BOSTON – While the Bruins have lost at least one member of their front office with assistant general manager Jim Benning making it official on Friday that he’s the new GM of the Vancouver Canucks, Bruins principal owner and NHL Chairman of the Board of Governors Jeremy Jacobs made it clear he loves the direction his team is headed.
Jacobs was asked specifically about the management team of president Cam Neely, general manager Peter Chiarelli and Jacobs’ son, Charlie, earlier this week at his end-of-the season press conference, and the praise was flowing inside TD Garden like watered-down Budweiser.
“It’s a leadership team, and Cam [Neely] leads and is part of it. It’s starting with Charlie [Jacobs], through Peter [Chiarelli], through Claude [Julien] and Cam [Neely],” said Jacobs. “I think they have met and exceeded our expectations, my expectations at least. I think we’ve done a terrific job to create a winning institution. I think we have delivered on what we promised.
“We didn’t win this year, and got to the Finals the year before and all. These are enviable positions to be in. I love being here after a season like we just had [where there is] disappointment in the playoffs," he said. "Our objective is the Cup. It isn’t necessarily to have the best team during the regular season as it is to win the Stanley Cup. We will continue that objective, and I think we will continue to grow from here.”
The Bruins have qualified for the playoffs seven consecutive seasons and are riding a consecutive sellout streak of 206 home at TD Garden with the last non-sellout back on Dec. 2, 2009. Television ratings are way, way up for Bruins games and the profitability of the Original Six team has never been better.
While the on-ice product royally disappointed their fan base in the postseason for the first time in four years – the first-round loss to the Washington Capitals was glossed over in the honeymoon period of the Cup – the health and well-being of the Bruins business is also a nod to what Charlie Jacobs, Neely, Chiarelli and Julien have brought to the table the past seven years.
Clearly, in words and actions, that’s made the elder Jacobs a very happy man when the subject turns to his hockey team.