Friday, September 18, 2009

State Of The Bruins event a success

Another year, another resounding success at the annual "State Of The Bruins" season ticket holder event. This year must have been easier for the Jacobs clan than years past. Nothing like a little success and a promising future to call off the dogs a little. As much as he isn't a great public speaker, he acquitted himself nicely last night. He was deferential when it came to player personnel questions, and gave polite "non-answers" to questions he couldn't get too deeply involved in.
Charlie Jacobs (as usual, noticeably annoyed and envious of the overwhelming fan reaction to Cam Neely) had very little to offer. He touched on the Winter Classic, and mentioned that there are several plans in the works for events to be staged around the main event. Possibly some youth hockey games, and with luck, an alumni event of some sort. These events would be in late December, leading up to and beyond Christmas sometime. As far as the alumni event, a different source told me that she personally heard from Dennis Leary that he *may* be reviving his celebrity all-star team to participate. Makes sense, as I'm sure he'd love to play at Fenway as much as anyone, and it would be a huge fund raising opportunity for his charity as well as the Bruins Foundation.
Chiarelli was his usual long-winded self (after the first question, I was worried there would be no time for any others). Although he flat out said, on a couple occasions, "I'm just not going to tell you that", you never got the impression he was evading. Certainly there are many things he can't, or won't discuss openly. Mainly, contract or trade negotiations. He was very professional in how he dealt with the lone Kessell question, calling him a great player and a great person. One can only wonder how Harry Sinden would have reacted to this setting. Perhaps he'd tell Kessell to learn to like Poutine?

Coach Julien (who got several resounding rounds of applause, which was great to see) spoke of the challenges that lay ahead. Mainly that they can talk playoffs all they want, but they have to get there first. Focusing on the job at hand, while living up to heightened expectations, will be the most difficult hurdle for him and his team. With that said, he expects the team to equal if not exceed last year's results. As he said, there is only one ultimate goal and they'll do everything they can to get there. He also spoke absolutely glowingly of Byron Bitz. He stressed that most people don't seem to realize how much skill this kid has. yes, he's a big body, but Julien stressed he is a very very skilled hockey player as well. Loved hearing that, as I've often said I see Bitz being a 20+ goal scorer in this league.

Neely, not surprisingly was the star attraction (although Looch was a very close second). He addressed the style of player the Bruins are looking for, and the things he thinks that makes Boston a desirable destination for Free Agents. He stressed that the kind of player Boston wants, is the kind of guy that WANTS to be a BRUIN. Someone that appreciates pulling that sweater every night and playing the way Boston fans "expect to see, want to see and deserve to see". He also detailed the design elements of the Winter Classic jersey, which he apparently had a very large hand in designing. More on that later.

As far as the players present, Bergeron, Lucic and Morris were all on the panel. First thing that jumps out at you is, Bergy's English has gotten REALLY good since he came here! But seriously, both he and Lucic seemed a bit uncomfortable at first, but warmed to the task quickly. Especially when the many children in attendance had a chance to ask their questions. You know, the hard hitting one like "what do you eat for breakfast on game days?" Let's just say, I wouldn't be surprised if Looch is soon to get an endorsement deal for"Honey Nut Cheerios".
Derek Morris made a very good first impression. He seemed very relaxed and poised. He seemed to get a good laugh out of the massive "Looooch" cheers that went up whenever Lucic was mentioned, or said a word. His line of the night came when a youngster asked which team, other than the Bruins, would the players like to play for. Lucic (wisely, if not predictably) said "no other team". Bergeron echoed the statement. So when they looked at Morris for his comment, he laughed and said flatly "well, I've already played for every other team". Well played. If he plays in his own zone as slickly as he played that, we'll be in great shape.

The finale to the evening was the unveiling of the Winter Classic jersey, as modeled by David Krecji in the photo above. The reveal started with a video presentation, using the B's Christmas themed video (if you've been to games in December, you'll recognize the black & white screen, with snow flakes falling around the Bear logo with the Trans Siberian Orchestra playing). The video was updated with snippets from the Press Conference from Fenway when they announced the game. All the while, artificial snow fell from the rafters. A smoke machine kicked on, and the strobe lights flashed. As the smoke slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) cleared, there was Krecji in full Winter Classic uniform. I'm telling you, the kid works a runway almost as well as he works a two on one. I wasn't sold on the designs I had seen leaked, but after getting a chance to see the full uni, up close, I really like it. Neely went through the details, pointing out why each element was included. It does a great job of incorporating design pieces from many years of Bruins history. The thought that went into it was quite impressive.
Oh, and apparently the Bruins new advertising tag line this season is "Big and bad are back". It beats "it's called Bruins" anyway...although, if they don't do well.....well, insert joke here.

Anyway, that's it for today. Regular season kicks off in 13 days. WOW, summer flew by! Hopefully, next summer will be even shorter. Playing into late June would sure help that.
Go B's-Kynch

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