|Bruins break ground on Warrior Ice Arena as construction of practice facility begins||12.10.14 at 4:53 pm ET|
The Bruins broke ground on their new practice facility, which will be called Warrior Ice Arena, on Wednesday. Cam Neely, Charlie Jacobs, Peter Chiarelli, Mayor Marty Walsh and New Balance chairman Jim Davis were among those on hand for the event.
Warrior Ice Arena, which will be located in Brighton as part of New Balance’s Boston Landing project, is expected to open in September of 2016. The Bruins will continue to practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington until then.
That’s great news for the Bruins, eventually. Though both Neely and Jacobs thanked Ristuccia at every opportunity Wednesday, Ristuccia is not an NHL-caliber practice facility. Furthermore, its location is inconvenient to Boston.
The Bruins don’t have many things on which they can’t sell players. They’re a winning organization, they have a good coach, they spend to the cap annually and they have people in the front office who players throughout the league respect. Their practice facility, on paper, is really their only clear shortcoming when it comes to places to play for prospective free agents.
“I really think it means a lot to players. It means a lot to the organization and to the players,” Jacobs said. “What I mean by the players is if I’m one of them — Big Zee, Looch or Seth Griffith or whoever it is – you’re doing that grind of back and forth to the rink. Likewise, on an off day when the Celtics may be playing or there’s an event in the building, you’re out here. It means a lot to have a shorter commute.
“It makes life a lot easier, as we probably all are aware, but then you think about courting potential free agents. To be able to take them to not only the Garden and show them the work we’ve done there, but say, ‘Hey, listen. Come check out our practice facility,’ that’s a big selling point for a lot of clubs. It should be one for Boston’s and it will be very soon.”
Both Neely and Jacobs said that the team’s priority was to build a new facility within Route 128, with Jacobs saying he was “over the moon” with how things fell together with New Balance. Jacobs added that he feels the Bruins will “set [an] industry standard in terms of amenities, technology and quality when it comes to this training facility.”
|Charlie Jacobs on a window of opportunity for Bruins: ‘I do believe we’ll be right back there’||05.20.14 at 2:55 pm ET|
With a talented core and a young group of complimentary players in the fold, Bruins management and ownership feels there won’t be a drop-off in performance for while.
As a matter of fact, owner Jeremy Jacobs, son Charlie and team president Cam Neely said Tuesday during their season-ending media availability that there’s no reason to think the Bruins aren’t poised for another run at the Stanley Cup in 2015.
“[There’s] a tremendous amount of confidence in our both on-ice leadership and off-the-ice leadership,” Charlie Jacobs said. “A lot of character in our dressing room, and it starts with Zee [Zdeno Chara], but listen ‘ there are a lot of complimentary pieces, and when you consider Patrice [Bergeron] and Krech [David Krejci], and we may have lost something with Andy Ference but we picked it up with Jarome [Iginla]. And then there’s a lot of character and leadership, and they held each other accountable, and you saw in your exit interviews ‘ they all felt as though they maybe didn’t necessarily play their best but they let the team down, and that meant more to them than, say, their individual stats. And I think that speaks volumes about the mentality in the locker room itself, and that’s what you aspire to have.”
The Bruins reportedly did suffer a bit of a hit Tuesday with word that assistant general manager Jim Benning has been named general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, replacing the fired Mike Gillis.
“In terms of our organizational leadership, I think with Cam [Neely] and Peter [Chiarelli] and Don Sweeney and Jim [Benning], they’ve done a great job of really trying to assemble a mixture of both veteran and some young leadership to bring us back to the promised-land,” Charlie Jacobs added. “And you need that mix. You need the right mix. We maybe erred a bit, a little bit, in terms of having too many inexperienced defensemen. If you think about it, really only two of them ‘ two veterans on the back line this postseason. But as my dad referred to, that will pay dividends as you progress moving forward. So listen, I have great faith in both aspects. I do believe we’ll be right back there. I expect that we’ll be back there. Stranger things have happened, but I hope we start right out of the gate where we left off in March, not necessarily at the end of April.”
|Jeremy Jacobs has no intention of selling Bruins to buy NFL’s Buffalo Bills: ‘I kind of like where I am’||at 2:14 pm ET|
When Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs expressed interest in buying the Buffalo Bills in April, after the passing of longtime owner Ralph Wilson, Bruins fans wondered if that meant the end of his stewardship of the NHL franchise.
Tuesday, during a 25-minute address to reporters at TD Garden, Jacobs made it clear that he has no such intentions and is quite happy as the owner of the “Original Six” franchise.
“Well, I can’t buy the Bills, because I own the Bruins,” Jacobs said, referring to the NFL by-laws that prohibit owning teams in different cities. “That’s not a bad place to be. I kind of like where I am.”
Jacobs is among the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in the world, owning the Delaware North Companies, with an individual net worth of approximately $3.1 billion. Jacobs was initially among a group of several Western New York businessmen reported to be interested in the Bills. Another businessman reportedly interested was real estate tycoon Donald Trump.
Jacobs has owned the Bruins since 1975. Jacobs also represents the club on the NHL‘s Board of Governors and serves on its Executive Committee. At the NHL Board of Governors meeting in June 2007, Jacobs was elected Chairman of the Board, replacing the Calgary Flames‘ Harley Hotchkiss.
Jacobs made changes in management of the Bruins, with the retirement of veteran team president Harry Sinden from active management of the team into an advisory capacity. New management included Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien. Cam Neely, who was on the dais Tuesday with Jacobs and Jacobs’ son Charlie, was also lured back to the new organization and subsequently named as President of the team.
Since 2008, the Bruins have made playoffs every year, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, reaching the Cup finals in 2013 and winning the Presidents’ Trophy this past season as the team with the best record and most points (117).
|Bruins considering building practice facility next to TD Garden||10.02.13 at 3:04 pm ET|
Bruins principal Charlie Jacobs said Wednesday that the team is continuing to look into options for a new practice facility and that building one next to TD Garden is currently his top choice.
The Bruins are long overdue to upgrade from Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, and they’ve had reported interest in practicing at the sports complex being built by New Balance in Brighton.
Delaware North (the Jacobs family’s company) and Boston Properties filed formal plans for a Causeway St. complex last month, and Jacobs said he expects it to be reviewed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in November.
“My hope would be that we would have a premier, world-class training facility,” Jacobs said Wednesday. “Not to say that we don’t have one at Ristuccia, but we think we could do better and a little bit of an upgrade. If it works out with our partners at Boston Properties — and we’re still penciling the numbers — there is a good chance that we would have one right next door in addition to some retail [stores], some restaurants.
“It’s a really good concept that we’d be rolling out to fill in this North End. If it happens to be a rink, great. If not, we’ll continue our discussions with [New Balance], with The Skating Club of Boston. There are a number of different options for us out there for us. This might be option 1 in my book at the moment. Things change though. This is a very evolving process.”
|Charlie Jacobs: ‘I bet [Bruins] get something’ for Tim Thomas||08.21.12 at 4:59 pm ET|
Bruins principal and alternate governor Charlie Jacobs joined The Big Show Tuesday to support the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund radio telethon. Among the topics discussed was Tim Thomas, and Jacobs admitted that he was “thrown” after the season upon learning that the two-time Vezina-winner would not return next season to play the final year of his contract.
“I was beyond surprised,” Jacobs said. “I am still.”
Thomas has said that he will not play next season, and his future beyond that remains unclear.
“I’m having a hard time wrapping my ahead around that whole line of logic,” Jacobs said. “I respect Timmy and I respect his decision, but at  ‘¦ I want to say he’ll be 39 by the time he comes back, taking a year off from pro hockey, from the National Hockey League, from the show, I don’t see how it’s possible to come back and play at that level. He may prove us all wrong, but I would be stunned. This is prime earning potential for him. This is not chump change — we’re talking 5 million bucks [Editor’s note: He would earn $3 million, though his salary cap hit would be $5 million] — and the possibility of another deal if he does perform well.”
Thomas confirmed via his Facebook account — something he’s used to share some controversial opinions, including why he did not attend the White House this past season — that he would not be playing next year. More recently, he posted on Facebook that he supports the Cathy family, the owners of Chic-fil-A who have been outspoken against gay marriage.
“We certainly don’t share his views or those messages that have been posted on Facebook, in particular with the recent fast-food chain in Boston and his statement about that as well,” Jacobs said of Thomas. “I’m speaking cryptically because I’d prefer to not bring it up and give it merit.
Added Jacobs: “Tim’s always marched to the beat of his own drum. By and large, that’s what made him such a special player, is that you never really knew what he was going to do. I don’t think opposing shooters knew where the hell he was going to go, right? I think that spelled well for a certain amount of time.”
The Bruins could conceivably trade Thomas to another team and be off the hook for his cap hit, as teams that need to reach the cap floor would only have to pay $3 million for a $5 million cap hit. Jacobs said he feels there’s a market.
“Timmy’s going to do what he wants to do, and you know what? I bet we’ll get something for him if he elects not come back and there is in fact a floor for the salary cap this upcoming season, I can see teams trading for that $5 million cap [hit] to bring their team up to the floor. So I think there will be a market for a player, as ironic as it sounds, there will be a market for a player who’s not going to play next year.”
Jacobs said that he and the front office have discussed whether they could have talked him into returning “on many occasions,” but he noted he has not spoken to Thomas since the end of the season.
“More specifically we’ve asked the question,’Has Timmy thought this through?'” Jacobs said. “Apparently he has.”
|Cam Neely discusses Bruins’ future at final press conference of 2011-12 season||05.03.12 at 5:17 pm ET|
Cam Neely, Jeremy Jacobs and Charlie Jacobs held a season-ending press conference Thursday to discuss the 2011-12 season and look ahead to the future.
The calling of the press conference Wednesday was somewhat surprising, but given that Neely hadn’t spoken at last Friday’s breakup day, it seemed appropriate for the team president to meet with the media one last time this season. The trio of Neely and the Jacobs covered a variety of topics Thursday, so here’s a recap of it all.
– One common theme throughout the players at breakup day was that they had trouble getting up for the playoffs after last June’s run to the Cup finals. While Neely recognized the fatigue factor, he still feels the team is too good to lose in the first round.
“It should be unacceptable,” Neely said. “With the players we have, the talent that we have, the coaching staff we have, you can’t be accept a first-round exit. I believe that we’re a franchise that’s beyond, ‘Let’s make the playoffs,’ that’s beyond, ‘Let’s have a good showing in the first round. I think we’re beyond that. Expectations are much higher now.”
Neely said that though players spoke of their difficulty getting mentally engaged in the postseason, the team as a whole appeared to share his frustration with the first-round exit.
“What I saw was guys that looked to be disappointed,” Neely said. “When you look at all the seven games of the whole and you say, ‘Geez, we probably should be moving on,’ I think they would all agree with that. I think if they really assessed our game and their individual play, they to a person probably feel like they could have played better or could have done a little bit more to get that extra goal or that extra win that we needed. ”
– Neely agreed with Peter Chiarelli‘s sentiment that no major shakeup is needed this offseason, but that some turnover should occur. He is hopeful that free agent Chris Kelly can return.
“I think just some tweaking,” he said of the roster. “Peter and I spoke a few days after the season ended. We’re going to have more discussions as the summer progresses here, but I like the makeup of our team, I like the character of our team. I think Peter’s done a really good job of signing players before they become free agents as best he can. I think we have guys that are still going to improve. We have a young team in that regards as far as the core goes and will improve. But we know we have some areas we will look to improve and we’ll have more discussions in the offseason on how we can go about doing that.”
– Neely said that he remains satisfied with the team’s goaltending situation of Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. The latter is a restricted free agent, and Neely said that when Rask signs his new deal — which figures to see a pay raise — there will be enough room for both players financially and when it comes to playing time.
“Well financially it shouldn’t be an issue,” Neely said. “Playing-time-wise, it’s always been they’re battling it out and the coach will end up playing who he thinks is going to give the team the best shot to win.”
– Both Claude Julien and Chiarelli still have term on their contracts, and Neely said he was pleased with the job both did this season.
“I thought they both did a great job this year,” Neely said. “Claude’s a very good coach, Peter’s a good general manager. There’s challenges at times with the way the cap is now, to try and make certain moves you’d like to make. The trade deadline is a great example of that. The offseason, July 1 is another good example of it’s a little bit more difficult dealing with the cap than it’s been pre-cap.
“I think Claude’s done a good job, I’ve seen Claude make some adjustments since he’s been here and I think it’s been good that he communicates really well with the players. There’s no gray area which as a player, I think is fantastic. You shouldn’t have a gray area and he’s done a really good job since he’s been here.”
Neely also said that there were no plans at this time to make any moves regarding the coaching staff. That obviously applies more to the assistants, as Julien’s job is obviously safe.
– After two straight postseasons of power play struggles, Neely allowed that something needs to change, but not necessarily coaching or personnel.
“We got away with [having a bad power play] last year as everybody knows,” he said. “This year, it kind of bit us in the butt. We really need to have a philosophical difference of how we look at the power play. I don’t just look at the percentage of the power play, I look at when we get power plays, what the score of the game is, what time of the game is ‘ that’s important. Maybe more so important than what the actual percentage of the power play is.
“I think we have the personnel that we can improve on the power play. There’s some things we’ll certainly discuss in the offseason about what we can do differently with the power play. I think it’s an area that absolutely needs improvement and we will improve on it.”
– There is one more year remaining on the Bruins’ deal with Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. Charlie Jacobs said the team is determining what to use for a practice facility beyond then, with the team still considering Ristuccia. Jacobs did say that the Bruins want their practice facility to be a potential selling point for free agents, so that would suggest the team would ideally like to upgrade.
|Transcript: Bruins Media Day Press Conference||09.28.09 at 9:28 pm ET|
The Boston Bruins held their pre-season media today this morning. The session started with a press conference panel of owner Jeremy Jacobs, principal owner Charlie Jacobs, head coach Claude Julien, general manager Peter Chiarelli, and vice president Cam Neely. The transcript from the press conference is below.
Pressure to live up to last year’s 116 points within the sports culture of Boston?
Jeremy Jacobs: Simple answer? Yes. There is an expectation on my part and the community at large. I share the same goal, my ambition is to win a Stanley Cup and I think we have the personalities in place from management, coaching and players. So, I look for a great season and will be disappointed if there is anything less than that.
How impressed are you with the brain trust that has been put together in the front office?
Jeremy Jacobs: I think he [Peter Chiarelli] has done a great job. We’ve extended our relationship and our contract and I expect that we are building on something. Every body here [the media] are all totally and justifiably critical when we stumbled at first but we got it going and stayed with it and I think the organization is working really well and I think there are personalities in place to run it.
On sending Brad Marchand and Zach Hamill down and the depth of the organization.
Chiarelli: I think both of them have had tremendous camps and I told Zach this morning that, we had talked about him playing at the rookie tournament and when some of the other guys just didn’t play. That was good thing that he did, you could see it in how he played in the main camp. I said that most importantly it was the work he did in the development camp, the summer camp, so you have to build on it when you go down to Providence. I told him he had a good camp. I told him he has to work on his battles when he goes down low and I thought the speed caught up to him a little bit at the end.
When I talked to Brad I told him that he had a very good camp and that he was on the right track and while his game is always simple, sometimes down in Providence it tended to get a little complicated and we tried to fix that and he tried to fix it during the camp. So, two young kids, both speak well for the future.
Those guys and the guys we assigned down on Saturday. I like our depth here. It is in different sorts, it’s not just a finesse player here or something but players that can fill in different capacities.
On health situation at the start of the year.
Chiarelli: As of today, I haven’t talked to the training staff, but as of today I believe we will be pretty healthy at the start of the year unless something were to happen between now and then. You hear of a lot of these teams with groins and hips and, you know, it was a condensed training camp this year and we had maybe one more game than maybe we wanted to. So, I think Claude [Julien] can speak to this, but I think the off day yesterday was good and I think we will get some productive work in between now and the start of the year.
On having first five games at home.
Julien: Well, first of all I think the first part of the season is probably more important no matter whether you are on the home or on the road than most people think and it’s been brought to our attention every year that teams in good shape on Thanksgiving are usually the teams that end up in the playoffs. So, we are aware of that and the important-cy of getting off to a good start but even more so this year in front of our fans. No doubt the first five games in front of our fans will be crucial in their minds.
Filling Phil Kessel‘s Shoes.
Julien: We are confident with the team that we have here, no doubt. We have Marco Sturm back and healthy so, as a group we are a strong team. We fell stronger as well with some young guys having matured and Marco Sturm in as I mentioned he was out most of last year. David Krejci is ahead of the curve right now and we’re hopefully looking forward to seeing him in the opener. All in all I think our team is in great shape. Tuuka Rask is going to be a great goaltender to support Tim [Thomas].
We’re very confident and I think this Kessel issue for us is in the past and we’re moving forward.
Addition of ECHL Redding team helping the organization.
Chiarelli: We will providing some players there as those who won’t be on Providence. So, anytime you can expand your organization depth wise it’s going to help in the long run. I think we are probably going to provide two or three players there, so, it is a good addition. The last few years we have had east coast affiliates and I think they are affiliated with a couple other teams so they have good staff there and good for the development of our young guys.
On what the race for the conference will look like.
Julien: I am not one to look at these situations as a whole and just sit there and say that we have to be at the top. I think we have to work our way to the top, just like we did last year. There is nothing different except that the challenge will be bigger. There is more respect towards our team this year so obviously there are teams around our conference who are certainly improved. Philadelphia is one of those teams with [Chris] Pronger on the back end, they are certainly going to be a better team. I don’t think I am going to spend all my energy worrying about what’s on the outside. I think it’s important to worry about your back yard and for me it is about the preparation of our team. I have said all along that if teams want to beat us, they are going to have to adapt to us, because we are not going to adapt to others. We play our style of game and we feel confident with it and we will go forward with it as well.
Patrice Bergeron has an extra bounce to his skates this pre-season?
Julien: I think Patrice has taken off where he left off last year. You know, he went through a lot and we were patient and helped him along the way to find his game again but what he went through is something that you don’t want to see again and I think he had a great second half and even the playoffs. I have mentioned that before, he was one of our best forwards in the series. I think he was excited about it when he left here last year and is excited about coming back and I think that is a continuation of what you saw last year.
For someone who has played in the finals twice, what does this team need to do to reach that mark?
Neely: We just need to learn from last year. As a player you learn from the experiences you go through. I think when we got to the finals in 1988 it was the first time for a lot of us to be in the finals and I think a lot of us, including myself, were thrilled to be in the finals. Then, in ‘90, we understood what happened in ‘88 and we don’t look at it like we are excited to be in the finals. You have to remember two years ago, for a lot of our players it was their first time being in the playoffs and a lot of our key players, it was the first time for them. So, the learned from that series and took it a little bit further last year and what I always have these guys try to remember is how it felt to win those games and how it felt to lose that final game and you can learn from that. I think we have a lot of guys that know we should have gone a little deeper than we did and I think they’re hungry to get back to that challenge to go a little deeper.
Will the team be actively searching the waiver wire as the league wide roster cut deadline looms?
Chiarelli: Waiver acquisition that we’d look at? You basically react to that. You have a general idea of who is going to be on and we will look at who is on today. We will see who is up there and I suspect we will see some activity as far as trading players, for teams that are under cap crunches. So, I will be fielding some calls but I don’t anticipate anything happening.
On Versus and Direct TV customers not seeing opening night.
Jeremy Jacobs: I think you are right, it doesn’t look good. The commissioner and everybody in the league office is doing what they can do but the situation is not within our control. We know how unhappy the whole hockey world is. I think the best thing is that everybody should be put on notice that if they want to watch our game with what the circumstances are, if they want to watch our game get to a location where they can see it from. Right now it does not look good to be broadcast. They are moving at glacial speed.
Giving Sturm a try out on the top line with Savard considering how the speedy Kessel played there.
Julien: We’d certainly like, to a certain extent, put some speed again on that wing and Marc is good at finding those guys so we will give those guys a try. Like I mentioned through training camp there is nothing carved in stone. We are going to put the best lines together as we can possibly find and if that means tweaking them and moving them around we will until we find the right combination. I think right now it is worth having a look at and Marco has played the off wing before and he feels comfortable there as well so, again, there is a guy who hasn’t played in a while so we have to take that into consideration whether he’s on top of his game or whether he is trying to find it again.
With the stable situations in the front office and on the ice, what are the tweaking points that could be made during the season?
Chiarelli: Structurally I do not foresee anything. I mean, we always exchange ideas and philosophies where we hope to improve the communication between the management, the coaching staff and the team. We always look to improve. I can’t tell you anything that we haven’t told you already, I know there are some themes that Claude and I have talked about that we want to impress on the team all year. Besides that, I am happy where we are at. We always look to improve but there will nothing really significant from within the management group.
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