by user Xinoph

It has been five years since the Boston Bruins last had a losing season, or finished last in their division, but thanks to the concerted efforts of owner Jeremy Jacobs, team president Harry Sinden, and GM Mike O'Connell, the long nightmare of a semi-successful hockey team has come to an end.

This year, not only did the Bruins lag behind their professional colleagues, they did worse than several college teams in the region. Both the Boston College Eagles and the University of Maine Black Bears are competing for the national championship in the Frozen Four. In recent years, UMaine has produced a steady succcession of stars, such as gold-medal winner Paul Kariya.

Unsurprisingly, very few of those talented players have gone on to join the Bruins organization.

Even minor-league hockey teams in the region have done a better job than the Bruins this year. Maine's Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League are playoff-bound this year, as is the Bruin's own AHL team, the Providence Bruins.

Of course, as usual, the GM or the coach served as a scapegoat for incompetent ownership - in this case, Mike O'Connell was relieved of his duties. Surely, the major - and totally stupid - trades that went down this year in Boston were his responsibility entirely, rather than the ownership's.

With such a history of ineptitude, inexperience, and apathy at the ownership level, what is really surprising is that the Bruins ever even made the playoffs under Mr. Jacobs, not that they haven't this year. It's conceivable that Jacobs cares less about the fans and winning than any owner in the National Hockey League. Just take a look at some of the star players who have left town as a direct result of his remarkable incompetence:

Ray Bourque, Adam Oates, Joe Thornton, Sergei Samsonov, Mike Knuble, and more. The list goes on and on.

No owner in all of hockey needs to be run out of town on a rail more than Jeremy Jacobs right now. Sure, there are still worse teams (though there may not be for long) - but their owners actually care. That's clearly not the case with Jacobs. While I'm sure there are people in Boston who are glad he's there, if only because he makes them look competent by comparison (Mayor Menino and Celtics GM Danny Ainge spring to mind), an overwhelming majority of fans hate him. In fact, many of us hate him to a degree normally reserved for only one owner in sports: George Steinbrenner. These days, if you asked me who I liked more, the Yankees owner or the Bruins owner, I'd have to go with the Yankees owner - and it kills me to say that.

The situation is terrible not only for regional fans, but for the entire NHL. It's pathetic that one of the Original Six teams hasn't been a serious contender in more than a decade. While diversity in Stanley Cup winners is good, having historical teams be terrible consistently is bad.

So I encourage all you Bruins fans out there to - shun the team. It sounds terrible, but that's the only way to do it. Jeremy Jacobs only cares about money, so if we stop buying tickets and merchandise, maybe his feeble mind will finally grasp the scope of the problem. Jeremy Jacobs is a prime example of why the NHL is heading towards being a fifth - or even sixth - sport in the U.S.

Watch college hockey, major-junior hockey, minor-league hockey, even high school hockey - just don't spend money on the Bruins. If you want to adopt another NHL team, I'm cool with that, but I know I won't be able to do that. I mean, I could pretend to care about the Anaheim Mighty Ducks - the parent club of my hometown Portland Pirates - but it would be way less than half-hearted. More like sixteenth-hearted.

There's plenty of hockey to watch besides the NHL, and no reason to support slimy money-hungry owners like Jeremy Jacobs.


Thu 04/06/06, 8:35 am EST

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