Bruins: No rush to name GM

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BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Bruins are in no hurry to name a general manager to replace Mike O’Connell after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

And it will be up to the new general manager to decide if Mike Sullivan returns for a third season as head coach.

Choosing a general manager “is not a decision that I want to rush and I don’t think it should be rushed,” Charlie Jacobs, Bruins executive vice president and son of the owner, said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. “We’ve been pretty patient and methodical in our approach so far. I don’t see anything coming that’s going to make us behave differently.”

Jacobs said he, his father Jeremy and team president Harry Sinden have conducted interviews for the job. But he wouldn’t disclose the names or number of people they’ve talked with.

Since O’Connell was fired March 25, his assistant, Jeff Gorton, has acted as interim general manager.

Sullivan and assistant coaches Wayne Cashman and Norm Maciver still have their jobs and no decision on their futures will be made until a new general manager is named, Jacobs said.

“I don’t think that it would be appropriate for me to speak on it,” Jacobs said. “That’s something that the next general manager will be measured on, the performance of the team, and he should have the final say on who’s the coach.”

He also voiced strong support for the 74-year-old Sinden.

“He’s always a Bruin and always will be, and we’re still going to continue to hear and have that input, and that’s not going to change,” Jacobs said.

The Bruins finished last in the Northeast Division with a 29-37-16 record. Only four of the 30 NHL teams had fewer than their 74 points.

Bruins fans were stunned last Nov. 30 when the team traded captain Joe Thornton to San Jose for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. Thornton went on to lead the NHL in scoring. On March 9, the Bruins traded perhaps their most exciting player, Sergei Samsonov, who can become a free agent after the season, to Edmonton.

Jacobs wants to build the team around solid young players in the organization with help from unrestricted free agents.

“I’m suggesting we nurture the players we have as best as possible and we support them with the outside talent,” he said. “Now the general manager’s the right guy to drive that vision and plan, not me. But it is something that I will ask of them and have asked them in my interview process.”

Sinden was general manager from October 1972, the season after the Bruins won their last Stanley Cup, until O’Connell took over Nov. 1, 2000. Jeremy Jacobs became owner in 1975.

His son would like a general manager who wants to build for the long term while still 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.

“The team we have, we have to add to it, but we have to make sure that we look after our nucleus too, and my guess is that’s going to be the next general manager’s first order of business.”

AP-ES-05-04-06 2017EDT

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