BOSTON - The Hockey Hall of Fame announced today, June 26, that they will induct Bruins Owner and Chairman of Delaware North Jeremy Jacobs into the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Jacobs was selected as part of the "Builder" category, which is defined by "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general." He is the sixth member of the Boston Bruins to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the "Builder" category.
"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me," said Boston Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."
"I was absolutely thrilled to learn the news that my father was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs. "As owner for 42 years of the Boston Bruins and long-serving Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, he has made unparalleled contributions to the advancement of hockey and the growth of the NHL."
"On behalf of the Boston Bruins organization I want to congratulate Mr. Jacobs on his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Bruins President Cam Neely. "As a player I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins. Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen first hand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."
"It is certainly deserved," said long-time Bruins executive Harry Sinden, who is also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame's "Builders" category. "A very well deserved honor to one of the finest Governors and owners in the National Hockey League."
Jacobs' 42-year ownership of the Bruins includes many noteworthy highlights. The team has earned four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff runs, resulting in six appearances in the finals and winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. They are the only NHL team to host two New Years Day Winter Classic games, first in 2010 and again in 2015. In 2012, Sports Business Journal named the Bruins the "Sports Team of the Year."
In 1993, the Jacobs family founded the Boston Bruins Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists charitable organizations that demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the quality of life for children throughout New England. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet its mission, concentrating on academics, athletics, community outreach, and health. To date, the Foundation has made awards totaling $28 million, including over $2.3 million to over 100 New England charitable organizations in the last year alone. Following the Boston Marathon bombing, the Foundation donated $200,000 to the One Fund to aid victims. The Foundation also recently pledged $300,000 in direct support, as well as numerous organization and team-led fundraising initiatives, to the Denna Laing Fund. Laing, a player for the Boston Pride of the National Women's Hockey League, sustained a significant spinal injury during the Outdoor Women's Classic. For their many charitable contributions, the Jacobs family was honored with the St. Jude Award for Inspiration in Sports at the 2013 Global Sports Summit.
Jacobs has held numerous leadership roles in the NHL, including serving on the league's Audit, Finance and Executive Committees since 1979. He has helped the NHL not only grow its professionalism in terms of the business of hockey but has also helped to ensure the league's long-term financial growth and strategic focus. In 2007, his peers unanimously elected him to be chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, a role that he holds today. Under his leadership, the league successfully negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players' Association, which has ultimately contributed to small market teams' ability to be competitive in the league. Under his guidance, the NHL has also undergone enhancements to the fan experience and rule changes to improve the game and player safety.
For his contributions to hockey and the wider world of sports, Mr. Jacobs was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, awarded the Hockey Legacy Award from the Sports Museum in Boston in 2012, inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, awarded the prestigious Lester Patrick Trophy from USA Hockey in 2015, named to the Sports Business Journal Champions: Pioneers in Sports Innovation & Business Class of 2016, and was most recently inducted into the 2016 class of the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.
Two other former Bruins were also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday - forwards Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk.
Recchi, an assistant captain, was a vital cog in the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Championship, ranking fifth on the team in scoring (48 points) during the 2010-11 season at the age of 43. He tallied 14 points (five goals, nine assists) during that playoff run, sixth-best on the team, and retired after the Stanley Cup Final. Recchi was a seven-time All-Star, and scored 10-plus goals in 21 consecutive seasons following his rookie year. He led the NHL in assists in 1999-2000, when he notched 63 helpers for Philadelphia. Over his 22-year career with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montreal, Carolina Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Boston, Recchi tallied 577 goals (20th all-time) and 956 assists (15th) for 1,533 points (12th) in 1,652 games (4th). In 180 games for Boston, Recchi totaled 42 goals and 65 assists for 107 points.
Andreychuk played 63 games for the Bruins in 1999-2000, tallying 19 goals and 14 assists. Over his 23-year NHL career with Buffalo, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Colorado and Boston, Andreychuk totaled 640 goals (14th all time) and 698 assists for 1,338 points in 1,639 games.
Reaction from Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs from this afternoon's Hall of Fame conference call:
Opening statement from Jeremy Jacobs…
Thank you very, very much. This was a total surprise. I am humbled and I am very appreciative because I know a lot of the people preceded me in here are good friends. Who comes to mind first is Harley Hotchkiss, who was somebody that I followed in the leadership of the NHL and it's just a wonderful group. You flatter me very much by including me in it. With that, I thank you.
On being the owner of Boston and a native of Buffalo and how that has helped him during his time in the NHL…
Well, I actually started in Buffalo with the Sabres when they first became a team back in, I think it was 1970, 71. I got a lot of background with the Knox's and … and those originators of the team. So, when I purchased the Bruins back in 1975, I had a background and a base to work with. So, it was very important. Plus, I continued to have the fan base that exists in these two cities. It's incredible. I think Boston is definitely number one, but Buffalo is a close second to it. So, in my mind, it's a great basis to come from.
On what he sees as his legacy in the NHL…
I think the length of my ownership perhaps plays a role in this. But, my continued participation in the league at the league level, it did come as unexpected. It happened today, I didn't anticipate it. So, it was something that I truly enjoy probably more than anything I can say because it's a recognition with a class of people that I've known throughout my life going back to people that I knew through history between my father and myself. My family was involved in hockey from the day I was born when they owned the old Buffalo Bisons many, many years ago in the old minor leagues. So, it's been part of my life and this type of recognition was unexpected but very, very much appreciated.