In the past few years, the Boston Bruins have been one of the most successful franchises in the NHL.
The team won the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, breaking Canada's heart in the process after they beat the feel-good Vancouver Canucks in a thrilling seven game series. Canucks fans were so angry after losing that they destroyed large portions of their city. That's how much fans hate the Bruins.
Boston almost followed up that success a couple of years later, losing the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. That was followed with a 117 point season, and then narrowly missing the playoffs last season.
Overall, they've been one of the best teams in the league for decades now. The team was consistently good in the 1980s and 1990s, making their way to two Stanley Cup Finals at the end of the '80s decade. They were also quite good in the 1970s, riding on the back of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, two of the best to ever lace up the blades. The Bruins went to six Stanley Cup Finals from 1970 to 1978, winning twice.
The Bruins have also had their share of moments the team would rather forget. For whatever reason, it seems like the Bruins have been involved in more of these incidents than other teams. Is it any wonder why a recent poll named the Bruins as the most hated team in the NHL?
There are many people who are fans of the Boston Bruins. There are many more people who do not care for them. This is for the latter group.
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15 Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara has been one of the all-time great NHL defensemen, and certainly one of the best of this current generation. He can do it all -- play physical, quarterback a power play, shut down guys like Crosby and Ovechkin, and pound home pucks from the blue line with his cannon of a shot.
He's also got a bit of a reputation as a dirty player. Penguins fans might remember him sucker-punching Sidney Crosby in his recently broken jaw during the 2013 Eastern Conference Final. And Canadiens fans probably remember him breaking Max Pacioretty's neck, a hit Chara still insists was accidental. Yeah, right.
14 Kyle McLaren
The date was April 25th, 2002. The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins were in the midst of a first-round playoff match-up that they would end up losing in six games. Richard Zednik was the star of the series' first four games, putting up a total of eight points.
With just a couple of minutes left in a 5-2 Bruins win in game four, Richard Zedink carried the puck in the Bruins zone. McLaren saw him with his head down and uncorked a devastating elbow, knocking Zedink to the ice in a heap. He missed the rest of the postseason.
McLaren got a three-game suspension for his hit. Not surprisingly, Bruins fans insisted the hit was clean.
13 Andrew Ference
In a first-round playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens in 2011, defenseman Andrew Ference scored a big second period goal. Ference only has 51 goals in 1,027 total games, so it's easy to forgive Ference for getting a little excited.
Ference took his excitement too far, giving fans at the Bell Centre the finger as he pumped his fist celebrating the goal. He first denied the allegation, but the NHL fined him $2,500 anyway. He finally fessed up to the crime more than a year later, to the surprise of absolutely nobody except Bruins homers.
12 Shawn Thornton
Shawn Thornton is not a very good hockey player. He is good at fighting, which made his relationship with the Boston Bruins all the more understandable. There might not be a team in the league that clings to outdated notions of "toughness" more than the Bruins.
You probably remember Thornton getting suspended 15 games for sucker-punching Brooks Orpik and knocking him down after he refused to fight Thornton. That incident sums up Thornton's career pretty nicely.
During seven seasons with the Bruins, Thornton scored a grand total of 34 goals. By the time his tenure with the Bruins ended, advanced stats said he was a borderline NHLer at best. The best thing the Bruins did was get rid of him. Amazingly, the Florida Panthers picked him up and he still plays for the Panthers today.
11 Tim Thomas
For a few years during the latter half of the 2000s, Tim Thomas was the best goalie in the NHL. Like many of the NHL's great netminders, he's also borderline crazy.
Thomas is a very vocal supporter of the Tea Party part, making his political views known on his Facebook page. He is also a staunch Christian who supports the traditional definition of marriage.
This wouldn't be an issue except when Thomas decided to skip the Bruins meet and greet with President Obama after the team's Stanley Cup victory in 2011. It's one thing for Thomas to express his political views, it's another thing to create a distraction for his teammates by refusing to take part in a meaningless ceremony. Besides, it's not every day a person has the chance to meet a President. He's going to regret that choice in 40 years.
10 Marty McSorley
Oh hey, it's another Bruin famous for taking a cheap shot. It's almost like the franchise encourages this kind of behavior.
In 2000, during a game against the Vancouver Canucks, McSorley was after Donald Brashear to fight him. The game was almost over and Brashear wanted no part of it. Rather than skate away, McSorley slashed Brashear in the head, causing the Canucks player to fall backwards and smash his head on the ice. Brashear blacked out and suffered a Grade III concussion.
McSorley ended up being charged with assault and was suspended for 23 games by the NHL for the incident, which was the rest of the season and the playoffs. He never played in another NHL game.
9 Brad Marchand
There are two types of people who don't detest Brad Marchand. They're either sociopaths, or Bruins fans.
First of all, there's that nose. Marchand's nose is so famous it has inspired at least two parody Twitter accounts. Max Pacioretty even made fun of it one day, referring to an overtime game that was "longer than Marchand's nose."
It's not cool to hate a guy for something as trivial as his nose. The real reason people hate Marchand is because he is one of the cheapest players in the league. He's well-known as a diver. He constantly agitates opposing players, and has been suspended twice for dirty hits. Naturally, Bruins fans love him.
8 Claude Julien
How Claude Julien continues to have a job coaching in the NHL is beyond me.
Even though he's had some great offensive players during his time with the Bruins -- including Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, and Phil Kessel -- the team has always struggled to score. They've been saved by the great goaltending of Tim Thomas and now Tukka Rask.
Julien is always quick to yell at the refs or the opposing team's coach when something isn't going his way. It's never his team's fault; it's always the refs. His team never plays dirty; in fact, they're the victims. Anyone with eyes knows this isn't true.
7 Milan Lucic
Doing a Google search for "Milan Lucic suspension" sums up the career of the former Boston Bruins (now Los Angeles Kings) winger quite nicely. You'll see result after result of Lucic getting into just enough trouble to not warrant a suspension.
Lucic's most famous incident is when he rammed Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller as he played the puck negating a Lucic breakaway. Lucic claimed to not see Miller and surprisingly the league agreed, choosing not to suspend Lucic for the incident.
Miller got it right when he called Lucic a "gutless piece of s***" after the incident.
6 Jeremy Jacobs
Jeremy Jacobs is the owner of the Boston Bruins. He has owned the team since 1975, and even remains active managing the team today even though he's 75 years old.
Over the years, Jacobs has made a few decisions that have cemented his status as one of the worst owners in the league. He wooed Cam Neely back to the Bruins as President, giving him free reign to fire Peter Chiarelli, the architect of the team's recent success. The Oilers wisely snapped up Chiarelli for their vacant GM job a month later.
Jacobs was almost single-handedly responsible for the 2012-13 lockout, which nearly wiped out the season. He was instrumental in the owners pushing the players for even more money, even though he only paid $10 million for the Bruins in 1975 and was just coming off a Stanley Cup victory. You'd think a billionaire wouldn't be so cheap.
5 Mike Milbury
Spend five seconds watching Mike Milbury on TV and you'll be left shaking your head wondering how he ever managed to secure an NHL job.
After a career playing defense for the Bruins (which is best remembered for that time when he climbed into the stands and beat a fan with a shoe), Milbury was given free reign to coach his former team as well as being named as an assistant to GM.
Milbury's worst moment as a coach came in the 1991 All-Star Game. Back then, coaches picked the teams. Milbury included enforcer Chris Nilan and checker Brian Skrudland on the Wales Conference team ahead of actual good hockey players. Luckily for hockey fans, both players would end up missing the game due to injury. The following season the league's board of governors changed the rule so coaches like Milbury had little say in subsequent All-Star teams.
4 Chased Away Bobby Orr
In September, 1975, Jeremy Jacobs was reportedly set to make Bobby Orr a Bruin for life, offering him multiple contracts that would either pay Orr quite well over 10 years or give him a sizable stake in the team in exchange for a lesser salary.
After Orr suffered a knee injury that required surgery, Jacobs's long-term offer was now quite different. The salary was higher, coming in at $600,000 per year. The catch was the contract was only guaranteed on a season-to-season basis. If the greatest defenseman in the game didn't pass his annual physical, he wouldn't get paid. Orr wisely took the guaranteed money the Chicago Blackhawks offered him.
Here's a pro tip for running a team: I don't care if he's only playing on one knee. You do not drive away the heart of your team.
3 Jack Edwards
Is there a worse homer announcer than Bruins play-by-play guy Jack Edwards?
I don't care if he's basically employed by the team. So are 29 other play-by-play guys, and they don't manage to annoy everybody. In each of these terrible incidents I've been describing, Jack Edwards was there, justifying it. No, Jack, Ryan Miller did not deserve to be run over by Milan Lucic.
I've even heard multiple Bruins fan complain about Edwards and his incoherent pro-Bruins rants. Sure, it's entertaining, but Jack, we're not laughing with you.
2 Eddie Shore
Eddie Shore was a very mean man.
He was suspended and fined several times during his playing career with the Bruins, including a 16-game suspension for fracturing Toronto Maple Leafs star Ace Bailey's skull, almost killing him in the process.
After retirement, Shore bought the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League, beginning his reign as one of the worst owners in the history of sport. He had players who didn't crack the lineup work at the rink after the game. He would lock refs out of their dressing room to punish them for bad calls. Shore would often sit players near the end of a season if they were approaching a bonus.
The Bruins are apparently okay with associating themselves with such a character, raising his retired number to the rafters of the Boston Garden in 1947.
1 The Fans
Congratulations, Bruins fans, you are the reason everyone hates your team so much.
You're as insufferable as Canadiens fans, but at least that franchise can back up the arrogance with a record of historical success. You constantly downplay the cheap shots your team delivers on the ice, yet lose your mind on Matt Cooke when he hit Marc Savard with a crushing (and legal, at least at the time) body check.
Whether it's tweeting racist insults at Joel Ward when he eliminated the Bruins from the playoffs or cheering when Canucks winger Mason Raymond broke his back during the Stanley Cup Final of 2011, Bruins fans consistently show a lack of class which would make 29 other fan bases red with embarrassment.
Bruins fans are the reason the term "masshole" exists. Well done guys.
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