Boston Bruins are an 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 (which had been their home since 1928).
The Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime in game seven of the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. They now advance to the second round.
Pre-World War II years
In 1923, at the convincing of Boston grocery tycoon Charles Adams, the National Hockey League decided to expand to the United States. Adams had fallen in love with hockey while watching the 1924 Stanley Cup Finals between the NHL champion Montreal Canadiens and the WCHL champion Calgary Tigers. He persuaded the NHL to grant him a franchise for Boston, which occurred on November 1, 1924. With the Montreal Maroons, the team was one of the NHL's first expansion teams.
Adams' first act was to hire Art Ross, a former star player and innovator, as general manager. Ross was the face of the franchise for the next thirty years, including four separate stints as coach.
Adams directed Ross to come up with a nickname that would portray an untamed animal displaying speed, agility, and cunning. Ross came up with "Bruins", an Old English word used for brown bears in classic folk-tales. The team's bearlike nickname also went along with the team's original uniform colors of brown and yellow, which came from Adams' grocery chain, First National Stores.
On December 1, 1924, the new Bruins team played their first NHL game against the Maroons, at Boston Arena, with the Bruins winning the game by a 2–1 score. But the team only managed a 6–24–0 record (for last place) in its first season. They played three more seasons at the Arena, after which the Bruins became the main tenant of the famous Boston Garden, while the old Boston Arena facility—the world's oldest existing indoor ice hockey venue—was eventually taken over by Northeastern University, and renamed Matthews Arena when the university renovated it in 1979.
Eighties and Nineties
Coupled with front-office dislike of Cherry's outspoken ways, 1979 saw new head coach Fred Creighton—himself replaced by a newly-retired Cheevers the following year—and the coming of Ray Bourque. The defenseman remained with the team for over two decades, one of the great stars of all-time and the face of the Bruins for many years.
The Bruins made the playoffs every year through the 1980s behind stars such as Park, Bourque and Rick Middleton—and had the league's best record in 1983 behind a Vezina Trophy–winning season from ex-Flyer goaltender Pete Peeters—but usually did not get very far in the playoffs.
Bourque, Cam Neely and Keith Crowder led the Bruins to another Cup Final appearance in 1988 against the Edmonton Oilers. The Bruins lost in a four-game sweep, but a memorable moment in the would-be fourth game ensued, when in the second period with the game tied 3–3, a blown fuse put the lights out at the Boston Garden. The rest of the game was cancelled and the series shifted to Edmonton. The Oilers completed the sweep, 6–3, back at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton in what was originally scheduled as Game Five. The event is considered to be the reason the Bruins began work on a new stadium.
Boston returned to the Stanley Cup Final in 1990 (with Neely, Bourque, Craig Janney, Bobby Carpenter and rookie Don Sweeney, and former Oiler goalie Andy Moog and Reggie Lemelin splitting goaltending duties), but again lost to the Oilers, this time in five games.
In 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1994, they defeated their Original Six arch-nemesis Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs, getting some revenge for a rivalry which had in recent decades been lopsided in the Canadiens' favor in playoff action. In 1991 and 1992, they suffered two consecutive Conference Final losses to the eventual Cup champion, the Mario Lemieux–led Pittsburgh Penguins.
Since the 1993 season, Boston had not gotten past the second round of the playoffs despite the talent of Adam Oates, Rick Tocchet and Jozef Stumpel. The 1993 season ended disappointingly for several reasons. Despite finishing with the second-best regular season record after Pittsburgh, Boston was swept in the first-round by the Buffalo Sabres. During the postseason awards ceremony, Bruin players finished as runner-up on many of the honors—Bourque for the Norris, Oates for the Art Ross and Lady Byng Trophy, Joe Juneau (who had broken the NHL record for assists in a season by a left-winger, a mark he still holds) for the Calder Trophy, Dave Poulin for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, Moog for the William M. Jennings Trophy, and coach Brian Sutter for the Jack Adams Award, although Bourque made the NHL All-Star First Team and Juneau the NHL All-Rookie Team.
Rejuvenation in Boston
After the disappointing 2007 season, Lewis was fired as coach, and the Bruins announced on June 21, 2007, that former Canadiens head coach Claude Julien had been named as the new head coach. The Bruins also unveiled a new logo, and a brand new shoulder patch closely based on the main jersey logo used until 1932.
The 2008 campaign saw the Bruins regain some respectability, finishing 41–29–12 and making the playoffs. Despite many injuries, the Bruins pushed the top-seeded Canadiens to seven games in the first round of the playoffs before falling. Their performance, despite a 5–0 loss in the seventh game, rekindled interest in the team in New England, where the Bruins had for years been heavily overshadowed by the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics.
After a slow start to the 2008–09 season, the Bruins won seventeen of their next twenty games leading many to see them as a revival of the "Big Bad Bruins" from the 1970s and '80s. During the 2009 All-Star Weekend's Skills Competition, captain Zdeno Chara fired the NHL's fastest measured "hardest shot" ever, with a clocked in speed of 105.4 mph (169.7 km/h) velocity. The number of injured players in the season saw many call-ups from the Bruins' AHL Providence Bruins farm team, with rookie defenseman Matt Hunwick and forward Byron Bitz seeing success. The Bruins went on to have the best record in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the playoffs for the fifth time in nine years, facing the Canadiens in the playoffs for the fourth time during that span, defeating them in a four game sweep before losing in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes in the conference semifinals.
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.
The current administrators in the Bruins front office are:
Jeremy Jacobs: Owner
Charlie Jacobs: Principal
Peter Chiarelli: General Manager
Cam Neely: President
Harry Sinden: Senior Advisor to the Owner
For more details on this topic, see List of Boston Bruins general managers.
The current general manager is Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli was hired on May 26, 2006 as the General Manager of the Boston Bruins. He was signed to a four-year contract. Chiarelli was previously the assistant general manager for the Ottawa Senators. The Senators were given a conditional draft pick for relinquishing Chiarelli. On June 19, 2009 Chiarelli received a four-year contract extension through 2013–2014.
For more details on this topic, see List of Boston Bruins head coaches.
The current head coach is Claude Julien who was hired on June 22, 2007. On February 17, 2009, Julien coached his 200th winning NHL game, a 5–1 Bruins road game defeat of the Carolina Hurricanes. On June 18, 2009, Julien was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the best coach in the NHL.
Media and broadcasters
Main article: List of Boston Bruins broadcasters
Jack Edwards: TV play-by-play
Andy Brickley: TV color analyse
Naoko Funayama: TV rink-side reporter
98.5 The Sports Hub
Dave Goucher: Radio play-by-play
Bob Beers: Radio color analyst