Some consider him the Jerry Jones of the NHL, wielding great power among owners. His biggest critics compared him to Mr. Burns. But you can no longer call Jeremy Jacobs the owner of the Boston Bruins.
Jacobs recently handed the keys to the Bruins franchise — along with his other business interests — to his six children, as he told The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul DuPont on Friday.
“I have given it to my kids,” Jacobs said. “They are paying me some of the proceeds that come out of this. It happened this year. This was done on the basis that the longevity is going to continue in the hands of the Jacobs children, and the next generation will have it.”
Jacobs, 79, had been the owner of the Bruins since 1975; DuPont notes that Jacobs purchased the team for about $10 million.
In that time, he was occasionally a lightning rod for criticism, with those including the New York Post’s Larry Brooks mentioning Jacobs as one of the main proponents for lockouts. Brooks wrote this about Jacobs in 2017 after learning that Jacobs had been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame:
Jacobs is the man who has been the voice behind the voice of Gary Bettman for each of the three owners’ lockouts. Clawing back oodles of money for the owners is his claim to fame. This is also the man whose penurious ways forced Raymond Bourque to flee Boston in search of a Stanley Cup, never mind the irony of No. 77 himself having parroted management’s stance for years when his Bruins teammates sought higher pay.
Details like these don’t necessarily speak to a charitable nature:
There’s some hope in the air that the NHL and NHLPA will be able to avoid a lockout this time around, with the NHL opting not to re-open the CBA, and the NHLPA facing a Sept. 15 deadline to choose whether or not to do the same. If you have any experience with previous work stoppages, you’ll realize that there could still be plenty of twists and turns before a new CBA (or CBA extension) is worked out, but it sounds like at least one thing will change: different Jacobs will be involved.
(I mean, unless Jeremy Jacobs gets nostalgic and decides he wants to put on an encore performance.)