Providence, Boston extend affiliation

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has agreed to a long-term affiliation agreement with the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins.

Chiarelli also announced that assistant general manager Don Sweeney has been named the general manager of the Providence Bruins and that Jay Pandolfo has been hired as development coach. In Sweeney’s role as general manager of Providence, he will be responsible for hockey operations with the P-Bruins in addition to his current responsibilities. Pandolfo will be responsible for aiding in the development of players and prospects throughout Boston’s system.

The P-Bruins have served as the AHL affiliate for Boston since their inception in 1992, making the 23-season affiliation between Boston and Providence one of the longest-standing player development agreements in either league’s history. The Providence Bruins have won five division championships and have reached the postseason 17 times in 22 years, capturing the Calder Cup championship in 1999.

“On behalf of the Bruins organization we are happy to have our relationship with the Providence Bruins extended,” said Bruins president Cam Neely. “Having our AHL affiliate so close is a great asset to not only our hockey team, but to our fans, as they can watch our prospects develop. I’d like to thank H. Larue Renfroe, Jeff Fear and Matt Poore and the rest of the Providence Bruins organization for their continued commitment to Bruins hockey."

“We are proud to continue our long standing affiliation with the Boston Bruins,” said Providence Bruins team owner H. Larue Renfroe, adding, “We take great pride in helping provide a high-end development environment for the prospects and coaches of the Boston Bruins. The Jacobs family, Cam Neely, Peter Chiarelli and Don Sweeney have been outstanding partners and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

“The city and fans of Providence have a history in the AHL that dates back to the league’s formation in 1936,” said David Andrews, president and chief executive officer of the American Hockey League. “Providence has been a natural partner for the Boston Bruins for the last 22 years, and it is wonderful to see that relationship extended for the foreseeable future.”

With the P-Bruins serving as the primary pipeline for Boston, over 190 players that have spent time with Providence have played for the big club as well. Current players in the organization that have played at least one game for both Providence and Boston include Matt Bartkowski, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Alexander Khokhlachev, David Krejci, Torey Krug, Matt Lindblad, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Tuukka Rask, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky.

“Having a solid working relationship with your AHL affiliate is so integral to the long term success of your NHL team,” said Chiarelli. “With Providence and H. Larue Renfroe’s stewardship, we have that and more. We look forward to many more years with the Providence Bruins.”

Sweeney enters his ninth season in the Bruins front office and is in his sixth as assistant general manager. He joined Chiarelli’s staff in June of 2006 as the team’s director of player development and added the position of director of hockey operations to his resume in July of 2007 before being named assistant GM.

“During the past eight years, I have been very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with some outstanding people in Providence,” said Sweeney. “I can fully attest to their total commitment to developing young men as both aspiring NHL players and quality people. Our partnership with Providence is about providing an opportunity for players to develop in a competitive and winning environment. Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins have chartered a relationship with H. Larue Renfroe and his staff that continuously reinforces the ideals of a successful player development system.”

Pandolfo, 39, retired in January after 15 seasons in the NHL, appearing in 899 games and winning two Stanley Cups with New Jersey.

“Jay got a good sense of how we approach things during his time as a player here,” said Chiarelli. “He has a real common sense approach that focuses on commitment and dedication. These are attributes that he showed also as a player and he will use in development of our younger players and prospects.”

“We are excited to have Jay re-join the Bruins organization as he brings a wealth of NHL experience to our group,” said Sweeney. “He knows what it takes for forwards to play in all sorts of different roles on Stanley Cup winning teams. I believe Jay will be a huge asset to aid our staff in the development of our young players.”

“I am very excited to start the next chapter in my career and rejoin the Boston Bruins organization as the team’s development coach,” said Pandolfo. “Working with the younger players in the system and helping them improve as professionals is an opportunity I am grateful for and a challenge that I look forward to.”