The Hockey Show from this month
CHIARELLI FIRED AS HOUSECLEANING BEGINS
Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs and team president Cam Neely took the podium Wednesday afternoon to field questions about the dismissal of general manager Peter Chiarelli after nine seasons with the team. For now, everyone in hockey operations will be answering to Neely.
Jacobs and Neely made the decision to relieve Chiarelli of his duties yesterday, they said, and Chiarelli was informed this morning. The announcement was made minutes after former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of murder n a New Bedford court.
"It was a very difficult conclusion to come to," Neely said. "It wasn't a decision that we took lightly."
However, the two would not divulge the specifics of why they fired Chiarelli, other than to say that it was in the best interest of the club.
Under Chiarelli the Bruins won a Stanley Cup in 2011, returned to the Cup Final in 2013, and won the President's Trophy last year. But they finished in ninth place in the Eastern Conference this season. The tandem would not say whether or not Chiarelli would have been safe had the team made the playoffs this season.
"That's a good question, but we are where we are so it's hard to answer that," Neely said.
The Bruins' quiet trade deadline was explained, as Neely said that he'd talked to Chiarelli prior to it about what he could and couldn't do. The B's didn't make any real splashes despite rumors of the contrary, and the general manager ended up modestly acquiring Brett Connolly and Max Talbot.
"At some point during the year as we approached the trade deadline I had a conversation with Peter to make sure that we were protecting as many assets as we could," Neely said. "Peter was very professional, and he was going to do everything he could to help improve our club during the season. It was more about, for me, trading assets for rentals which he understood.
"I wanted us to be cautious of moving top picks or top prospects for rental players, just based on where I saw our club at that particular time," Neely said, acknowledging that he didn't believe any of the players available would have put the Bruins over the top.
As for Claude Julien's fate, Cam Neely said that will lie in the hands of the next Bruins GM, whoever that may be. They will be looking both internally and externally for Chiarelli's successor.
Their mission is simple now according to Jacobs: "Find the best candidate. Period."
One interesting note:
Stanley Cup wins under Peter Chiarelli's nine-year leadership: 1
Stanley Cup wins under Jeremy Jacob's forty-year ownership: 1
PROVIDENCE IS DIVINE
Providence College Friars win school's first hockey title
BOSTON, Mass. - The Providence College men's hockey team captured its first ever National Championship, and the third all-time team title for the College, a with a third period, come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Boston University at TD Garden on Saturday, April 11.
In the third period, Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) tied the game (11:24) while dumping the puck in the BU zone. Terrier netminder, Matt O'Connor, mishandled the puck and it crossed the line to tie the game 3-3.
Two minutes later, Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Canada) netted the biggest goal in Providence College history at 13:43 with the game winner when he beat his defender and connected on a wrist shot from the slot that went high past O'Connor.
"It was amazing," Tanev said. "I couldn't even register what was going on. It was a heck of a draw win by Kevin Rooney. Steve McParland was able to give me some space and I was able to rip that puck and it went in. It's something I dreamed of ever since I wanted to play college hockey. The words can't describe how I feel right now."
Jon Gillies (Portland, Maine) earned the 60th win of his Friar career by making a career-high 49 saves.
The Friars opened the scoring in the first period as defenseman Anthony Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) scored his third goal of the season at 9:25. Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) carried the puck into the Terriers zone before getting off a shot on goal that was kept out of the net by O'Connor. However, the rebound created a scramble in front of the BU crease as Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) collected the puck and got off a shot that hit of the post and darted to Florentino, at the blue line. Florentino's blast beat O'Connor to put the Friars ahead 1-0.
"You know it didn't even cross my mind," Florentino said of scoring. "We just focused on defense tonight. I saw the puck squirt out, saw an opportunity, and just tried to get it on net. Our forwards are doing such a great job crashing the net."
Later in the first period, Boston University responded to Providence's lead by netting a pair of goals. Ahti Oksanen tied the game at one when he found an opening between Gillies' skate and the goal post at 12:50 of the period. A.J. Greer recorded the assist on the Terriers first goal of the game.
Setting a NCAA Tournament record for fastest two goals, Danny O'Regan scored just four seconds after Oksanen's goal to put the Terriers ahead 2-1 (12:54). After Jack Eichel won the face-off at center ice, he carried the puck into the Friars zone, eventually left the puck for O'Regan in the slot. O'Regan's backhander at 12:54 beat Gillies to give BU the lead for the first time in the game.
In the second period, Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario) evened the game at two with his eighth goal of the season, and his third playoff goal of the season. Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) started the play for the Friars as he sent a pass to Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.), while the Friars were on the power-play. Mingoia was positioned in the right face-off circle when he sent a pass through the slot to Jankowski, who tapped the puck by O'Connor at 4:29 of the period.
Boston University would regain the lead before the close of the second period as Cason Hohmann scored at 11:36. After Hohmann won a face-off for the Terriers in the Friars defensive zone, Oksanen carried the puck into the corner of the ice before reconnecting a pass to Hohmann.
The Terriers had a perfect 19-0-0 mark this season entering third period with a lead, but all that changed when the Friars had an amazing third period comeback that will be long remembered in Frozen Four.
With the Friars trailing 3-2, Providence kept the pressure on O'Conner throughout the period and eventually Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) scored the game-tying goal (3-3) at 11:24. Parisi scored the equalizer after he collected a BU clear in the neutral zone and went to dump the puck high on net. O'Conner mishandled the puck as it slipped past the goal line.
Following a faceoff in Providence' offensive zone, Tanev scored coming off the right wing to beat a defender and fired off a wrist shot from the slot to the right corner. Kevin Rooney (Canton, Mass.) was credited with the assist when he won the faceoff and dished it to Tanev.
Gillies was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after finishing the game with a career-high 49 saves, including 21 in the second period - a single season record total for saves in a period in the NCAA Championship game. Gillies joins former Friar netminder Chris Terreri '86 as Frozen Four MOP's from Providence College.
O'Connor ended the game with 39 stops.
Providence went 1-for-3 on the power-play while BU went 0-for-1.
BU entered the game with a 4-0 record at the Garden this season, capturing the Beanpot and the HOCKEY EAST title. The Friars ended their undeafeated run at the Garden with their NCAA title win.
The Terriers held the overall shot advantage at 52-43, however, Providence outshot BU in the third, 20-12.
Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs Issues Statement
Boston, MA – Boston Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs issued the following statement on Wednesday, April 15:
"Peter Chiarelli has done a tremendous job for the Boston Bruins over the last nine seasons. During that time I have come to know, and like him, both professionally and personally. This decision was not an easy one for Cam and Charlie but, ultimately, the right one for this organization. They have my full support in this decision. I know Peter will move on and continue to do great things in the league and I would give him my highest recommendation."
WHAT HE SAID: During that time I have come to know, and like him, both professionally and personally.
WHAT HE MEANT: I first met him the day of the Duckboat ride after the Stanley Cup win. Seemed like a swell fella.
WHAT HE SAID: This decision was not an easy one for Cam and Charlie but, ultimately, the right one for this organization.
WHAT HE MEANT: Charlie and I discussed this on the limo ride from the Polo Club to my yacht, and we agreed we can get someone else and pay them a lot less.
WHAT HE SAID: They have my full support in this decision.
WHAT HE MEANT: As long as the concession prices and ticket prices keep going up, and they stay under the cap, they can do whatever the hell they want.
WHAT HE SAID: I know Peter will move on and continue to do great things in the league and I would give him my highest recommendation."
WHAT HE MEANT: Peter will go to another team and make a heckuva lot more than I was paying him.
JON GILLIES SIGNS WITH CALGARY FLAMES
From the Calgary Herald/
VANCOUVER — The flight from Boston’s Logan International Airport left at 8 p.m. After clearing customs much later on the West Coast, Jon Gillies wearily dropped into the Calgary Flames’ team hotel at 2 a.m.
Ten hours later, he found himself virtually alone on the ice at Rogers Arena taking extra work with goaltending guru Jordan Sigalet.
Signed, sealed and delivered.
Enough to discombobulate anyone.
Three days ago, the 6-foot-5, 21-year-old puck-stopper’s 49-save clinic backstopped Providence to a shocking 4-3 win over Boston University in the Frozen Four finale, right in the teeth of Terriers’ country, at TD Garden.
But the good-old-college try is now a thing of the past for Jon Gillies after agreeing to a three-year entry-level pro contract only hours before flying to Vancouver.
“It’s happened pretty quickly, over the past couple days,’’ he said in a deserted visiting dressing room on the morning of Game 1 of the Canucks-Flames tiff. “I’m just trying to soak in everything I can. It’s been pretty cool. There’s no other way to describe it.
“You can’t really put it into words, that accomplishment. It was an unbelievable ride and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other people. Obviously great players, but the way we came together, interacted off the ice was really second to none. It’s a moment we’ll cherish forever.
“A pretty quick turnaround obviously, with the celebration with my Providence team (Monday) at our rink with our fans and then today, being here.
“It’s been a lot of dreams coming true at one time. Amazing.
“This is a whole new thing to represent. When you play for this organization and have this logo on your sweater it’s about a lot more than yourself. It’s not an individual thing. It’s the great team that’s here, the great staff, the great management and the great city of Calgary.
“It means everything to be able to be a symbol of hope for them and hopefully we can do our best.’’
Hope is something Jon Gillies has become adept at providing.
At Providence this year, the Flames’ third-round pick, 75th overall in the 2012 draft posted a miserly 2.01 GAA and .930 save percentage. Over a 108-game collegiate career, he’s been chillingly excellent — 60 wins, 13 shutouts, a 2.08 GAA and .931 save percentage. He concluded his sophomore season with a national championship and MOP laurels.
Still, the swiftness in negotiations to get a deal done startled even Gillies.
“I had no idea. I was just told to focus on our season. I didn’t need to be told that. I knew what was ahead of me.
“I don’t know if there’s any moment (knowing you’re ready to turn pro). You just listen to the people that you trust the most, in terms of your career, that have been there for a while and know you personally, on and off the ice.
“When the organization that holds your right says ‘You’re ready’, that’s who you believe the most.’’
With Karri Ramo back in harness and Joni Ortio off emergency recall and out of the picture, Gillies finds himself only a pulled calf muscle and tweaked groin away from making his NHL baptism in the hothouse environment of the playoffs.
“Yeah, but I know Jonas (Hiller) and Karri are going to be great in there. And if by chance my number is called, I’ll be ready, but for now I’m supporting everyone the best way possible.’’
For the Flames, this allows Gillies to begin acclimatizing himself with the organization, the lifestyle and the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“As we’ve seen with a lot of guys, being in the atmosphere, not only getting to know the organization and his teammates is a great experience,’’ said GM Brad Treliving.
“It’s a difficult position to play and it takes time. The position usually has a long runway in terms of getting to that point where you’re establishing yourself at the NHL level. But we look at our reserve list and we feel we’ve got real good depth at a real important position.
“What jumps out at you is his size. But size can be deceiving. This guy is very athletic. It’s a really unique combination, for a guy that big to be that athletic. Long limbs, but he doesn’t just rely on being big. He’s a real great athlete. He’s able to move and quite frankly I love his IQ. I think it’s one of the most important qualities. The ability to read plays, see things develop, anticipate.
“We talked to him at development camp to go back and really carry a team. And I think he did that. They had a good team in Providence but a couple weeks ago there were questions of whether they were going to get in the tournament.
“But he went through that experience of carrying a team through to a championship. Being able to play in big games, being on big stage, those are experiences you don’t replicate.
“I like people that have won.
“Jon went in and played a national championship game, in Boston, against BU, on a big stage. Those are experiences he can lean on.’’
What Treliving wanted to make abundantly clear, however, was that Gillies arrived from Boston hauling his equipment, not Mount Sinai toting tablets.
He’ll be allowed to progress at the rate that’s best for him.
“All that started today,’’ said the GM, “was the stopwatch on his career. You look at the top goaltenders in the league, it’s taken awhile.
“Trust me, we are not all on one knee. The messiah didn’t just show up here today. This is a young guy we think is going to have a great experience here over the course of the playoffs, but he’s just starting his career.
“There’s no pressure to come in and be The Blessed One.’’