Boston's owner has no clue, unlike the Dallas Stars
Posted: Wednesday March 29, 2006 12:20PM; Updated: Wednesday March 29, 2006 7:00PM
If the Bruins don't improve, owner Jeremy Jacobs may want to don a disguise before walking the streets of Boston.
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Actions speak so much louder than words. And since the Bruins have yet to take action in their search for a new general manager, they can't be judged too harshly just yet. But the early words emanating from the organization in the post-Mike O'Connell era aren't the sort that will soothe the spirits of dejected Beantowners facing yet another spring without hockey.
Owner Jeremy Jacobs, apparently trying to act the part of an active and caring custodian of the Bruins tradition, has been omnipresent in the media discussing the future of the franchise, especially as it regards to a replacement for O'Connell. And, in a manner instantly recognizable in Boston, he's badly fumbled the ball.
What is Jacobs looking for in the next man? A savvy veteran capable of leveraging his years of experience to successfully rebuild the team? A young buck armed with fresh ideas and a bold new approach?
No, the quality Jacobs prizes most in his next GM is the ability to get along well with the Jacobs family.
He didn't misspeak, nor did he simply fail to get his message across clearly. That's the first point he's made repeatedly when asked about the position -- and it's the first point echoed by son Charlie Jacobs, the team's executive vice president, when asked the same question.
The news isn't any more flattering coming out of Buffalo, where the junior Jacobs was profiled in a puff piece in Buffalo Business First. (Thanks to Clayton in Cheektowaga, N.Y., for passing this gem along.)
Junior, who apparently considers himself a Buffalo guy, was asked whom he was cheering for in Saturday's Bruins-Sabres tilt.
"I just hope it's a good game for the fans," Charlie replied.
A good game, says a man in charge of a team that's fighting (albeit failingly) for the final playoff spot in the East.
That sort of namby-pamby response would be fine if Jacobs were running for public office. Politicians often are loath to express a quotable opinion that'll put them on one side of an issue or the other. But Jacobs is an executive with a professional sports team, not a courter of popularity.
This may seem like a small matter, but it's at the root of all of Boston's problems. Ask, for example, a guy like Dallas president Jim Lites who he cheers for when the Stars play the Wings. Lites is from Detroit, used to work for Detroit. Maybe he still feels some affinity for the team, right? No way. I guarantee he says he wants Dallas to mop the floor with the Wings and send 'em home crying in their Vernors.
Of course, comparing Lites with Jacobs is apples and oranges. One works for a franchise where the goal is to win the Cup. The other works for the Bruins.
In the Stars
Does continuity breed success, or success continuity?
The Stars this week re-upped head coach Dave Tippett and assistants Rick Wilson, Mark Lamb and Andy Moog through the 2007-08 season to ensure they have their bases covered, whichever the case.
That group has been together for four seasons to date, and Tippett has a record of 135-68-30 over that time -- the best mark among active coaches.
The willingness to reward hard work and on-ice results with security is the backbone of one of the league's best-run franchises.
It's also why teams with their sights set on impending UFAs Jason Arnott and Willie Mitchell would do well not to get their hopes up. Free agents don't leave Dallas unless there's no place for them on the team (as was the case with Ed Belfour and Derian Hatcher). Given that the Stars should have enough financial wiggle room to accommodate both players -- and that the team should be able to compete for the Cup for the next several years -- there's no reason to think Arnott and Mitchell will break that trend.