As long as Jeremy Jacobs and his son Charlie Jacobs remain as the Boston Bruins ownership regime, don’t expect Bruins team president Cam Neely to lose his job anytime soon.
When asked during the Jim Montgomery press conference at TD Garden on Monday why he and his father decided to green light the firing of Bruce Cassidy as head coach of the Bruins and not make a change in hockey operations with Neely and general manager Don Sweeney, Charlie vehemently defended Neely’s track record as team president.
“I’ll let the Chairman speak, but I’ll go first on that one. I want to say the Boston Bruins have been to the Stanley Cup Finals three times in the past eleven years under Cam Neely’s tenure,” the younger Jacobs pointed out. “I want to say we have somewhere around a 600+ win percentage under our general manager’s tenure.”
As for the firing of Cassidy, Charlie Jacobs made is clear that Neely, and then Sweeney under him, make the hockey operations decisions and based on the aforementioned record under Neely, they trust those decisions. Essentially, the Boston Bruins are under the control of Neely for the foreseeable future.
“The head coach frankly is the responsibility of the general manager, in our opinion. He has to be accountable for that,” he said. “Likewise, the president is accountable to the general manager. So, if they come to us and say, ‘Hey listen, we think this might be in the best interest,’ we’re of course going to follow their lead. They’re empowered to make those decisions and it’s not our job to interfere with them but rather to empower them to make those types of decisions and support them.
I’m not sure if I answered all of your question, but I think that’s the general gist, is that we went and followed management’s direction. There are different types of decisions that are involved in the National Hockey League, and Jim Montgomery just spoke to how he plans to lead, how he makes decisions, what is the process. Some are consultative, some are collaborative, and some are unilateral. I think by and large, if you were to speak to a majority of management in the National Hockey League, there’s a time where they have to make a decision that might not necessarily be collaborative or consultative. But something that they have to make is in the best interest of the club. It’s our job to support them in that process.
Again, this is Don’s decision and its Cam’s responsibility to support Don. I would say it works that way in arguably the other 31 markets in the National Hockey League. If they want to make a change, we’re here to support them and do so. Until further notice, that’s the way this works.”