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Sunday, March 26, 2006 

Fall Guy

Harry Sinden and the Bruins waved the white flag yesterday, firing GM Mike O'Connell. While I agree that it is better to let O'Connell go now instead of letting him continue to sign players to long-term deals, it was a strange signal to send to the team just a few hours before last night's game against Buffalo.

Sinden appeared to be emotional at the 6pm press conference, describing O'Connell as a "good friend". O'Connell had been with the Bruins organization in various roles for 21 seasons, and was elevated to GM on November 1, 2000 after an apprenticeship as assistant GM under Sinden.

Now O'Connell's assistant, Jeff Gorton, takes the reins on an interim basis. Sinden said that Gorton would be one of many candidates considered for the permanent job.

What's troubling is that Mike O'Connell didn't dream up the Bruins plan for the lockout on his own. I find it hard to believe that Sinden and Jacobs didn't have to endorse the decision to only have 3 players under contract heading into the work stoppage. While O'Connell made a lot of bad decisions on how to spend to the cap, plus some shaky trades, the basic plan itself was flawed. But only O'Connell gets shown the door. Will Jacobs be willing to hire someone and give them both the GM and president's titles, bumping Sinden further upstairs? It would be the best move he could make.

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