BOSTON (CBS) — Don Sweeney has a busy summer ahead of him, his first as general manager of the Boston Bruins.
Sweeney landed his new gig in late May, taking over for the fired Peter Chiarelli. 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bruins analyst Bob Beers said Sweeney, a long-time assistant GM, earned (and was groomed for) his new job after years of hard work under Chiarelli.
Beers also went through Sweeney’s lengthy to-do list on Sunday night’s Sports Final on WBZ-TV.
“There’s a long list,” said Beers. “The salary cap is one. He has to make a couple of moves to free up some money in some of those spaces. He has to sign some players, with Dougie Hamilton at the top of that list.”
Beers also said with Claude Julien back as head coach, the Bruins need to tinker their style of play, with Sweeney wanting much more energy than what the Bruins displayed in the 2014-15 season.
“The style of play, he wants to see some more energy in games. There were times last season that it felt like this team lacked enthusiasm in their game,” said Beers. “They’re very business-like, which is good and can serve them well at times, but other times you need that raw emotion. I just didn’t think it was there enough last year. That has to get rekindled with this team.”
Julien will also need to make some changes. While he agrees that Julien deserved the chance to get the B’s back to a Stanley Cup contender, Beers wonders how long the leash will be. Especially if Julien doesn’t get better with how he handles younger call-ups.
“It did take a little while, for Sweeney to make that decision, but I know Sweeney wanted to talk with him and make sure they were on the same page in terms of the style of play and being maybe a little more tolerant and forgiving of the young players coming up,” said Beers.
“They need to groom some of their own talent and bring that up. The majority of teams have success when they grow their own talent,” he said. “How long is that leash [with Julien]? I don’t know. If the team comes out and struggles, or goes through a long losing streak, it’s obvious where everyone’s thoughts are going to be.”
Beers says changes need to be made on the roster, but don’t expect a blockbuster move this summer.
“They need to make changes, but do they need to be drastic?” Beers wondered. “I think a lot of the players, and we said this last year, a lot of those core guys need to be a lot better than they were last season. If they’re not, then none of that other stuff that happens will matter.”
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