Congrats to Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins and primary reason why the National Hockey League locked out its players twice in eight years, for his "outstanding service to hockey."
Wait, what the hell?
Yeah, Jacobs was just awarded the 2015 Lester Patrick Trophy, given annually to those who help advance hockey in the United States. I'm sure Jacobs gives to charity and all that stuff rich people do because it's tax exempt, but ... this is essentially a slap in the face to every single hockey fan in the country.
I mean, come on with this quote Gary:
"Jeremy Jacobs -- as owner for 41 years of the NHL's first U.S.-based team and long-serving Chairman of our Board of Governors -- has provided unparalleled vision, innovation and inspiration to the advancement of hockey and the NHL," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.
If by "unparalled vision" and "inspiration to the advancement of hockey and the NHL" you mean "the guy that makes NHL lockouts happen," sure, I guess that's accurate.
Jeremy Jacobs is widely known as being the guy who makes lockouts happen.
He's been a rather prominent figure in both of these last two work stoppages and caught a lot of flak for his role in them, being portrayed at various times as a bully even with other owners, and a condescending jerk to the players with whom he is negotiating.
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, that he would act this way, given that by his own admission he owns a moneymaking franchise that won a Stanley Cup and has been able to keep drafting excellent players despite high finishes under the last CBA, and is in no economic danger whatsoever.
He is this guy:
Am told by 2 NHL sources that #Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs forced employees to pay tax on 2011 Stanley Cup rings. About $7K per ring. Cont...— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) November 29, 2012
Some support staff couldn't afford the tax up front, so players stepped up and covered the cost so they could get rings too.— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) November 29, 2012
(Yes, when team staff couldn't afford those taxes and Jacobs wouldn't help them out, the players ponied up. This guy is Mr. Burns in real life.)
Winnipeg Jets representation at a recent NHL Board of Governors meeting piped up to say it was opposed to engaging in a long, bloody lockout sure to stymie their franchise's momentum and hurt the game of hockey.
It wasn't Winnipeg owner Mark Chipman, but rather one of the alternate governors representing the Jets.
Bruins Principal Owner and Chairman of the Board of Governors Jeremy Jacobs answered by reprimanding the Winnipeg representative as one of the "new kids on the block" and informed him that he would know when he was allowed to speak in the NHL board room.
That's the kind of hawkish, dismissive, bully mentality that's driving the bus for the NHL lockout that's now cancelled games through the middle of December.
Jeremy f'n Jacobs just got an award for "outstanding service to hockey." What a world.
(Congrats to scout Bob Crocker, the other Patrick Trophy recipient, who deserves better than to win the award with Jeremy Jacobs by his side.)