Delaware North layoffs, cuts not likely to sit well with Bruins fans

Delaware North layoffs, cuts not likely to sit well with Bruins fans

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for the Boston Bruins — and more importantly, it’s been even worse for their employees.

First, the Bruins were lambasted by the Massachusetts Attorney General for being the last team in the NHL to account for any kind of financial assistance for their TD Garden and Bruins employees once the regular season was put on pause by the coronavirus.

Now, Delaware North — the parent company for both TD Garden and the Bruins — is among the first NHL teams to announce sweeping layoffs and cuts to arena and hockey club employees on their payroll.

Delaware North announced that as of April 1, 2020, 68 of their full-time salaried associates will be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits.

Additionally, as of April 1, 82 of their full-time salaried associates will receive an indefinite salary reduction, while contracted employees obviously were not impacted.

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It’s perhaps easier to say this when it’s not your own money, but there is no defending that kind of move with so many Americans headed for financial peril due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Delaware North released a brief statement addressing the cuts: “As relayed to our associates today, none of these decisions were reached without difficult and painful deliberations. These measures are intended to be temporary with associate employment and compensation returning once our business resumes to its normal state from this unprecedented stoppage.”

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs' net worth has been pinned anywhere from $3-3.75 billion as the head of a Delaware North concessions and service giant that announced company-wide layoffs and reductions on Wednesday as well. Clearly, the business takes a massive hit with no concerts, sporting events or big gatherings happening all this month, next month and perhaps well beyond that due to the social distancing required to combat COVID-19.

Still, the Jacobs family is going to put themselves in the crosshairs for deserved criticism after the New Jersey Devils/Philadelphia 76ers owners were savaged just a couple of days ago for prompting the same kind of cost-cutting measures.

Let’s be honest here.

Jacobs has never been a very popular owner in Boston and was viewed as an NHL Governor unwilling to spend the money needed for his hockey team prior to the NHL instituting a salary cap after the 2003-04 season. This kind of stone-cold business move in the face of nationwide financial stress is going to further disenchant the Boston fan base from the people running the show on Causeway Street.

Maybe this is the only way it could go for Delaware North amidst an unprecedented work stoppage and economic downturn in this country, but they really haven’t done anything over the last few weeks to deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps things can return to normal once the coronavirus has come and gone and business gets back to normal at TD Garden, but the owners are doing something — and doing it in a way — that isn’t going to sit well with the fans they count on to fill their seats.

Members of Bruins organization send supplies, cards to Colby Cave's family

Members of Bruins organization send supplies, cards to Colby Cave's family

Former Boston Bruins forward and current Edmonton Oiler Colby Cave was placed in a medically-induced coma Tuesday after suffering a brain bleed, and the hockey community has sent an outpouring of prayers and support to the Cave family after receiving the terrible news. 

The Oilers released a statement Thursday saying the 25-year-old underwent surgery and will remain in a medically-induced coma to allow his brain to rest after all he's been through. 

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Amid these developments, Cave's wife Emily and his family aren't able to see him due to the growing coronavirus concerns, but she did share an update via Instagram and it looks like the B's have been nothing but supportive. 

From what it looks like, it seems that David Backes (former Bruin), Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Connor Clifton, Charlie Coyle, Steve Kampfer, Adam McQuaid (former Bruin), Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller, John Moore, Chris Wagner, Brandon Carlo and their families have sent some supplies, gifts and cards to the Cave family after hearing the news. 

Bruce Cassidy, Jay Leach and other members of the Bruins organization also sent their condolences to the Cave family and commented on the situation on Wednesday.  

Cave was with the Bruins organization from 2015-19 until he was claimed off waivers by the Oilers. 

Zdeno Chara reacts to Tom Brady leaving Patriots: 'I'll always be his fan'

Zdeno Chara reacts to Tom Brady leaving Patriots: 'I'll always be his fan'

Zdeno Chara and Tom Brady both have been Boston sports icons for well over a decade. During that time, they've expressed admiration for each other's games and maintained a close relationship.

So when Brady left the New England Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month, Chara was one of many saddened and surprised by the news. Still, the veteran Boston Bruins defenseman remains supportive of Brady's endeavors.

Chara shared his reaction to Brady's departure Thursday on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe."

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"I have to be honest, it was obviously a little mixed feelings," Chara said. "I was sad to see Tom leave. He meant so much to the Boston community, to the fans, to probably every little boy growing up.

"All these inspiring stories, and just a great example on and off the field. So yeah, it was kind of sad to see him leave Boston, but at the same time I’m very supportive of his decision and what he’s trying to go for, and I will always be his fan and his friend and wish him nothing but the best."

After Brady made his Bucs signing official, Chara bid farewell to the six-time Super Bowl champion with a heartfelt Instagram post.

Now that Brady is out of town, Chara is by far Boston's oldest athlete at 43 years old. Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the second-oldest at 36. Like Brady, Chara doesn't plan to hang 'em up any time soon and doesn't have an age in mind for when he'll retire.

"I don’t like to put the numbers like that," Chara said. "You never know what’s going to happen. I want to play as long as I can and as long as I have fun and I love the game and I’m very passionate about the game, but we’ll see what’s going to happen."

Chara signed a one-year, $2 million extension with the Bruins last year.