May 29, 2011

Trip to Finals a proud moment for Jacobs

by Jesse Connolly

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. (Getty)

BOSTON -- For everyone with a vested interest in the Bruins, the wait to see them return to the Stanley Cup Finals has been an agonizing one.

After 20-plus years of falling short and nearly four decades without a title to call their own, the B's are finally preparing for a playoff battle with a Western Conference foe again. No one could be happier to see that than Jeremy Jacobs, who has own the club since 1975.

"You can’t have any more pride than I enjoy this morning," Jacobs said at a press conference at TD Garden on Sunday morning. "And I feel just very lucky and very fortunate to be where I am. As a principal, as a fan, as custodian of a great franchise, this is a wonderful, wonderful experience.

"I think I’m very lucky to have the leadership both on the ice and in the back of the house so to speak. I can’t speak enough for the total organization and how it’s moved forward. I’m just, I’m so proud of what they’ve achieved. And it’s really, as a fan you look at it and you say look what happened Friday night in this building. And it’s what this city deserves and it’s what this fan base is long overdue. And I just commend the guys on the ice for what they got done."

Jacobs fully believes reaching the Stanley Cup wouldn't have been possible without a concerted effort from dedicated individuals throughout the entire organization.

"I think that Peter [Chiarelli] has put together a dream team, his dream and as he saw it within the parameters that they have to work," Jacobs said. "I think Cam [Neely] has shown great understanding of the, of hockey. And this is a great city to play hockey in and that probably is coalesced.

"You’ve got a coach that is a players’ coach who (has shown) outstanding leadership. You have to admire the way when things don’t go your way he doesn’t say woe is me, which we’ve seen throughout the playoffs with some people. He says we got to get down, we got to work harder. And I think that’s just a wonderful attribute.

"I think it plays well to the players. They know that they have to work hard to be successful. And look at Friday night, one goal game, could have gone either way. No regrets, but t was a wonderful experience to see that it went the way it should go. The Bruins shouldn’t lose; it’s a great team."

Often deemed a penny-pincher in year's past, as Jacobs' squad consistently had one of the lowest payrolls in the sport, the longtime owner went through a philosophical change coming out of the lockout and has consistently spent to the cap in order to give the Bruins the best shot at winning it all -- something that's certainly been proven true by the team's current playoff run.

"It does validate that we’re filling the holes with the right people and bringing the right organization together," Jacobs said. "It validates the quality of the management and the leadership. But the leadership, not just at the top but throughout the organization.

"From the player on the ice, you take Zdeno Chara. His leadership is indispensable. You take a Peter or a Claude [Julien] holding to his discipline and all that he brings to it that a Peter does and then a Cam. I think the organization from the top to bottom has evolved into a singular objective. They coalesced. And I think it’s, I’m very proud of them. I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished."