Report: Jacobs nearly walked away from negotiations

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Report: Jacobs nearly walked away from negotiations

According to a report in the Toronto Star, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs very nearly walked out of Wednesdays late-night negotiation session between the NHL players and NHL owners.

Jacobs reportedly mentioned something to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly about stepping away from the negotiating table and potentially abruptly ending the session with a group of players.

But cooler heads prevailed as other owners defused the situation from going nuclear and the tenuous line of communication remained open.

The anecdote about hard-line owner Jacobs was mentioned in the same few paragraphs as an account of Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller losing his temper when an owner expressed disappointment about one of the offers from the players.

With reports of players losing their cool in meetings, players on the outside of the talks are hopeful those kinds of outbursts can be held to the minimum as CBA discussions enter a very delicate stage.

We all have to remember not to bring emotion into it, and to simply treat it like a business negotiation. Thats what the owners are going to do, and were best served doing the same thing, said Lucic. Were definitely more encouraged and theres more optimism. They seem headed in the right direction.

But until a deal is done you have to be a little bit cautious. Its definitely a positive thing that it seems to be moving in the right direction. The anxiousness and the excitement are definitely there. Its tough to stay cautious because youre thinking about the what if questions if we do start the season. But you cant get too far ahead because weve already been let down in that sense.

The two stories outline feelings of frustration and fear that things were about to fall apart after two days of marathon CBA negotiations had brought the two sides closer together, and thats the backdrop for Thursdays negotiations that are expected to begin late afternoon at the earliest.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr are expected to enter negotiations on Thursday as well as the two sides sit 93 million apart on the make whole provision along with some differences among a few player contract rights: the term limit for contracts and the potential length of the CBA along with the players pension plan.

The expectation is still that the NHL and NHLPA will execute a deal by the end of the week and a new season will begin in December, but its vital both sides avoid the kind of passionate outbursts that could derail the entire process.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.