In early September, the Boston Bruins revealed that long-time owner Jeremy Jacobs was transferring the bulk of his ownership to his six children. That news which broke a month ago has yet to be officially confirmed by the organization. On Tuesday as part of the Bruins yearly pre-regular-season opener press conference, the Jacobs family spoke of the transfer for the first time in public.
As a whole both Chairman Jeremy Jacobs and his son CEO Charlie Jacobs didn’t reveal a whole lot to the Boston hockey press brigade. One consistent theme between the father and son when answering questions was that not much has changed from a business perspective for the moment. In fact, the elder Jacobs made it seem like the decision was more of a precursor to having a secure future for the organization.
“I believe he had a vision long ago about trying to keep our family business just that, a family business…” said C. Jacobs at Tuesday’s press conference.
With the older Jacobs maintaining an ownership stake in the Bruins, his role within the organization is to remain the same. According to them the positions that everyone currently holds remain the same despite the shift. Jacobs mentioned that this is a benefit of sorts to fans knowing that the future of the ownership has been cemented.
“I think of the benefit though, it’s probably the only sports team in this town right now that can predictably say it will stay pretty much as is in the direction it’s going in the foreseeable and perhaps the next generation,” said Jeremy Jacobs on Tuesday. “That was my goal. My dad did the same thing for his kids, and it’s the same kind of thinking that I’m putting forward.”
Bruins’ Future Decision-Maker Still Unclear
One of the main criticisms that I have had with the ownership going to all six children is that the actual decision-maker of the future is a complete unknown for the Bruins. Tuesday did very little to clear that up with the Jacobs essentially saying it’s business as usual despite laying out a clear plan for the future of the franchise behind the scenes. When things go awry, who is making the decisions down on Causeway Street? For now, the buck may stop with Jeremy Jacobs. But in the future who makes the final call?
The likely successor in the big chair is the previously mentioned Charlie Jacobs who has been the face of Bruins ownership for over 20 years. But sharing a stake in ownership with his five siblings makes that succession rather uncertain at least on the outside looking in.
Credit where credit is due though. Taking care of the future of ownership now rather than later is smart for the Jacobs family and makes things simpler for fans knowing the status of the team if he were to in his own words “croak”.
Bruins’ Ownership Remains in NHL Power Seat for Now
For the NHL as a whole, the Bruins transition of power is a fairly delicate matter. At least for the time being Jeremy Jacobs is the Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, but who steps in next is a complete unknown. Boston has held its fair share of power within the league’s ownership group and it will be interesting to see if the older Jacobs transitions it to one of his children or if it gets swallowed up by another owner.
At least for the time being who will lead the Bruins for the long-term is unknown. Tuesday made it clear that Jeremy Jacobs would continue in his role with his son Charlie doing the same.
Tanner covers the business of hockey of The Hockey Writers in addition to running his own New England sports website, Trifecta Sports.