VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Jeremy Jacobs has owned the Boston Bruins since 1975. He has watched his team come close to the Stanley Cup five times. Criticized for his cost-conscious ways in running the team, Jacobs has been the brunt of hatred and doubt as owner of this Original Six franchise. But as he stood on the ice in the midst of the Bruins' post-game celebration Wednesday night, the embattled owner seemed to understand the discontent that Bruins fans aimed at him for so many years.
“It will be a love fest until our next loss,” Jacobs joked to ESPNBoston.com. “But yeah, they deserve it. They deserve the win. They’ve been great fans. They’ve stuck with me, they stuck with the franchise and they’ve done it right. Now they have a great team and they got what they deserved for so long.”
Jacobs, who has always claimed to be just as much a fan as an owner, said there were tense moments as his franchise closed in on the Stanley Cup victory.
“You know, you don’t let yourself be disappointed,” Jacobs said. “They came up and got me with like eight or nine minutes left and I was like, 'Not yet.' We got to five minutes and I was like 'No, not yet,' and then we scored again to make it 4-0 and then I felt like 'OK, it’s going to happen' and it did.”
Jacobs acknowledged thinking back to the 1988 and 1990 Bruins teams that lost to the Oilers, especially the 1990 team that won the President’s Trophy as the best team in the regular season but lost in five to Edmonton. As Jacobs pointed out, that team and the 1988 squad were worthy teams, but in today’s salary-cap world, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and President Cam Neely deserve credit for building a Stanley Cup-caliber team.
“They [the 1988 and 1990 teams] were good teams but it’s a different kind of commitment now and it’s a different attitude now,” Jacobs said. “You can’t say enough for how Peter and his people have evaluated these players and how Cam and him have worked together. They made the right decisions. I feel awfully good about the trades they made at the deadline. They worked out great.”
Jacobs also credited head coach Claude Julien for standing his ground in the face of adversity through the season and the playoffs.
“Claude sticks to his convictions and he plays the game squarely and doesn’t fall into excuses,” Jacobs said. “They didn’t call a penalty or they didn’t do this right and he doesn’t let that stuff rattle him.”
As the 71-year-old owner of the 2011 Stanley Cup champions got pulled away by team staff, he made a point of crediting this team for their resilience that he believed led them to this momentous win.
“We need to recognize the resilience of this team,” Jacobs said. “They went seven games in that first round, they went seven games in the conference finals and now to go seven games here -- just think about that. What resilience they’ve shown and I’m so proud of these guys. The overtime wins, the effort, it all fell into place and then we played a very good team and they were the best in the regular season, so that says even more.”