It’s a bit anticlimactic since Boston Bruins President Cam Neely said it would get done this summer, but the Bruins have finalized a contract extension with general manager Don Sweeney, as confirmed by Boston Hockey Now.
Great work by Mac again!
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) June 26, 2022
The Bruins had allowed Sweeney to enter the final year of his contract as general manager, and Neely admitted to reporters last month that he hadn’t made up his mind that Sweeney would be retained until he landed top pair defenseman Hampus Lindholm at the NHL trade deadline.
“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,” said Neely, back in May. “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.”
Still, things were hanging in limbo with Sweeney and the Bruins long into the offseason with his contract set to expire at the end of June. The timing is interesting as things didn’t get finalized with Sweeney until after word leaked out that Patrice Bergeron was going to return for a 19th NHL season with the Black and Gold.
Patrice Bergeron’s decision to return allows the Boston Bruins to essentially run things back for one more season with the current group that managed to get 51 wins and 107 points this prior to a first round playoff demise. But after that it feels like things could go in a much different direction with a possible rebuild in the offing where there could be a significant change in the organizational course back toward a strict drafting-and-development model.
Now with his own deal taken care of, Sweeney will be focusing on the head coaching search after the Boston Bruins GM fired head coach Bruce Cassidy earlier this month.
The Boston Bruins interviewed former Northeastern University and current Colorado Eagles head coach Greg Cronin on Thursday afternoon for the vacant head coaching gig, and it’s believed that former P-Bruins head coach Jay Leach and former Boston University head coach David Quinn were also brought in for interviews this week as well.
The Sweeney contract extension news was first reported by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette on early Saturday evening.