There is a reason why the Boston Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in the past three years. Although the core of their team has basically stayed the same, they have been able to add some key veterans via trades and free agency that have propelled the Bruins to the top once again. The main reason for this is Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. Since leaving his career as a player agent, and a short stint with Sens management, Chiarelli was named GM of the Bruins in 2006. Chiarelli has had an abundance of success during his time with the Bruins. Whether it is through trades, free agency or building through the draft, Chiarelli seems to hit on every move he makes, and his success has been evident.
Peter Chiarelli has an amazing track record when it comes to trades. Go back to 2010 where he acquired Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell from the Panthers. Both of these players were key parts to the Bruins Cup run two years ago, and are still having a major impact in this year’s Cup run. Nathan Horton is one of the league’s best power forwards, and it was just sensational that Chiarelli could acquire a player among the ranks of Horton. Chiarelli has also done a fabulous job in acquiring gritty third and fourth liners that can contribute offensively as well. Dan Paille and Chris Kelly have been key parts to the Boston Bruins success. Both players contribute on special teams, and are a big reason the Bruins are once again in Cup contention.
Chiarelli isn’t just wise when it comes to trading for veterans. He may even have more success when it comes to trading draft picks. In 2009, Boston traded sniper Phil Kessel to division rival Toronto, for a 2010 1st and 2nd rounder, and a 2011 1st round draft pick. Two of those picks for the Bruins turned out to be Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. Both of these players are young and on the rise. Chiarelli no doubt was the winner of this trade. He acquired a top line player in Seguin, and a soon to be, top pair Dman in Hamilton. Seguin and Hamilton will be the centre pieces to the Bruins in the coming years, and it was amazing Chiarelli could acquire both of these players in the same trade.
One cannot forget the trade of trade that the Bruins and Leafs made in the offseason of 2006. Young goaltender, and Calder winner Andrew Raycroft was sent to the Leafs for goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask. Chiarelli was the clear winner here. Raycroft struggled to stay in the NHL, while Rask is asserting himself into the league’s best goalie. This was one of Chiarelli’s first move as the Bruins GM, and he definitely hit on it. Chiarelli got himself an elite goalie for practically nothing. This goes to prove again how strong of a GM Chiarelli really is.
While Chiarelli has made numerous amounts of successful trades, his drafting has been just as good. Throughout his tenure as Bruins GM, Chiarelli has drafted players among the likes of Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, and Dougie Hamilton. All four of these players contributed significantly in the regular season and continue to do so in the post season. Marchand and Lucic are definitely among the top of the leagues two most hated players in the league. Chiarelli did a spectacular job in drafting these players. Both Marchand and Lucic were vital in Boston’s first Cup run and are proving to be just as important in their current run. It is astounding to think that Chiarelli drafted both of these players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of their respective drafts.
Despite having great success in the draft and in trades, Chiarelli made his biggest splash in free agency. On the first day of the 2006 free agent frenzy, Chiarelli inked best available Dman Zdeno Chara to a monster deal. Chara was later named team captain. Since signing with the Bruins, Chara has been arguably the league’s best defenseman. The Slovakian has done wonders for the Bruins organization, and will one day have his name hanging from the rafters. On that same day, Chiarelli inked forward Marc Savard. Although Savard’s career is likely over due to concussion problems, Savard’s success was immediate. In his first season with Boston, Savard recorded 96 points, and would average just under a point per game in his Bruins career. These two signings were part of the first few moves Chiarelli made as the Bruins GM, and both paid dividends to the Bruins success.
There you have it, the best GM in all of hockey. Peter Chairelli built the Bruins via trades, free agency and through the draft. And for the second time in three years, the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals. With acquisitions among the likes of Chara, Mcquaid, Boychuk, Seguin, Lucic, Marchand and Rask, Peter Chiarelli has asserted himself as the best GM in the current NHL and maybe even one of the best GMs in NHL history.