Peter Chiarelli wasn't content with just changing coaches.
Now the front office has felt his wrath, too.
Less than a week after hiring Claude Julien to replace Dave Lewis as head coach, Bruins general manager Chiarelli announced the dismissal of longtime assistant GM Jeff Gorton and veteran scout Daniel Dore yesterday.
No reason for the terminations was given, and Chiarelli and Gorton did not return messages left last night.
Gorton had been with the Bruins for 15 years, the last seven as assistant GM. He also served as interim GM last year after Mike O'Connell was fired in March until Chiarelli was hired and finally released from his duties with Ottawa in July.
While Chiarelli laid out a detailed offseason plan to follow, it was on Gorton's watch that the Bruins broke from tradition and dove head-first into the free-agent pool, dishing out $37.5 million to land defenseman Zdeno Chara and another $20 million for center Marc Savard on July 1. Those moves raised interest in the club in the offseason, but did nothing to raise its place in the standings, as the Bruins finished dead last in the Northeast Division for the second straight year.
Gorton also pulled the trigger on last year's draft-day trade of Andrew Raycroft to Toronto for highly-regarded goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask, and has been responsible for putting together a promising roster of youngsters at the Bruins' AHL affiliate in Providence.
This year, Chiarelli was free to run Boston's draft-day decisions himself, though he went into the weekend praising his scouting staff and stressing the importance of its input. ``I've got good support staff and we all work good together,'' said Chiarelli last week.
Some cracks did emerge at the draft, with Chiarelli admitting that there was some disagreement over the selection of Zach Hamill with the club's first-round pick. ``We had our debates the last few days,'' said Chiarelli after the pick on Friday night.
Gorton shouldn't be out of work for long. His experience in Boston led him to be a candidate for several GM openings around the league this past year, and he'll likely be able to land another front-office position.
Dore, meanwhile, spent 11 years in the Bruins organization after playing briefly in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques. He scouted throughout North America and Europe, but was based in Quebec and primarily responsible for scouting in that province.
Among the finds he helped the Bruins uncover in the QMJHL in recent years are Patrice Bergeron (Acadie-Bathurst), Martins Karsums (Moncton) and Milan Jurcina (Halifax). Perhaps tellingly, the Bruins did not select a player from the QMJHL in this year's draft, passing on high-scoring center Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts at No 8.
In other Bruins-related news, the Canadian Hockey League held its European import draft yesterday. Two of Boston's 2007 draft picks were selected in the first round and will play their Junior hockey in Canada in the upcoming season.
German defenseman Denis Reul, Boston's fifth-round pick, will get to stay in New England, as he went 15th overall to the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL. Radim Ostrcil, a defenseman from the Czech Republic picked by the Bruins in the sixth round, went two picks later, chosen 17th overall by the OHL's Ottawa 67's.