Boston Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs Talks NHL Expansion


Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is the current Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors.  During yesterday’s media day, the Bruins owner offered his opinion on potential NHL expansion. Both the Las Vegas and Quebec City development groups pitched their ideas to the league earlier in the week.

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“The expansion process seems to be moving forward and they had two candidates, one being Quebec and the other Las Vegas. They both made presentations, and there’s a lot of content there,” said Jacobs on the two proposals. “There are a lot of people going there. I don’t know if there’s a desire or will within the board of the existing franchises for expansion yet.

“But they both had very interesting proposals, both have very legitimate arenas (Quebec City’s arena is already open and  hosted the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins in preseason action a few days ago) in place and organizations in place. There’s a capacity out there, [but] I don’t know if there’s a will. From a league standpoint, the numbers don’t really…I don’t think are going to improve on that.”

“But the presentation that was made was very compelling by those people in Las Vegas. So there’s no clear-cut answer there, but that’s sort of giving you some of the conditions in consideration.

Does anyone else see where this is going?

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  • “The people of Quebec are clearly passionate,” offered Jacobs. “But take a look at what’s going up in Nevada. That’s a heck of an arena being built there. There is strong interest there. Balance the fact that Quebec has great hockey interest with the fact that it’s an extraordinarily small market. That balances those things too. We don’t want to [fail to succeed in Quebec City] again.”

    Quebec City has tradition. They would add another Canadian franchise to the league (something that Canadian fans have desired for the NHL), it would put another franchise in Quebec, and if nothing else Bruins fans would have no best friends when it came to their animosity of the Canadiens.

    Quebecor has built a state of the art arena. The city wants hockey. The management group wants hockey. Canadians certainly want more hockey.

    But no, the NHL is worried about the possibility of failure in Quebec. Because hockey in the desert has been such a fantastic source of revenue. Let’s ignore the fact that the Arizona Money Pits, er Coyotes have only cost the league half a billion dollars since that whole ‘disaster in the dunes’ started.

    Jacobs does go on the record on places he would like to see hockey.

    “I’d love to see us in in the West to be up in Seattle. Seattle is a natural,” said Jacobs. “I’d love to see one in Houston, but we can’t get into that building. So there are conditions and circumstances in each one of these [cities] that we have to take into consideration.

    “I don’t know if there’s an easy answer. They were asked to put up $10 million, and leave $2 million if they weren’t selected. That’s a high price coming in, but on the other hand these are some very valuable [franchises]. There’s a big number…what is it $500 million asked? They paused at that moment. A lot of people thought it might be a low-cost entry, and it wasn’t.”

    While Jacobs and the league haven’t put the kibosh on more Canadian hockey, the fact that they desire more hockey in the desert makes me worry.

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