On Wednesday the Boston Bruins fired general manager Peter Chiarelli after the club missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Tough industry.
Though Chiarelli’s draft record was mixed and the Tyler Seguin trade was an unmitigated disaster, his Bruins tenure was enormously successful. He effectively built a Stanley Cup winning team, and his clubs averaged more than a series victory per year during his time with the club.
Could he be a good fit as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs?
In the wake of the Bruins’ decision to relieve Chiarelli as general manager, several Toronto scribes vouched for Chiarelli’s managerial acumen:
If I’m Brendan Shanahan, my GM search is over. I hire Peter Chiarelli today. Let him trade Phil Kessel. He’s already done it once.
— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) April 15, 2015
His resume sort of speaks for itself.
Though Chiarelli inherited players like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci when he took the Bruins job, he still landed key parts of the memorable ‘Big Bad Bruins’ teams of the past half decade. From drafting Milan Lucic, inking Zdeno Chara as an unrestricted free agent, and trading for Tuukka Rask (single tear), Chiarelli constructed a durable contender that wrecked the Eastern Conference for the last five years.
So could he be a fit in Toronto? TSN’s Bob McKenzie didn’t deny that he could be during an appearance on TSN 1050 on Wednesday, but he also indicated that we shouldn’t expect anything to happen promptly here.
“Pete Chiarelli has three years left on his contract that’s my understanding,” McKenzie said during a radio hit on Wednesday afternoon. “So long as you have three years on your deal, you can afford to be choosy and judicious about where you go. Sometimes you want to take a little bit of a break before you throw yourself back in.”
So Chiarelli has the financial flexibility to wait it out and perhaps take a job with a club that’s better poised to have immediate short-term success. He also may want to walk into a situation where he’ll have more input and influence then he’d have working under Brendan Shanahan and fitting into the Maple Leafs’ particular front office structure, McKenzie suggests.
“The situation in Toronto is a little unconventional, an untraditional – quote, unquote – general managers job,” McKenzie said. “(Chiarelli) might be looking for that more traditional configuration (where he calls the shots). It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a quick marriage, that’s for sure.”