Bruins appear set on Nashville’s Shero


BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Bruins appear ready to break with tradition and hire a general manager from outside the organization.

Ray Shero, the assistant GM for the Nashville Predators for eight years, has been offered the job, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald reported Tuesday.

Charlie Jacobs, the Bruins executive vice president, said three weeks ago the team would continue to be “patient and methodical” in its job search after finishing last in the Northeast Division. Jacobs has not publicly identified any candidates.

Jacobs and team president Harry Sinden did not respond to e-mails and phone calls. Bruins spokeswoman Heidi Holland said the team would not make an announcement Tuesday regarding the general manager’s position.

Predators spokesman Gerry Helper said Tuesday that Shero “has been at work today.”

Shero, 43, is the son of Fred Shero, who coached the Philadelphia Flyers to Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975.

Mike O’Connell was fired on March 25 as Boston’s general manager, a job he held since Nov. 1, 2000.

Last November, he made a controversial trade that sent the Bruins captain and best player, Joe Thornton, to San Jose. Thornton ended up leading the NHL in scoring, while the Bruins finished with a 29-37-16 record and out of the playoffs for the second time in O’Connell’s five seasons. Only four of the 30 NHL teams had fewer than their 74 points.

Jeff Gorton, O’Connell’s assistant, has served as interim general manager, and Jacobs has spoken highly of him. Jacobs also has said the future of coach Mike Sullivan will be determined by the next general manager.

Arthur Ross was the Bruins first general manager when the team began play in 1924. The next five general managers, including former coach Sinden and former defenseman O’Connell, both had been with the franchise.

Shero, a native of St. Paul, Minn., was a 1984 graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he was a top player. He became a player agent before becoming as assistant general manager with the Ottawa Senators for the 1993-94 season. He moved to the Predators job on Nov. 30, 1998.

Jacobs, son of Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, attended Boston College and returned to the city in September 2002 to give his family a physical presence and more involvement in the daily operations of the team. His father became owner in 1975, three years after the Bruins won their last Stanley Cup, and lives in the Buffalo area.

Jacobs said he wanted a general manager who would build for the long term while retaining hope of immediate success.

“The intention,” he said, “is to find somebody who embodies that understanding, that maybe victory isn’t tomorrow, but it’s the process and the road that ultimately will pay the best bottom line dividends for the fans of Boston.”

AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville contributed to this report.

AP-ES-05-23-06 1856EDT