BOSTON (CBS) -When Peter Chiarelli took over as Bruins general manager in 2006, he had a plan in place to make Boston a championship contender.
Most of the time, those plans do not work. But with the Bruins now Stanley Cup Champions, Chiarelli's did.
"Pretty much everyone has a 5-year plan, and so did we," Chiarelli said at his year-ending press conference Friday morning. "It's not like it fell exactly into place. We were adding certain like-elements in that plan, and it's happened."
"I'm a genius," he joked, followed by a big chuckle. "Seriously, you just continue to pick away at it with the same theme. The performances that we got from guys, like Tim's performances is historic. The common theme in the plan was character."
GM Peter Chiarelli Jokes That He Is "A Genius"
"At the end of the day, that is what won it for us," Chiarelli said of the team's character. "My father was at Games 3 and 4, and after Game 4 I said to him 'we're going to win the cup.' He said, 'I think you will to but why?' And I said, 'there is too much resolve in the locker room.' You could just feel it, and at the end of the day that's what happened."
Chiarelli certainly made his mark in 2006, signing team Captain Zdeno Chara, trading goaltender Andrew Raycroft for Tuukka Rask, and drafting Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.
Chara, Lucic and Marchand played huge rolls in the Bruins championship run, and those deals were followed with more foundation setting moves in 2008-09. Thomas was signed to a four-year extension, and Chiarelli acquired veteran forward Mark Recchi at the trade deadline.
Although the Bruins fell short in 2009-10, Chiarelli said acquiring Recchi could be one of his best moves as Bruins GM.
"We knew we were getting a guy that won a cup, maybe was on the tail end of his career," said Chiarelli. "I didn't know the magic of Recchi; of his resilience."
"What he brought us since then has been nothing short of amazing," he said.
"That may have been one of the best trades we've made," said Chiarelli. "I wouldn't have envisioned that at the time but what he's brought us, what he's brought to the room; it's been incredible."
Recchi is set to retire, and Chiarelli knows it will be next to impossible to replace what the 21-year NHL veteran brought to the organization.
"We're not going to be able to replace Rechs," he said. "When we added a couple of guys at the end, part of it was because they had good veteran character. We're probably going to be looking for someone like that this summer, but you're not going to replace that."
for more features.