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Jacobs won't collect Bills

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  October 3, 2008 03:00 PM

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It's the annual Bruins media day and team owner Jeremy Jacobs is in the house. Now with 30-plus years at the helm of the Spoked-B franchise, the 68-year-old Jacobs doesn't sound like a man who will be investing in his hometown Buffalo Bills.

In fact, said Jacobs, the NFL does not allow a club owner to own another team outside of the league, and he said he is grateful for that stipulation.

''I kinda like owning the Bruins,'' said Jacobs, with son Charlie at his side during an afternoon news conference. ''The simple answer is, the Bruins aren't for sale, and they aren't going to be sold.''

On a follow-up question, Jacobs seemed to dismiss the possibility of his company, Delaware North Companies, Inc., or one of his sons, owning the Bills.

''It's a hypothetical,'' he said. ''But I like hockey.'' He also later added, ''I am in for the long haul [as the Bruins owner], as you've seen.''

Owning an NFL team nowadays, added Jacobs, ''is not as profitable as selling them.''

He also said, ''The days of making a bargain purchase [in the NFL] are long gone.''

* * *

The morning workout had the following lines:

P.J. Axelsson-Marc Savard-Michael Ryder
Marco Sturm-Patrice Bergeron-Phil Kessel
Peter Schaefer-David Krejci-Shawn Thornton
Blake Wheeler-Stephane Yelle-Chuck Kobasew
Milan Lucic-Vladimir Sobotka-Nate Thompson

Petteri Nokelainen and Jeremy Reich traded spots on the line centered by Krejci.

Coach Claude Julien still has eight blueliners in camp: Shane Hnidy, Andrew Ference, Dennis Wideman, Matt Hunwick, Andrew Alberts, Zdeno Chara, Aaron Ward, and Mark Stuart.

* * *

The Islanders will be at the Vault for a 4 p.m. exhibition tomorrow, and it's a good bet that GM Peter Chiarelli will make some roster moves by night's end.

Who doesn't make the Black-and-Gold cut?

Hard to read, due to salary cap implications specific to this upcoming season. Because the Players Association has yet to declare whether or not it will opt out of the CBA after this season, about one-third of the teams in the league, including the Bruins, have little room to deal around the $56.7 million cap.

In Boston's case, if Chiarelli want to keep Blake Wheeler on the team, it will come with a charge approaching $3 million against the cap. For that kind of space, Chiarelli might have to deal a veteran or two. Is there a taker out there for Peter Schaefer? Probably not. If he goes, it likely would be via waivers. P.J. Axelsson would bring bidders, but he remains a valuable piece of the overall team scheme, and his deal also limits the number of teams to which he would accept a trade.

All in all, tough work.

''If I could go back in time,'' said the amiable Wheeler, ''I'd slash my cap number in half. But, hey, that's the way things are, and I have no control over that situation.''

* * *
The club's cognescenti watched practice from a corner of the arena. Jacobs sat next to son Charlie, the club's executive VP, along with Chiarelli. Cam Neely, Jim Benning, and Don Sweeney also were in house.

* * *

The senior Jacobs remains optimistic that the players will not opt out of the CBA. Based on all-too-familiar history, NHL players without a collectively bargained deal usually end up locked-out, and out of work.

''Pragmatically,'' said Jacobs, who is also director of the league's Board of Governors, ''I think they should continue the course they've got--they've never been richer.''

Recognizing that, added Jacobs, he doesn't have a firm read what the players will do in the weeks and months ahead.

* * *

Julien on the upcoming season:

''We are going to push as hard as we can, to be the best we can--and that can be anything.''

Chiarelli credited Julien with bringing structure into the team's play, and helping to ''shore up'' the club's overall defensive play.

* * *

Chiarelli said that Tuukka Rask, the club's goalie of the future, was disappointed to learn Thursday that his address for the near future will be Providence (AHL).

The GM said he took time to explain to Rask that the 21-year-old 'keeper remains a vital part of the team's overall building strategy.

''I told him what we've got in mind for him,'' said Chiarelli. ''But I think it went in one ear and out the other.''

* * *

Harry Sinden, who remains on the payroll as senior advisor to the senior Jacobs, did not participate in the day's festivities. He has taken a discernably lower profile in the last 24 months, and especially since April, when he noted in a column penned by the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy that he was not a fan of top center Marc Savard's play. Some of Sinden's remarks, though left to interpretation, also seemed to raise the question as to whether he liked Julien's coaching style.

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