelli agrees to a four-year contract extension. The contract starts in 2014 and keeps Chiarelli with the team through the 2017-18 season.


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