Here is the letter sent to Bruins season-ticket-holders Thursday announcing the return of Claude Julien for a 10th season:
Dear Valued Ticket Holders,
Like all of you, I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of this season. We set high expectations for ourselves, and we certainly realize that you as fans share the same set of high expectations. It is our responsibility to ice a Team that you are proud to support and one that contends for the Stanley Cup year in and year out. I fully understand that we did not meet these expectations this year and let you all down in the process.
There are a number of important matters to address this offseason, and I wanted to communicate our strategy surrounding a few of these matters directly to you. All of the respective decisions will be made with a singular objective in mind: to improve our club in both the short term and the long term.
The first involves our head coach. Claude Julien is our head coach and will be our head coach when we return to action in the fall. Claude’s record as the winningest coach in Bruins’ history speaks for itself, and he is fully committed to leading the Team back to being a Stanley Cup contender. We recognize there are areas of our game and our roster that need to be improved, and we firmly believe that Claude gives us the best chance at on-ice success in both the near and long term. We are confident in Claude’s ability to continue to make the necessary game adjustments while we work to develop players and re-shape our roster.
One of our objectives last year was to improve our salary cap situation, and through various trades and signings, we were able to accomplish this. We now have some cap flexibility heading into the offseason and this summer’s free agency planning period. This will allow us to re-sign players or make competitive offers to free agents on the market that we believe will help our club.
Adding and developing young talent in our prospect pool was another key objective heading into last season, and I am very pleased with the progress we have made in this area. We recently signed four highly regarded players from the NCAA ranks, three of whom we drafted (Danton Heinen from the University of Denver, Matt Grzelyck from Boston University and Rob O’Gara from Yale University) and one player which we acquired via trade (Sean Kuraly from Miami University). We have also signed five of our draft picks from the 2015 Draft in Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk, Jeremy Lauzon, Zach Senyshyn and Jakub Zboril.
Along with our 2015 Draft class, the depth of our organization as a whole looks very promising. We expect to continue this positive trend in June at this year’s draft, with our two additional first round picks and six overall selections.
I fully understand the discontent associated with another long offseason! While no one in the organization is happy about that, we will utilize this time to properly evaluate all aspects of our organization, continue to address areas we need to improve, and take all of the necessary steps to build a successful Team for next year and beyond.
I want to thank you for your continued commitment to the Bruins as we count the days until October when the Team skates back onto the ice to better represent your passion as loyal fans!
All the best,
General Manager, Boston Bruins