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Neely Defends Sweeney: ‘I’m Tired Of Talking About 2015’



Boston Bruins President Cam Neely is tired of the media and Bruins fans bashing Bruins general manager Don Sweeney for his failures at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. After he and Sweeney fired head coach Bruce Cassidy and then he signed Sweeney to an extension back in June, he has watched his GM and former teammate come under constant blame for the Bruins’ failures and that infamous 2015 NHL Draft performance.

“The narrative, quite frankly, is a little frustrating to me,” Neely replied when asked if he felt the constant criticism of Don Sweeney this past offseason was warranted.

The Boston Bruins, with three consecutive mid-first round picks (13,14,15), missed on future star players like New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor and Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Instead, Sweeney and his staff drafted defenseman Jakub Zboril and forwards Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn. Zboril has been plagued by injuries, DeBrusk has been wildly inconsistent and Senyshyn isn’t even in the NHL right now. Neither Neely or Sweeney have ducked criticism from that draft and Neely is apparently done with re-hashing it.

“We’ve said it many times. From the draft perspective, we have missed on the high side, especially in 2015. And I’m tired of talking about 2015. But if you look at who the Boston Bruins have drafted from 2015 to 2018 … how many NHL games they’ve played, it’s among the highest in the league. So, the narrative is a little old for me.”

Instead Neely would like to see a new narrative focusing on Sweeney’s successful picks like defenseman Charlie McAvoy (2016) and starting goaltender Jeremy Swayman (2017).

“Every GM in the league makes mistakes,” Neely said. “We’re going to continue to make mistakes, but hopefully we learn from those mistakes and limit those mistakes, and I think Don has certainly evolved over the last few years. Our scouting staff has evolved. We certainly have high expectations and high standards, but mistakes are going to happen. I don’t think it’s as bad as the narrative is out there.”

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN,, 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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Kevin Patrick ONeil

Cam, if you were tired of hearing it, your response should have been to fire Sweeney, 32nd rank farm system. Fire him, the reason is gone!


Neely is missing the larger picture. Sweeney and the Bruins have missed on signings.. over paid for Ullmark, Coyle, Foligno and Smith. Failed to sign Krug. However they are very quick to point the finger at Butch. Neely should go too.

Michael Parahus

It’s not just the draft…’s the signings at too much money for players well past their prime (that did not pan out.) Backes, Foligno. The signings of Belesky, Moore, Ritchie. It’s the end of season trades that blew up in his face. Kase, Nash and giving away number one picks for players that didn’t in one case last beyond the playoffs and in another case barely a year with the team. I know, I know….can’t plan for the concussions for Nash or Kase….but look at who other teams picked with our picks. Our “D” this year could have K’Andre Miller… Read more »


We are still short of draft picks for 2023 and 24 no second round picks and you watch Pas won’t sign with the Bruins, he won’t want to be on a rebuild team thanks to Sweeney and Cam

Steve R.

Neeley tired of it because he is partly responsible for the 2015 draft.Set Sweeney up for failure!

Rick W Murray

Tired of hearing about it?!?! Making good choices at the draft table can make or break your team and Sweeney has made an absolute disaster of it. His choices do not look like choice of a rational gm they look like mad scrambles at the last minute. The 2015 draft could have defined this team instead it made the bruins barely a playoff team keep this in mind the horrible trades and giving up all the future no 1’s as well just on those choices alone Sweeney and Neely should have been gone years ago. Neely is as much to… Read more »

Michael D Leavitt

Cam and Don look like two guys without a plan? They have swung and missed on both draft picks and free agent signings.

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