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

Countdown to camp: Austin Czarnik

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Countdown to camp: Austin Czarnik

From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: Austin Czarnik.

View the gallery here

Krejci, Krug aim to be ready for Bruins opening night

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Krejci, Krug aim to be ready for Bruins opening night

BRIGHTON – Only two Bruins players spoke to the media following the team’s first informal captain’s practice at the new Warrior Ice Arena facility, and it happened to be the two key players coming back from offseason surgery.

Torey Krug had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder shortly after last season was over, and David Krejci had hip surgery to take care of a lower body issue that had bothered him for each of the last two seasons. Both were on the ice on Monday morning along with John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Frank Vatrano and Noel Acciari, though Krejci hopped off the ice 15 minutes into the session once the skating drills started to ramp up.

Similarly, Krug wasn’t taking any one-timers or winding up for slap shots while working with the puck during drills amidst a six month recovery window that’s expected to carry over into October. Both said that playing on opening night was their goal at this point still weeks ahead of NHL training camp, but a decision should be forthcoming for Krejci when it comes to the World Cup of Hockey. It didn’t sound like the playmaking pivot was going to end up competing for Team Czech Republic in the tournament, but Krejci isn't shutting the door just yet.

“It’s another day closer. I did a little bit more stuff today and I’m obviously already on the ice, so I’m kind of getting there. This injury takes time, but I like where I’m at right now,” said Krejci, who originally hurt the left hip in the final preseason game prior to the 2014-15 seasons. “Every day is a step closer. I’m excited for tomorrow. If you asked me a long time ago [about the World Cup] then I would have said ‘yes’, but right now I just want to get to 100 percent.

“If I’m ready then that would be awesome, but if not then I have to do what I have to do to be 100 percent. I’m in contact with the national team coach, and we talk pretty every week. They’re asking about my updates, so they know what’s going on. I’m sure they have some backup plan if it’s not going to work out. We’ll see what happens.”

It’s not quite as cut-and-dry with Krug, who will start slowly going into training camp while ramping up to being ready as quickly as possible. Similar to Krejci, the shoulder injury was something Krug played with pretty much all of last season while scoring a career-low four goals in 81 games. The 25-year-old D-man wasn’t using the bum right shoulder as an excuse, but said he’s looking forward to feeling good as new again as soon as possible.

“When you miss the playoffs it’s a long summer, but I was very fortunate going through the shoulder surgery that I had a lot of time to recover,” said Krug, who averaged a career-high 21:37 of ice time last season. “Hopefully I’ll be good to go for the first game. I didn’t know what to expect, but from a medical standpoint they tell me that [I’m ahead of schedule]. I’d never been through a surgery or anything like this, but I feel good.

“It’s probably a harder road, but I’m in good hands and they tell me I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m not even using my shoulder shooting the puck. I’m taking it slow and day-by-day with plenty of time still leading up to camp. It’s probably going to be a play it by ear situation [to start camp]. They said six month, so camp would be about five months. So I doubt I’ll be taking part in the physical aspect of it [to start camp]. We’ll see how it goes.”

The bad news is that Krejci and Krug had to go through surgery at all last spring, but it sounds like both aren’t going to miss much, if any, time at all for the B’s once the regular season winds up. 

Krejci more disappointed in losing Eriksson than missing out on Vesey

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Krejci more disappointed in losing Eriksson than missing out on Vesey

BRIGHTON – The Bruins held their first informal skate at the new Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning and there were a number of players present that also took part in the Jimmy Vesey recruiting session a few weeks ago.

Both Torey Krug and David Krejci skated on Monday along with John-Michael Liles, Frank Vatrano, Adam McQuaid and Noel Acciari, and those two aforementioned Black and Gold veterans were also part of the recruiting group that met with the former Harvard captain at their new practice facility.

A few days later, Vesey spurned the Bruins to sign with the New York Rangers, and the reactions weren’t all that overheated from the B’s players. Krug played with Vesey on Team USA during the World Championships a little more than a year ago, and didn’t really begrudge the highly sought Hobey Baker Award winner choosing the Blueshirts.

“I’m not going to go into details. He had the right to do what he did, and obviously it was a smart decision to interview with all those teams and figure out the best fit for him,” said Krug. “We wanted to him here, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Now we move on, and there’s an opportunity for other guys to step in and take that spot. This group moving forward, we’re highly motivated this year.”

Krejci would have been Vesey’s center, as pitched by the Bruins management in the meeting with Vesey, but that wasn’t enough to woo him to play pro hockey in his hometown. Krejci said he was more disappointed losing linemate Loui Eriksson than falling short in the Vesey sweepstakes. The carousel of changing wingers will be moving once again for the B’s pivot.

“I wasn’t really disappointed with that guy. Obviously I’d heard he was a good player, but he has to prove himself on the NHL level. I was more disappointed that we weren’t able to keep Loui. I felt like we had some good chemistry going,” said Krejci, referencing 30-goal scorer Eriksson departing for the Vancouver Canucks and a six-year, $36 million contract. “It was tough to see him go, but I’m getting kind of used to seeing my guys, my favorite guys, going away [like] Milan [Lucic], Nathan [Horton] and [Jarome] Iginla.

“So I’m going to have to play my game, and find chemistry with whoever is going to play on my line. I did meet him, and talked to him a bit. In the summer there aren’t many [hockey] things for people to talk about, so this [Vesey watch] was something for people to talk about. Obviously there was pressure on him, but he brought it on himself, I guess. I feel like he would have been a good fit on our team, but he made the decision he did. I don’t know exactly why he made the decision that he didn’t want to stay [in Boston], but it’s his career and he has all the right to decide where it is he wants to play.”

So Vesey becomes just another Harvard grad headed to New York City to start his career, and the Bruins will likely turn to Vatrano or perhaps rookie playmaker Danton Heinen as left wing candidates alongside Krejci and David Pastrnak after Boston missed out on both Eriksson and Vesey this summer.