Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: (L-R) Don Sweeney and Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins attend the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins’ top leaders are not going anywhere.

For at least one more off-season and the start of the 2024-25 campaign, the Bruins have committed to President Cam Neely, General Manager Don Sweeney, and Head Coach Jim Montgomery. Team CEO and Alternate Governor Charlie Jacobs confirmed as much in the group’s end-of-season press conference at TD Garden on Wednesday.

The son of Chairman Jeremy Jacobs also confirmed that he’s in the lead to run the team, along with the front office principals.

“[Jeremy Jacobs] has empowered myself and [Neely, Sweeney, and Montgomery] to run the day-to-day operations of the Boston Bruins and the roster,” Charlie said. “I want to also mention that the three gentlemen to my left have my complete confidence, we have no expectation of personnel changes coming during this upcoming off-season.”

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 07: President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeny of the Boston Bruins look on during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

L-R: Bruins President Cam Neely, GM Don Sweeney (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Bruins are coming off another successful regular season and a run to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the latter of which represents an improvement over the 2023-24 team. So, it would have come as a surprise if the organization moved on from any of its top leaders, let alone “cleaned house.”

That said, it’s a huge off-season to come for management, particularly Sweeney. And Montgomery will heed to continue to get the most out of what’s expected to be a remade roster, once the 2024-25 season kicks off.

MORE: What we learned about the Bruins during their 2024 playoff run

Here’s a closer look at the Bruins’ leadership, why they’re sticking around, and what to expect going forward…

  • Head Coach Jim Montgomery

    May 4, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery speaks to the media after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in game seven of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Under a microscope since his first day on the job, Montgomery had the tough task of replacing Bruce Cassidy, a successful head coach who was popular among fans and media. But it became apparent that Cassidy didn’t carry the same level of popularity with the players and the organization, as evidenced by his ultimate replacement after six straight playoff seasons and a Stanley Cup Final berth.

    In two seasons under Montgomery, the Bruins have a 112-32-20 record and 244 points, by far the most in the NHL. However, they’re 9-11 in the playoffs, most notably bowing out in the first round to the Florida Panthers after setting a league record for regular season wins and points. Montgomery’s lineup adjustments, or lack thereof, have arguably played a role in their downfall at the end of their runs. He constantly tinkers with his forward lines and defensive pairs, perhaps to the detriment of the team, and hasn’t shown an ability or willingness to modify the team’s on-ice approach amid their playoff struggles.

  • SUNRISE, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery talks with Mason Lohrei #6 of the Boston Bruins during the third period against the Florida Panthers in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena on May 08, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    “We’re really happy with a lot of what we did and we have to continue to get better,” Montgomery said. “Whether it’s greeting offense or creating more turnovers defensively, especially in the offensive and neutral zones, not so much the defensive zone. Those are things we’re going to continue to look at.”

    Montgomery and Sweeney seemed to share in the sentiment that the Bruins preferred quality over quantity when it came to generating shots on goal and scoring chances. The problem is, the roster wasn’t built with the requisite skill or natural scoring talent to get by with low shot volume.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Sweeney reconstructs the roster in the off-season, and whether adjustments would be needed from him or Montgomery. But the head coach’s job is safe after taking the team to the second round, and it should be. Montgomery’s security will be more of something to watch once next season begins.

  • President Cam Neely

    TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 13: Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins walks the red carpet prior to the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Brookfield Place on November 13, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Neely, like Jacobs, Sweeney, and Montgomery, is empowered in day-to-day operations. But his real primary function as team president is as a conduit between ownership and the front office, and as a big-picture overseer.

    He also played a major role in the planning and execution of the Bruins’ centennial season, and all the events that came with it. Neely entrusts roster-building to Sweeney and coaching to Montgomery, as opposed to more of a hands-on approach.

    If Neely’s job were ever in jeopardy, that would signify a proverbial cleaning of the house on Causeway Street. The Bruins’ success as both a hockey team and as a business – they are the fifth-most valuable NHL franchise, as of 2023, at $1.9 billion – means there’s no discernible reason for a change at team president.

  • GM Don Sweeney

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 26: General Manager Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins speaks during Media Day ahead of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 26, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The most polarizing figure of the bunch, Sweeney will be entering his 10th season as Bruins’ GM. There are clear segments of fans who feel his job security is undeserved. Sweeney has taken a large chunk of blame for the Bruins’ relative lack of postseason success since winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.

    One area where perhaps some criticism is warranted is in the NHL Draft. His first time on the job, in 2015, is among the most infamous topics in the recent history of the franchise, due to the failure of first-round selections Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn.

    But frankly, the anger over this particular draft has grown to a pathological level. Sweeney did draft Jake DeBrusk, who is 12th among all forwards in goals from the 2015 class, and also landed defenseman Brandon Carlo in the second round. It wasn’t a great draft for Sweeney, but it also might be time to let it go.

  • NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 29: Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins attends the 2023 NHL Draft at the Bridgestone Arena on June 29, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Sweeney’s biggest draft issue during his tenure has been an inability to adequately replace centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci with viable long-term options. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Jack Studnicka are two notable second-round picks who didn’t pan out, while those that did – first-rounders Trent Frederic and Johnny Beecher – are better fits as bottom-six forwards.

    Sweeney ultimately was left to ride out the past season with Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha as his top-2 centers, which predictably proved not nearly enough for true Stanley Cup contention. However, Coyle and Zacha represent a long line of successful trade additions for Sweeney, which have helped keep the Bruins as a viable playoff team amid inconsistencies in drafting and development.

    Now armed with at least $20 million in cap space, Sweeney will be tasked with adding an impactful center in the near future, after a few years of logjams on the roster and the salary cap. This off-season is arguably the biggest of Sweeney’s tenure, a possible legacy definer.

  • NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 29: Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins attends the 2023 NHL Draft at the Bridgestone Arena on June 29, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Sweeney may get more calls for his head than anyone else in the organization. But at the end of the day, the team’s recent playoff disappointments should fall more on the players than the man who put the roster together.

    The Bruins GM pushed all his chips into the table for a legitimate Cup run in 2023, and the players (and Montgomery) came up woefully short. And he’s rightfully earned confidence from those paying attention in his ability to bolster the roster via trades, and commit to improving in time for the playoffs. If he deserves to lose his job now, then very few GMs in the league deserve to keep their jobs.

    To be certain, the Bruins still need to add talent and modify their roster into one that can play a stronger playoff-style game. But they’ve been moving in the right direction in recent years, particularly in getting bigger on defense. This summer will be massive for Sweeney in determining which path they take going forward. Then we can check back on his job security.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and digital content producer for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Read all of his articles here.

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