EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 18, 2011

Total redemption for Jeremy Jacobs

Bill Burt

I begin this particular column on the Boston Bruins recalling a scene from one of the great motion pictures of the 20th century, "Dumb & Dumber."

OK, maybe it's third behind "Godfather" and "Godfather II."

Anyway, an upset Harry (Jeff Daniels) is walking alone on a two-lane highway in the scorching sun when he hears his name being called — "Harry! Harry!" — in the distance and realizes it's his friend Lloyd (Jim Carrey), whom he just fought with, riding toward him on a scooter.

Lloyd had apparently just traded their company van "straight up" for the scooter and noted that it gets 70 miles per gallon.

Harry appears to be very upset with the tiny mode new transportation before saying "You know Lloyd, just when I thought you couldn't be any dumber, you go and do something like this ... and totally redeem yourself."

What does this foolish 70-second scene have to do with one of the greatest playoff runs in Bruins history?

A lot, particularly the "totally redeem" part. Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs totally redeemed himself.

Lost in this remarkable playoff run, which was inches away from ending two months ago in Montreal if Tim Thomas doesn't make that save on Brian Gionta in overtime of Game 4 (B's would have been down 3-1 in series), is the way the Bruins did business off the ice this year. Or really off the ice since Harry Sinden and Mike O'Connell left the company.

Jacobs hired Peter Chiarelli and, best of all, he gave him the resouces to win, well, a Stanley Cup championship.

Of course, there are limits with the NHL's salary cap now a half-dozen years old. But if you've checked the way the Bruins have thrown around multi-million dollar contracts recently — see Tim Thomas ($22 million), Patrice Bergeron ($15 million), Zdeno Chara ($45.5 million) and Marc Savard ($28 million) — or the way they've wheeled and dealed around the trade deadline getting defenseman Tomas Kaberle for a first and second round pick, you realize this isn't your father's Bruins.

Remember, the Bruins fired coach Dave Lewis after only one season in 2005-06, a failed season (35-41-6). Two straight seasons out of the playoffs was unacceptable.

For three decades, it could be argued that the aforementioned maneuvering was the exception rather than the rule and that Jeremy Jacobs was viewed, probably correctly, as an absentee owner, based in Buffalo overseeing Delaware North.

The best example of Jeremy Jacobs eagerness and desire to really get the Bruins off the mat of Boston professional sports franchise, though, may have started long before we knew Chara or traded for Phil Kessel. It started when he put his son, Charlie Jacobs, in charge. In Boston!

The fact that Charlie, the Principal of Delaware North and the Boston Bruins, attended Boston College, to be around so many critical people, makes his father's thirst for winning even more compelling.

You have to give Jeremy Jacobs credit. Unlike Sen. John Kerry, who all of a sudden is a hockey expert and rabid Bruins fans who has done way too much TV and radio time the last three days, the Bruins owner has been relatively incognito.

We've seen men as powerful as he is, who are front and center come "credit" time when the Champagne is flowing and the cameras are rolling.

Congratulations to Jeremy Jacobs. Several years ago he got the message and he responded.

That's called redemption in my book. But instead of a scooter, his prize was a lot bigger, shinier and much more memorable.