Bruins Boston Management, NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub, this post is for you.
Last fall, in the most talked about transaction of any Boston sports team in the past twelve months the Bruins traded soft and speedy right winger Phil Kessel to Toronto. In return they got two picks in the draft in June of 2010, and one pick in the draft in 2011. Two first round picks, and one second. Which is actually more than they Bruins would have been compensated for Kessel had Brian Burke sent an offer sheet for the amount he was signed for.
By mid October it became apparent that the Bruins were not going to come anywhere near their previous campaigns goals total. In fact thanks to under-performing forwards, Denis Wideman, injuries to key players like Zdeno Chara, David Kreji, Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard, and Milan Lucic they would score seventy four less goals. By the same token, by the time of the Winter Classic where the Bruin’s out lasted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park, it was equally apparent that the Toronto Maple Leafs were destined to hit the lottery. Indeed, the Taylor Vs Tyler debate raged across the internet and from blog to text message to social network (and incidentally on the ice) wherever hockey fans were.
When the Bruins won the second pick in the NHL Entry Draft lottery the buzz was insane. There was talk of trading up, there was talk of trading for the Oilers pick so that both players could be drafted. There was even talk of trading the pick for a kings ransom, maybe two. Their playing styles were analyzed to the nth degree, their stats were twisted until they screamed for mercy. And of course the positions they played and “raw potential” vs “current skill level” were debated in more words a day than the entire Obama health care package.
Add to this pump priming the fact that scapegoat Denis Wideman had been traded for big bodied power forward Nathan Horton who had languished in Sunrise where the only thing lower than the rosters talent level is the local fan interest. With one squawk across the trade wire the Bruins offense gets a go to guy, and the backend looses its biggest liability, perhaps the only player to be booed consistently by Bruins fans in the last decade.
And of course, Seguin is put directly into prospect camp with past draft picks Maxime Suave, Jordan Caron, Yury Alexandrov, Zach Hamill, Joe Colborne, Ryan Spooner, and Jared Knight among others, and free agents where the Bruins banner wavers crowded the Ristuccia Arena to the point that there was hardly room for Bruins Management to evaluate the on ice talent. NESN’s own Naoko Funayama was seen having to ask people two or three times to get through this crowd, even with the camera crew standing just over her shoulder.
So, when the Bruin’s rookies took to the ice was their coverage of Tyler Seguin’s first game in a Bruin’s jersey? Or his second? Nope. This I can sorta forgive, Seguin and maybe Kabanov were about the only names most casual hockey fans might know. How about for his first (preseason) game against The Montreal Candiens? Nope, no coverage anywhere. This is inexcusable. The average New England hockey fan would show up for a B’s vs Habs tilt if both rosters were filled entirely with coma patients; if for no reason than to shout down the idiotic and misplaced soccer chants of the visiting Francophones. Adding the teams newest power forward, a veteran who is the same age as the core of the Bruins roster, and rookie sensation-to-be to the roster should have madesure this a game that was circled on the calender for months.
Now recall that NESN broadasts hour upon endless, interminable, salacious, mind numbing hour of Red Sox pitchers and catchers arriving at camp. Not the first throws, or outdoor fitness activities, but simply enough footage of players driving into the parking lot, getting out of their cars and telling people about their time off before walking inside the training facility for physicals and the like to sink the iceberg that sank the Titanic. The SportsHub for its part had an entire Truck Day event to celebrate Red Sox equipment truck leaving Fenway. Bruin’s Management has stated ad nauseum that they want Boston “to be a hockey town again”.
So where is the disconnect? The Bruin’s (state) they want the Bruin’s to get better market penetration, The Sports Hub (claims to be) The Official Home of the Boston Bruins (or is it the Revolution?) , and NESN is (of course) New England’s Sports Leader. How was the puck cleared over the glass so egregiously if all three of these organizations are even attempting to make it look like they mean what they say?
So here’s the song, and post title.
Sing it Evelyn! (embedded video here)