Haggerty: Time for B's fans to lay off Jacobs

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Haggerty: Time for B's fans to lay off Jacobs

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON -- Its high time that the crusty, stodgy, stubborn faction of Bruins fans get over itself.

All of those qualities served the fans well for long, torturous stretches during the 39-year span between Stanley Cups in Boston. The lean times allowed the most loyal group of followers in the city (Bs fans, hands down) to keep the pressure to step it up on their beloved Bruins.

There were no lack of things for the Bs faithful to get cheesed off about.

Whether it was an unwillingness to spend money on better players during the shared era of Ray Bourque and Cam Neely, or the shortsighted way the Harry Sinden regime consistently nickel-and-dimed young players, the Bruins built a stingy, unbending reputation as a place most hockey players wanted to avoid when they controlled their own fate.

Then there was the Bs botched lockout strategy of waving goodbye to Brian Rolston, Mike Knuble, Michael Nylander and Sean ODonnell, among others, during the work stoppage. That planned mass exodus was orchestrated by Sinden and owner Jeremy Jacobs, who believed they had inside info on the fiscal landscape once the lockout was over, but it led the Bs to miscalculate badly once the NHL resumed business.

The team paid for that gaffe big time.

The lockout purge left the Bruins essentially with an expansion-level roster, and ended up costing Sinden and general manager Mike OConnell their jobs. Sinden was kicked upstairs, and O'Connell was sent packing completely.

Every Bruins fan knows the history, and for reasons both good and bad they blame Jacobs.

Some is undoubtedly Jacobs own doing, and he deserved the fans' contempt at certain points.

But it was misguided for some fans to shower the Bs principal owner with catcalls and cascades of boos during the beautiful banner-raising ceremony Thursday night at TD Garden.

Already an unconventional public speaker to begin with, Jacobs is a verbal target for unsatisfied Bruins fans whenever he speaks publicly in the city of Boston. That was perhaps justified in the past, but it also simply shouldnt happen ever again.

But it did, of all places, during the banner-raising ceremony when Jacobs actually lauded the Bruins fans as some of the best in sports. It was the owners job to get the ceremonial show on the road and open up the pomp and circumstance, and instead he became a punch line one more time.

Some will say that fans in the upper reaches of the TD Garden balcony couldnt hear Jacobs on the microphone, and the cacophony of voices were simply imploring him to speak up.

Others will say that the boos were spaced out and sporadic while being thoroughly drowned out by the cheers.

There may be slight elements of truth to both these statements, but anybody in attendance recognized the loud boos fired Jacobs way the minute he stepped up to the microphone.

Theres a multitude of reasons for it, of course, given the long history of underwhelming fans since Jacobs bought the team in the mid-1970s.

Never mind the mere fact everybody thinks a frustrated Bruins fan writing scripts for 'The Simpsons' used Jacobs as the model for the Montgomery Burns character.
Forget the fact that provincial Boston people will always look at Jacobs as a high society Buffalo carpetbagger that spends a portion of his time in Boston playing with his hockey team like an expensive toy.

The mere action of booing anybody from the Bruins organization during a Stanley Cup banner-raising celebration is patently moronic.

The negative actions of a decent-sized group of Bs fans on Thursday night simply took away from an otherwise flawless, thoughtful presentation.

Some fans were so bent on voicing their disapproval with Bruins management that they failed to absorb the most important point of the evening: They won the Stanley Cup.

Theres simply no good reason for Bruins fans to be angry or seeking vengeance for what happened in 1993 at a 2011 Cup celebration. There is a deserved honeymoon period for any sports team that wins a championship, and that kind of amnesty should include much-maligned owners as well.

The advice at this address: There's already been plenty of negative backlash over the years for Jacobs and Delaware North when it was actually a relevant conversation topic.
Its time for Bruins fans to grow up and see whats really happening with their hockey team beyond the same stale, bored tired generalizations about the Black and Gold franchises ownership.

The NHL salary cap is in effect, and the fatherson duo of Jeremy and Charlie Jacobs have brought in a management team thats built a strong organization constructed with care, intelligence and forethought.

More importantly, Jacobs and Delaware North have a) spent to the cap since the NHL lockout ended, b) boast some of the best players in the world on their roster, and c) have locked up their core players to fair contracts without holdouts or bitterness.

The old way of doing Bruins business that spurred frustrated fans to create websites like Pleasesellthebruins.com is no longer applicable in Boston.

Booing the Bs ownership in such a bush-league manner makes a portion of the fan base look like bitter, petulant children who simply cant let go of a grudge, even though it's been years since they could legitimately have a real issue with the way the team is run.

Perhaps it will just take some time for Bruins fans to truly develop the taste for success and the hunger for bigger and better greatness, but a nice start would be to cut out the booing for an owner who cashed plenty of checks for the Stanley Cup champs and provided over 500 Stanley Cup championship rings for all manner of team employees before the players.

Cmon Bruins fans. Youre better than that now. Its time to start acting like winners instead of the disillusioned pack of whiners.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Don Sweeney: Bruins 'lost a good player' in Colin Miller

Don Sweeney: Bruins 'lost a good player' in Colin Miller

CHICAGO – Don Sweeney said the Bruins knew and expected they were going to lose one of three players in the NHL expansion draft, and it’s pretty clear it was going to be Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller or Colin Miller leaving the team. The B’s took Kevan Miller out of the equation by leaving him on the protection list after a strong season while also playing some of his best hockey in the playoffs.

That left McQuaid and Miller with each of the two D-men standing an equal chance of getting selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, and the 24-year-old puck-moving Miller going to Vegas for the time being. It remains to be seen if Miller sticks with the Golden Knights, or if there is an eventual plan to flip him elsewhere like perhaps an interested party in Toronto.

Sweeney said the Bruins didn’t want to lose a player with potential like Miller, but it’s also true that he would have been stuck behind younger, better D-men on the depth chart with Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo as better right-handed options.

“It was an interesting process to go through. It was hard at times because you felt like other teams were able to find deals to keep their team together while you felt vulnerable in that regard,” said Sweeney at the B’s team hotel in Chicago during a Thursday availability with the media. “You knew you were going to lose a good player. You knew they had targeted three players on our team that we felt they would target, and unfortunately we’re losing a good, young player.

“We thought highly of Colin. He was part of a big trade for us and we wish him well moving forward. We thank for him doing his part with the organization. We lost a good player.”

Clearly, the Bruins lost a defenseman with skills and youth on his side, but it’s also a young guy that hasn’t put it all together yet while never posting more than 16 points in each of his two seasons with the Black and Gold. Perhaps he will put together the offensive package at his next landing spot after showing flashes in Boston over the last two years, but that unknown factor while no longer being considered a prospect is the reason he didn’t find himself on the protected D list along with Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.  

Bruins' 2017-18 schedule has three Habs games in eight days

Bruins' 2017-18 schedule has three Habs games in eight days


The Bruins released their schedule for the 2017-18 season Thursday, with their campaign beginning at TD Garden on Oct. 5 against the Predators. 

Two things stand out in Boston’s schedule. Eleven of their final 15 games are on the road, and they don’t play the Canadiens until mid-January.  

Then, when the B’s and Habs do finally meet, they play three times in an eight-day span. The rivals face each other Jan. 13 in Montreal, Jan. 17 in Boston and Jan. 20 in Montreal. The Bruins’ final regular-season meeting with the Habs is March 3. 

To see the full schedule, click here.