Bruins fan helps save man's life at practice

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Bruins fan helps save man's life at practice

WILMINGTON, MA Real life collided with the joy of sports on Thursday morning at Bruins training camp as a fan in the Ristuccia Arena stands was removed by emergency medical personnel on a stretcher after collapsing prior to the start of practice.
An off-duty EMT with the Concord Police Department and the Littleton Fire Department, Terry Gardner, was sitting nearby with a few friends about to take in the practice, but he immediately sprung into action along with an off-duty Wilmington police officer right behind him. Bruins trainers Don DelNegro and Derek Repucci also reported to the scene along with several Wilmington police and Fire Department officials and assisted in the individuals emergency treatment for an apparent heart attack.   
I was here with a couple of buddies just watching practice. I heard somebody yell somebody call 911 and I went up and saw a man that was having some labored, erratic breathing. I pulled him down to the floor and I was joined by an off-duty officer, said Gardner. He appeared pulse-less, so at that time I started chest compressions and he started ventilation while yelling for a defibrillator. At that point we delivered one shock, continued CPR and he became more responsive.
He appeared to be responding to stimuli on his way out, he had a pulse and appeared he was breathing. Those were all good signs that he was in better condition than when we found him. It was definitely a little weird having the Bruins watching me give somebody medical attention than me watching them do their thing at practice.
Gardner indicated the individual was going through some kind of cardiac episode that first appeared to be a possible seizure, and CPR was administered as the full arena crowd watched in shock silence. The practice immediately stopped as Bruins players took a knee to solemnly watch the scene as police officer, firefighters and medical personnel began to work on the fallen individual before transporting him to a local hospital via ambulance.  
The last thing they needed was to hear pucks banging on the glass," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "Out of respect, we just let them do their job.
The EMTs called for the defibrillator stored at Ristuccia Arena, and Gardner indicated they were able to stabilize the individual before carrying down through the stands and wheeling him to the ambulance. Having a defibrillator at a venue like Ristuccia can often be the difference between life or death when heart issues are involved.
The quicker you can do CPR the better in a situation like that... seconds absolutely count, said Gardner. For the situation he had, it happened in a pretty good place. They had the defibrillator on scene, which probably made a world of difference for him. If this happened at home, it might not have been such a good outcome.
There was no word on the mans condition as of Thursday afternoon, but the Bruins players had plenty of appreciation for the quick-acting Bruins fans and first responders that literally saved the mans life.
We were skating around and noticed some people standing up and a big crowd surrounding somebody up there. You dont want to get all sentimental about stuff like this, but it really does put everything else in perspective about how fragile life is, said Bs center Gregory Campbell, who was so interested in police-work that he went for ride-alongs with the Boston Police during the lockout. It takes heroic people to do what they do. It takes a certain type of person to be able to act under pressure like that. Its not pressure that we deal with on a daily basis; its life or death. Thats the most important kind of pressure to operate under.
I have a huge appreciation for how brave and courageous the first responders are; even Donnie DelNegro for going up there and lending a hand. When terrible things like that happen, its important that people come together and help find a solution.
There was no word on the mans condition as of Thursday afternoon after he was rushed away from Ristuccia via ambulance.

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.

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