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Murphy: What’s Up With The Don Sweeney Contract Extension?

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As Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney continues to interview candidates to become the next head coach of the Bruins, there is no update regarding his contract status.

“No update,” a Boston Bruins team source replied late Monday afternoon via email when asked if Sweeney had signed a contract extension yet.

Prior to that reply, an NHL executive source had this to say when he was asked if he had heard anything new on a Sweeney extension.

“I don’t know if he’s signed an extension – Don keeps things close to the vest, you know that – but given the fact he already fired the head coach, is interviewing candidates to replace ‘Butch’ [Bruce Cassidy] and from what I can tell you, is talking shop with other GM’s, it seems status quo. I think it’s just a formality they need to do, but hey, I’ve seen stranger things.”

What’s been strange to so many, is how Sweeney and team President Cam Neely in their respective end of the season media sessions, both indicated that an extension for Sweeney was imminent.

“I’m under contract for right now. I’ve had a discussion earlier in the year in terms of the indication of where my path will be and that will be determined in short order,” Don Sweeney told the media on May 18.

The next day, Neely had this to say on Sweeney’s status with the Boston Bruins:

“I started talking with Charlie [Jacobs] and Mr. [Jeremy] Jacobs after the deadline about extending Don, so that’s my plan, is to do that. I’m going to sit down with Don in the next day or two and hopefully hammer something out.”

When asked why he wasn’t already extended to that point, Neely replied:

“To be honest, I really wanted to see how the year went. We had a lot of changes in the last offseason, so I just really wanted to see how that played out. Obviously, you get January, February, March – really good months for us. The team really came together. I thought we had a lot of depth and I was happy with what he did at the deadline.”

That’s also when Neely dropped some grenades on the status of now-former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. Three weeks later, despite assuring Cassidy that he was coming back as Bruins head coach and allowing him to fire assistant coach Kevin Dean the following week, Sweeney went to Cassidy’s Winchester, MA home to inform the 2019 Jack Adams Award winner he had been fired. In a press conference the next day, Sweeney had this update on his own job status:

“My job relative to keeping it, I think I’ve made decisions whether it be in my last year of my contract or my first year of my contract, it’s in the best interest of the Boston Bruins. That’s not why I stand up here today to worry about my job, as far as what my recommendations are, they’re not caught off guard in any way, shape or form in the directions that I need to move well in advance. In terms of how I think we are, injuries are going to be a part of that, but we’re a competitive group and we’re going to remain a competitive group, but we may need to infuse at some point in time. We have the injuries and things that catch up to you that you just can’t get out from under, that’s a problem. And into Bergeron as I referenced last time I was here; it could be a directional shift as well.”

As of now Sweeney appears to be directing that shift wherever it ends up leading but is he doing so on a trial basis or with a wink-wink agreement in place?

The gut here is that it’s the latter, but as the NHL executive above stated, ‘I’ve seen stranger things’

So what are the NHL betting odds that Sweeney gets extended or fired? Right now, only Neely and Sweeney seems to know and they appear to be content with that.

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Rick W Murray

Sounds to me like Sweenman could be in a heap of trouble,I’m starting to get a sneaking suspicion maybe things aren’t as rosey as Sweeney and Neely thought don’t forget the big man was in town recently and he doesn’t usually come in just to pass the breeze.

Isaac

Sweeney needs to be fired ASAP. In 2015, Sweeney traded a 5th round pick to the Minnesota Wild for a 6th rounder. The Wild picked Kirill Kaprizov, the Russian who is a superstar in the NHL right now. That drafting know-nothing Sweeney picked some complete bum in the 6th round who has never made it the NHL. This is in addition the infamous first round disaster that Sweeney oversaw that year. A good draft that year and the team is top notch for another decade or so. How about picking Trent Frederic (a 4th or 5th round talent) over Alex… Read more »

Mike S

The trade was 2015 5th rd pick for 2016 5th rd pick. and at the time of the trade. The Bruins had three 1st rd picks, and three 2nd rd picks… I understand the frustration, but you can’t look back at a player that was picked in the 5th round and passed over by 30 other teams multiple times.

Robert Wells

Sounds like this organization is in trouble. The sooner Neely and Sweeny are gone, the better. They have no cap space to improve. No draft picks. If they trade to get a 1st rounder, they will have to move a good player and not have anything for this year. The injury players out of the lineup will show how thin this roster is. This team has more players leaving than staying. If this team bombs next year, Bruins need to start the rebuild. (something that should be happening this off season.). I would rather get a new voice just like… Read more »

Train

I would have fired both Neely and Sweeney. I would bring in Patrick Roy as president of hockey operations and Dean Lombardi as GM.

Mike S

So you want things to be worse?

Kevin L

Cam is, by all accounts, the guy pulling all the wrong strings.
Don, as it turns out, is not the quirky wise old owl his mentor Harry Sinden was.

Jacobs should hire Cassidy as coach & GM.
Could care less who takes Sweeney’s place.
The players who carried us this far seem to be in physical trouble.
So much for next season, thanks to The Two Stooges.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kevin L

[…] around GM Don Sweeney. He was supposed to have a new contract by now. Why hasn’t it happened? Boston Bruins […]

[…] GM Don Sweeney. Eigentlich sollte er schon einen neuen Vertrag haben. Warum ist es nicht passiert? Boston Bruins […]

Tony

Sweeney must have some major dirt on the Jacobs’. That’s the only explanation for his ten years in Boston as a sub-par player (playing next to Ray Bourque, no less) and now his disastrous tenure as GM (Haula as your second line center – that’s your plan?). At times. NHL Franchises get enamored with guys from fancy schools (see Chiarelli), perhaps because that sometimes works in other sports, but Sweeney went to Harvard only because he was a decent college player and that’s where it should have ended. Teams need GMs who have not just played in the league, but… Read more »

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