By: Connor Green | Follow me on Twitter @connorgreen777
Cam Neely, Don Sweeney, and Bruce Cassidy are the three integral pieces to the front office successes and failures of the Bruins organization. Most recently, being seen as a failure of the organization to take this core with their stellar deadline moves past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
You always have to start with the coach, right? Bruce Cassidy has a record of 194-82-41 and a .677 winning percentage. Cassidy is definitely no slouch, regardless of being outcoached by Barry Trotz this postseason. Cassidy gets the most love out of the trio to date, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Would you like to see Cassidy have more gamesmanship in press conferences?
Maybe, but I don’t mind him staying away from a media circus like that. Out of everything you ask of a coach, the most important part is coaching the players, which I think Cassidy does a great job. The real challenge for Cassidy is coming in the next 2 seasons as the core of the team starts to wither away, and he has to work with and integrate younger players into the system. I wish Bruce the best and look forward to what he can bring next season!
Neely has had the longest tenure with the organization under which the team has changed its coach and general manager. Neely has been the center of rumors around the team multiple times during his time as the President of Hockey Operations. Whether it be for leaning on coaches for roster decisions or whispering in the GM’s ear to acquire a player that reminds Neely of his style of play, Neely likes to make his presence felt, but does he REALLY make an impact? My feelings on Neely are no; he does not make enough of an impact within his role in the organization.
Now I want to quickly move over to Don Sweeney before I finish with Neely; my overall opinion on the two are tied together after all. Don Sweeney is coming off of the best trade deadline as the General Manager of the Boston Bruins, and hopes are high. Don was finally able to add the elusive second-line winger that helped David Krejci explode! All while not giving up the farm in return for Taylor Hall, who now wants to return on a sweetheart deal. Sweeney, however, is usually not the swindler on the trade market or the guy making steals at the draft table. Whether it be the 2015 Draft, Matt Beleskey signing, David Backes Signing, and even letting your Captain walk to free agency. Don’s biggest talent is re-signing his free-agent players to good team-friendly contracts.
Now bringing this all together in my thoughts on the pair, do the pair of Don Sweeney as GM and Cam Neely as Pres. of Hockey Ops work for the Bruins? I say no. After looking over Sweeney’s track record on Free Agency, Trade Deadline, and Drafts you can see that he needs someone with much more hands-on experience in the GM position. For example, Stan Bowman of the Blackhawks moved from GM to Pres of Hockey Ops while a new GM was hired and he could then mentor that GM. Don Sweeney has never been able to get that mentoring from Cam Neely.
Cam Neely: I don’t think Neely will be fired, but I wish he was.
Don Sweeney: Any hiccups this off-season could result in rumblings.
Bruce Cassidy: Don’t miss the playoffs!