The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team has been in existence since 1924, entering the league as the first United States-based expansion franchise.
They are also an Original Six team, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston currently has the second highest total of Stanley Cup championships won by an American team at five, with the Detroit Red Wings winning 11. Their home arena is the TD Garden, where they have played since 1995 after leaving the Boston Garden.
The 2004/05 NHL season was wiped out by a lockout, and the Bruins had a lot of space within the new salary cap implemented for 2005/06. Bruins management eschewed younger free agents in favor of older veterans such as Alexei Zhamnov and Brian Leetch. The newcomers were oft-injured, and by the end of November, the Bruins team traded their captain and franchise player, Joe Thornton
. In exchange, the Bruins received Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau from the San Jose Sharks. After losing ten of eleven games before the trade, the Bruins came back with a 3/0 victory over the league-leading Ottawa Senators, as rookie goaltender Hannu Toivonen earned his first career NHL shutout.
When Toivonen went down with an injury in January, journeyman goalie Tim Thomas started sixteen straight games and brought the Bruins back into the playoff run. Two points out of eighth place at the Winter Olympic break, the Bruins fired general manager Mike O’Connell in March and the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.
Peter Chiarelli was hired as the new GM of the team. Head coach Mike Sullivan was fired and Dave Lewis, former coach of the Detroit Red Wings, was hired to replace him. The Bruins signed Zdeno Chara, one of the most coveted defensemen in the NHL and a former NHL All-Star, from the Senators, and Marc Savard, who finished just three points short of a 100 point season in 2005/06 with the Atlanta Thrashers, to long-term deals.
The 2006/07 season ended in the team finishing in last place in the division. The Bruins traded Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau to the Calgary Flames for Andrew Ference and forward Chuck Kobasew.
The 2007/08 season ended on a bright note for the Bruins when they forced the Canadiens to play a seven-game playoff series, including a memorable Game 6 in which Boston came back to win 5/4. Although Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was injured with a concussion most of the season, youngsters Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Vladimir Sobotka and Petteri Nokelainen showed promise in the playoffs.
Since 1975 the team has been owned by Jeremy Jacobs. Jacobs represents the club on the NHL’s Board of Governors, and serves on its Executive Committee. At the NHL Board of Governors meeting in June 2007, Jacobs was elected Chairman of the Board, replacing the Calgary Flames’ Harley Hotchkiss, who stepped down after 12 years in the position. He has frequently been listed by Sports Business Journal as one of the most influential people in sports in its annual poll and by Hockey News.
Jacobs company owns the TD Garden and he is partners with John Henry, owner of the Red Sox, in the New England Sports Network(NESN). Prior to the new collective bargaining agreement, fans felt team management was not willing to spend to win the Stanley Cup.
In his 35 years as owner, the Bruins have not won the Stanley Cup. While his public image has improved with a complete change in management including new General Manager Peter Chiarelli, Coach Claude Julien and Cam Neely’s arrival, the management of the team in the past earned him spots on ESPN.com’s “Page 2” polls of “The Worst Owners in Sports”, and #7 on their 2005 “Greediest Owners In sports” list.
Fortunately, Jacobs has invested in the team and rebuilding the front office to make the team more competitive. The Bruins were the second highest ranked team in the NHL in the 2008/2009 season and were the top seeded team in the East.
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