NESN Parts Ways With Naoko Funayama


March 8, 2012; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; A general view as the Boston Bruins logo is lit up on the ice prior to the start of the game against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins did not wait long after losing to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals to announce their plans for the future.  Because of the new CBA, Boston has to work around a salary cap of $64.3 million next season, which means some players are going to have to go.  Thursday night, the Bruins lost another member of their team, but this loss has nothing to do with the new salary cap.

In a press release on Thursday night, NESN announced that they would not renew the contract of rink-side reporter Naoko Funayama when it expires this summer. In the release, NESN said that they “elected to go in a different direction” and that they had already started looking for her replacement.

Not only NESN, but also the Boston community has lost one of the best in the business. Naoko was one of the most highly respected female reporters in the sports industry and always showed up to work with a positive attitude. She quickly gained the respect of her co-workers, the players, coaches and Boston fan base because of her winning personality and professionalism. Naoko is a remarkable reporter that any aspiring journalist should look to model after.

NESN’s decision not to bring back Naoko came to the surprise of many people throughout New England. Many of her co-workers shared their opinions of her release from the network via Twitter on Thursday night. Here are some of the tweets:

And even Tyler Seguin chimed in.

The tweets speak for themselves. She was very popular among the Bruin faithful and it is a shame that NESN is not bringing her back. Us Boston fans are sad to see Naoko leave, but grateful for her contributions that she brought to each and every game. There aren’t many people who have as much class as she did and she will be a great asset to another network. Best of luck in your future endeavors, Naoko.