The Boston Bruins have seen a massive overhaul of their team, and their front office this offseason. To summarize, its been a crazy summer for the B’s – the team has fired its general manager, let go of young prodigies and veteran Bruins alike, and have made moves for exciting new players , who will look to make up for the Bruins’ losses when the season begins.
With all of the madness, Bruins fans have heard from pretty much everyone regarding Boston’s ordeals. Everyone, except for Boston Bruins Jeremy Jacobs that is.
Until now. Jacobs spoke to the media at the 2016 Bridgestone Winter Classic press event at Gillette Stadium recently, and discussed some of the moves that Boston has made this offseason.
Jacobs and Chiarelli
For one, Jacobs spoke about firing ex-Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli:
“We just found ourselves in a place we don’t want to be.” Jacobs said, in regards to Boston’s position following last season, per the Boston Herald. “It’s going to be a workout time. We had a change when we brought Cam in and Charlie, and they wanted a change. They thought we needed a change. They thought it was the right move for the franchise, I think Peter is a great human being and a great hockey mind, and I think he’s going to prosper out west (with the Oilers). He’s got a great young team there. We were not in the same position.
“It’s a (salary) cap environment we find ourselves in here and you’ve got to look to the future. If you watch the success of the Chicago team, and I do admire them quite a bit, they dealt with their high-priced players early on and they kept creating room. Every year, there was a change, not too unlike the change we see here (this year). We see some great players going elsewhere. Even to this year, you see very successful teams have met that problem. We didn’t deal with it in a timely enough manner and we found ourselves in a cap position that wasn’t attractive for us.”
Despite the tough decision, Jacobs, with the help of Bruins’ President Cam Neely, decided that Chiarelli and the rest of Boston’s front office had different ideas. Their only option was to let him go.
“When I recognized he wasn’t prepared to make the changes that needed to be made. But that wasn’t so much my recognition as it was Cam and Charlie’s. That’s their leadership that you have to talk to.”
Jacobs, Neely, and the Future
Jacobs and Neely have worked together throughout their time as partners, and Jacobs credits Neely for knowing how to run the team. Neely, for example, wanted Chiarelli out earlier than Jacobs did. Now, in hindsight, Jacobs realizes that he could have made the move earlier. That’s one of the reasons Jacobs has such a strong view of Neely.
“Very high. Cam is a leader for a very long time,” the owner said. “He aspires to do that and he’s willing to engage in the tough decisions. And that’s what he wanted to do. If anyone should be faulted, I should be faulted for retaining (Chiarelli) and not letting them move as quickly as the wanted to.”
However, despite all of the time Jacobs has taken to look back, he’s focused even more on the future. That future, of course, has a lot to do with Boston’s new general manager Don Sweeney. Jacobs isn’t the least bit shy to admit that he’s a fan of Sweeney, and is excited to see what the new GM can do for his team.
“I’m a real fan of Donnie’s,” Jacobs said of Sweeney. “I’ve been a fan of his from the day he came to work for us. He’s a bright kid. I remember when he played for us. He was a very bright and strong player. He’s going to make the tough decisions. They’re not all going to be popular, obviously, but he’s really looking out for the good, and he’s got a better perspective than anyone else I’ve seen, appreciating where you are in this cap environment.
“You can’t buy your way out of trouble in this league anymore, you have to manage it.”
Boston is trying to dig itself out of Chiarelli’s cap trouble little by little. With Sweeney, Neely, and Jacobs at the helm of the ship, Bruins fans hope that their team can remain a contender, and find their way out of the salary cap trouble.
Only time will tell.
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!