Bruins wouldn't be wild about '247' starring role

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Bruins wouldn't be wild about '247' starring role

WILMINGTON, Mass. While the Bruins would wholeheartedly love a return engagement to the Winter Classic, one part of it they wouldnt all embrace is the round-the-clock surveillance HBO cameras.

NHL teams invited to participate in the Winter Classic must also now agree to fling open their doors for the 247: Road to the Winter Classic reality series produced by HBO, and thats something that would be different this time around. Two years ago the show wasnt yet in existence when the Bruins hosted the Flyers, and it was a split dressing room when it came to players feelings about allowing that kind of behind the scenes access.

While youngsters like Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand thought it might be fun, and Seguin couldnt help but joke that a Bruins 247 would be the Seguin and Marchand Show, many of the Bs veterans were a little more guarded about their enthusiasm.

Tim Thomas has watched the HBO show, and said he wouldnt be quite as open with his interviews as Philadelphia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has been while waxing philosophic about the Universe, hunting tigers and his Siberian Husky dogs uncanny resemblance to a beautiful blonde woman.

Thomas prefers to keep his wacky goaltender ways under wraps, and wouldnt be opening up his home for Christmas dinner like his Russian counterpart did this season.

Id rather hide what a nut I am rather than advertise it to the whole world like Bryzgalov. I would absolutely hate that. Having cameras around all the time . . . I dont care what you say thats going to change the way you act, said a resolute Thomas. Youre either going to play for the camera or end up being quieter than you normally are because of the camera. Id have a hard time being real with the camera around all of the time.

Similarly Andrew Ference would gladly play in another Winter Classic in front of his family and friends, but wants nothing to do with the intrusive cameras. The Bs defenseman -- and one of the outspoken voices in the dressing room understands the platform it could provide him for his environmental efforts, but thinks it would significantly alter the behavior inside the Bs room.

The longstanding nucleus has achieved something of a perfect vibe inside the Bs room while building themselves into a championship squad, and that change once they pressed the record button.

I watch it and I think its a cool show. They do a good job. They wouldnt be able to air a lot of the stuff in the Bs dressing room. They just wouldnt, said Ference. Youve been around guys for five or six years, and you have inside jokes and things youve said to the other guys in confidence.

All of the sudden you have a microphone and a camera there, and its not so confidential anymore. Its like having a reality show covering your life all the time. Would you talk to your wife the same way that you do now? You turn into an actor. Nobody is real there. You cant be truly who you would be without the cameras.

The unfortunate part about it all: the personalities within the Bruins dressing room would make for excellent television on HBO. From the carefree pranks and joking between guys like Seguin and Marchand to Shawn Thorntons verbal antics during games there is a true wealth of quality programming far beyond what the Flyers and Rangers have been able to offer.

Watching the kind of grueling off-day workouts that make Zdeno Chara legendary among his hockey brethren or viewing the inner-room leadership between periods of a guy like Chris Kelly would be worth the price of admission.

Bruins will get a glimpse of it when the Patrice Bergeron episode of NHL 36 airs on Wednesday night on the NBC Sports Network, but they may never get to see the Bruins fully unmasked as long as guys like Ference and Thomas play such key roles on the hockey club.

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready to check out GLOW on Netflix.

*This video of a Vancouver Canucks draft pick tearing up while watching the video of his brother celebrating him getting picked is all that is right with the NHL Draft.  

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Adrian Dater has Avs first-round pick Cale Makar talking about his hockey background, and why it doesn’t matter.

*The Calgary Flames are excited about their prospects and the pieces they were able to acquire last weekend.

*The Washington Capitals have re-signed Brett Connolly for a couple of years at short money and he appears to have found a home in DC.

*The Chicago Blackhawks are still in talks with Marian Hossa about how to resolve his contract and the allergic skin condition that might have prematurely ended his hockey career.

*Will the Tampa Bay sports go through a dry spell when it comes to Hall of Fame athletes now that former Lighting forward Dave Andreychuk has been called to the Hockey Hall?

*It looks like young Pierre Luc Dubois will be put in a position to contribute with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

*Alex Prewitt has a preview of the NHL free agency period and the stress levels that many players go through in it.

*For something completely different: This video of Drake and Will Ferrell hoop handshakes was pretty solid, and funny.

 

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

If it was based solely on his 42 years as owner of the Boston Bruins, it might be debatable as to whether Jeremy Jacobs would have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Bruins have won one championship and been to a handful of Stanley Cup Finals during Jacobs' long stewardship, of course. They also enjoyed the longest running playoff streak (29 years) in NHL history, though it began before he purchased the franchise. Altogether, the B's have won one Cup, four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff berths during the Jacobs Era.

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But Jacobs didn't make the Hall of Fame solely on his accomplishments with the Bruins organization. He's being inducted in the "builder” category, which is defined as "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general.”  In addition to overseeing the Bruins over the last four-plus decades, he has been a power broker at the league level for just as long.

"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me,” said Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."

The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was the overriding on-ice moment in his stewardship of the team, and the Jacobs family has had a major, altruistic impact in Boston. No one should overlook the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has touched so many lives with the $28 million that's been awarded to those in need since its inception in 1993.

Unfortunately, Jacobs will always have a reputation with a large portion of the Bruins fan base that his ownership wasn't willing to spend enough for truly competitive teams. At times he was viewed as an absentee owner living in Buffalo, overseeing the team from afar while Harry Sinden ran the operation. Those fans hold that grudge even today, despite the Bruins consistently spending to the salary cap ceiling while fielding competitive teams. They view Monday's Hall of Fame announcement as something akin to Montgomery Burns being inducted into the Springfield Hall of Fame.

Cam Neely disagrees.

"As a player, I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins,” said Neely, who has served as Bruins president for nearly a decade after a Hall of Fame playing career highlighted by his years in Boston. "Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen firsthand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."

That commitment to hockey is a key factor in Jacobs' Hall of Fame selection.

Jacobs was unanimously voted in as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors in 2007, and he's been a major driving force in each of the last couple of oft-contentious CBA negotiations. While Jacobs clearly had a hand in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season due to a labor dispute, and in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, those CBA negotiations ultimately led to the imposition of a salary cap and a pathway for small-market NHL teams to survive as the cost of doing hockey business continues to go up.

Without Jacobs as an often hawkish, hard-line owner, there's a chance that a team like the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators might not have been able to survive in the NHL, and it's highly doubtful they'd be able to be as competitive as they are now if teams like Toronto, New York and Chicago could outspend everybody else. So there's no denying the seismic impact that Jacobs made at the league-wide level with his leadership and commitment to growing the game, and that the NHL is better off for the battles waged in collective bargaining while he's been in a position of power.

If you polled every single Bruins fan on the street, it's unlikely he'd be a populist choice for the Hall of Fame. The lean budgetary years durinhg the playing days of Neely, Ray Bourque and others will always be part of the Spoked B history. Some will hold those grudges forever, which is part of makes us who we are as a fan base.

But faithful, rabid fans continue to stream into TD Garden, continue to spend money to support their favorite hockey team, and continue to provide the kind of support that's led to a 338-game home sellout streak. It's a sign Jacobs and Bruins ownership continue to do things very right, even if we shouldn't be scheduling any popularity contests anytime soon.