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For Jacobs, Hockey Has Always Been A Family Affair

Bruins owner thanks those closest to him in Hall of Fame speech

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / - For Jeremy Jacobs, hockey is certainly a family affair.

That much was clear during his Hockey Hall of Fame induction speech on Monday night in Toronto. Jacobs, the owner of the Bruins since 1975, pointed to events like Opening Night and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as serving as de facto family reunions each fall and spring.

"It is particularly gratifying to see my family carry on the stewardship of this great franchise," said Jacobs, who was inducted alongside former Bruins Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk, as well as Clare Drake, Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, and Danielle Goyette.

"One of my greatest joys of hockey is that it brings together my large and geographically-scattered family. In fact, Opening Day and playoff games are sometimes the only events where my wife and I can count on seeing all of them."

Video: Jacobs being inducted to Hockey Hall Of Fame

Jacobs was introduced to the game by his father, Lou, who brought hockey back to Buffalo with the rebirth of the American Hockey League's Buffalo Bisons.

"He brought the game to the forefront of my mind," said Jacobs, who was honored in the building category. "As I stand before you today, I know of nothing that I have done in my professional life that is as enjoyable and fulfilling as hockey. From the people I've met to the subjects that have taken me way out of my comfort zone, my career in hockey has been one of continuous fascination and learning."

Jacobs also mentioned his wife, Peggy, and son Charlie, the CEO of Delaware North's Boston Holdings: "Peggy always says that behind every successful man is a very surprised mother-in-law," Jacobs said with a smile. "That has certainly proven true over our long lives together. Peggy, I share this honor with you."

"I must also recognize my son Charlie whose thoughtful leadership in Boston has created a tremendous hockey environment, unlike any other in the world," added Jacobs. "Through his development of the Hub on Causeway Street, Charlie is leading the renaissance of the historic corridor connecting Boston's West and North Ends. In doing so, he has cemented our family's legacy in that great city."

Jacobs went on to recognize Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, calling them "two of the greats." He also acknowledged the club's last two presidents, Harry Sinden and Cam Neely - both fellow Hall of Famers, Sinden in the builder category and Neely, of course, as a player.

"From player to the front office, Cam is the ultimate embodiment of a Bruin," said Jacobs.

Video: Jeremy Jacobs accepts his HOF ring in Toronto

Boston's longtime owner credited Sinden, who has served the club as head coach, general manager, president, and now senior advisor since 1966, with teaching him the business of hockey.

"Much of my knowledge of the sport I learned from another Hall of Fame builder, Harry Sinden," said Jacobs. "Harry's knowledge of the business of hockey surpasses that of anyone I've ever known. I'm grateful that he has been my mentor for more than 40 years.

"It is an honor to follow Harry and all of the builders before us into the Hall of Fame."

Jacobs also took a moment to recognize Recchi, who was a critical piece to Boston's Stanley Cup championship in 2011.

"Mark, it was a thrill to raise a Stanley Cup with you and now it's a thrill to enter this sacred Hall with you," said Jacobs. "Congratulations."

Recchi, who tallied 577 career goals, closed out his stellar 22-year career with the Bruins.

"Boston, I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my career in British Columbia [during Game 7 in Vancouver], winning a championship with Mr. Jacobs, a team that hadn't won in 39 years," said Recchi. "Something I'm very proud of…it was a great way to end my career. It was just incredible."

Andreychuk played 63 games with Boston during the 1999-2000 season, before he was traded to Colorado as part of the Ray Bourque deal.

"I played with Ray Bourque," said Andreychuk, "who I think is the greatest player I ever played with."

Jacobs closed his speech with a message to Bruins fans, as well as the parents of young hockey players, who he believes are critical to the continued growth of the game.

"They are the true owners of this Original Six team," Jacobs said of his team's fans. "And that brings me to another noteworthy class of builders, the moms and dads of young hockey players. From the earliest days as a mite player, hockey is a demanding sport for families. Household calendars are scheduled around 5 a.m. ice time and weekend tournaments.

"Raising a hockey player takes a lot of commitment. These steadfast parents are ultimately creating our sport's future players and fans. And for that, we are most grateful."

Watch Jacobs' full speech:

Video: Jeremy Jacobs inducted into HHOF as a builder

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