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State of the Bruins 2008

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins

John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
The State of the B's
There was a buzz in the TD Banknorth Garden last night as the B’s hosted the second annual “State of the Bruins” Town Hall Meeting.

With panel members sitting on a dais set carefully onto the new ice, well over 700 season ticket holders enjoyed special access to many of the biggest movers and shakers in the Hub of Hockey.

More specifically, The Town Hall Meeting gave fans a forum to speak directly with Bruins personnel and to ask questions and provide comments about the organization and team. 

This year's Town Hall Meeting panel included:  Owner of the Boston Bruins and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Delaware North Companies Jeremy Jacobs, Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs, General Manager Peter Chiarelli, Vice President Cam Neely, Head Coach Claude Julien, Captain Zdeno Chara and defenseman Aaron Ward. Andy Brickley was the MC.

A very special surprise came at the end of the festivities when Milan Lucic walked onto the ice to unveil the Bruins new third jersey.

Other highlights included:
  • Jeremy Jacobs acknowleged the strong possibility of a Boston Bruins outdoor game at Fenway Park in the coming seasons and noted that season ticket holders would get “preferential treatment” in terms of ticket access.
  • Charlie Jacobs joked, “he did not feel any pressure” caused by the continued success of the other sports teams in Boston before he admitted, “We all feel a certain amount of pressure, regardless of what the other teams in Boston are doing.”
  • A revelation into Ward’s favorite pregame meal – chicken piccata from Cheesecake Factory.
  • The moment when a very young fan asked his dad to ask Chara just “how big” he really is. “Really, really big,” was the answer from the Captain who was roundly applauded.
  • Neely’s continuous playful banter with the crowd, which included a joking suggestion that the “one beer limit” at Bruins vs. Canadiens games become zero beers for Habs fans with the extras going to the Black & Gold faithful.
  • NESN’s Andy Brickley and his outstanding return as the Master of Ceremonies, particularly in his attention to the youngest fans in attendance.
  • Chiarelli amended last year’s theme of wanting to be “harder to play against” and created the new catch phrase, “We want to take the next step.” This was punctuated by the message displayed on the scoreboard following the 2007-08 highlight film: We Want It As Bad As You.
  • A touched Lucic said, “I love you, too” after being lauded by the crowd when he entered the rink.
Meanwhile in Wilmington
Wednesday's on-ice festivities in Wilmo were quieter, but no less important than the State of the Bruins Town Meeting at the Garden.

Blake Wheeler and Stephane Yelle were two of 25 (or so, it was hard to count with them moving around) skaters who took part in informal workouts at Ristuccia Arena.

In addition to Yelle and Wheeler (and In no special order) Shane Hnidy, Marco Sturm, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Mark Stuart, Andrew Alberts, Johnny Boychuk, Shawn Thornton, Andrew Ference, Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Matt Lashoff, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Dennis Wideman, Matt Marquardt, Martin St. Pierre, Nate Thompson, Milan Lucic, Martins Karsums, Tim Thomas, Manny Fernandez and Kevin Regan all did a series of drills and completed a scrimmage.
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