More than a month after the Boston Bruins relieved Peter Chiarelli of his duties, the team didn’t go far to find its new general manager, announcing Wednesday that Don Sweeney will be the new man in charge of hockey operations.
The 48-year-old Sweeney becomes only the eighth GM in Bruins history.
“I am both excited and humbled for the opportunity to be named the general manager of the Boston Bruins,’’ Sweeney said in a statement. “I would like to thank the entire Jacobs’ family and specifically Mr. Jacobs and Charlie, as well as, Cam [Neely] for bestowing the confidence and trust in me to direct this historic franchise in which I have been a part of for 24 years.
“My family and friends have been extremely supportive throughout the general manager search process and I certainly want to acknowledge them today to show my heartfelt appreciation. I am fully aware of everyone’s expectations to move the organization forward. The challenges ahead rests with the players, the coaches and the management group to work hard to make the necessary changes to bring the Bruins back to the forefront of contending for the Stanley Cup.’’
Sweeney is entering his 10th season in the Bruins’ front office, six of which were spent as assistant GM to Chiarelli. He joined the Bruins in 2006 as director of player development. Last year, he served in a GM role for the Providence Bruins, who went 41-26-7 during the regular season.
“Don Sweeney stood out amongst an incredibly talented group of candidates that we considered for this hire,’’ Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said. “He carries a unique and impressive mix of playing experience, front office experience and business acumen. Don has complete understanding of what it means to be a Bruin and we have full confidence in him to steward the organization back to being Stanley Cup contenders year in and year out.’’
Sweeney played 16 seasons as a defenseman, including 15 in a Bruins uniform. He is one of just two defensemen and four players in team history to play over 1,000 games for Boston, and ranks third on the team’s all-time games played list. He played his final NHL season with the Dallas Stars in 2003-04.
’’Don has excelled in every role he has been in with the Bruins organization and has a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of our hockey operations department,’’ Neely said. “His commitment and drive to bring a championship caliber team to the Boston fans was evident every step of the way through this search process, and I am confident that his leadership of our hockey operations department will lead to success.’’