Don Sweeney named Bruins general manager, succeeding Peter Chiarelli

Don Sweeney named Bruins general manager, succeeding Peter Chiarelli

There may not have been much “Wow!” factor when the Bruins sent out a press release yesterday to announce officially the hiring of Don Sweeney as their next general manager.

Sweeney has spent the past six seasons as the assistant general manager and takes over for his former boss, Peter Chiarelli, who was fired last month after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years and four years after a Stanley Cup championship.

“Don Sweeney stood out amongst an incredibly talented group of candidates that we considered for this hire,” Bruins chief executive officer Charlie Jacobs said in a statement released by the team. “He carries a unique mix of playing experience, front office experience and business acument.”

Bruins president Cam Neely added in a statement Wednesday that the former NHL defenceman “has excelled in every role he has been in with the Bruins organization.”

Challenges lie ahead for Sweeney after Boston finished 41-27-14 for 96 points, two behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Sweeney noted he was both excited and humbled to be a NHL GM.

“I am fully aware of everyone’s expectations to move the organization forward,” he said in a statement. “The challenges ahead rests with the players, the coaches and the management group to work hard to make the necessary changes to bring the Bruins back to the forefront of contending for the Stanley Cup.”

Sweeney, 48, becomes the eighth GM in Bruins history. He joined the team in 2006 as director of player development and became director of hockey operations in July 2007 before being promoted to assistant GM in September 2009.l

Sweeney was the Bruins eighth-round draft pick in 1984 and played four years at Harvard University before a 16-year NHL career, 15 with the Bruins and one with the Dallas Stars.

He still ranks third on the team’s games played list and in the top 10 in goals, assists and points by a defenceman.