Over the years, a lot has been said about Harry Sinden, who’s held just about every position of power for the Boston Bruins. Having been with the team since the early 1960’s, Sinden more-or-less bowed out yesterday. Sinden’s tenure was unquestionably up-and-down: the Bruins made the playoffs each year for 20+ years at one point, with trips to the finals in 1974, 1988 and 1990. More recently, however, the team has been average at best, infuriating at worst.
I’ll let all the professional writers eulogize his time with the Bruins, though. One particular event stands out in my mind and that’s the Joe Juneau holdout spectacle from the early 1990’s. The details may be foggy, but if I remember correctly, Juneau was a highly-rated prospect coming out of college (where he was a 4.0 student in aeronautical engineering, by the way) and his rights were owned by the Bruins. Juneau was holding out and refusing to report to Boston because he didn’t want a two-way contract. In other words, if he was sent to the minors, he felt he should have been paid NHL money. Sticking to his guns, Juneau then threatened to shuffle off to Switzerland to play hockey there until the Bruins acquiesced.
When Sinden was asked by a local beat writer about Juneau’s threat to go to Switzerland, his response was an unforgettable classic: “then I guess he’ll have to learn how to yodel.”
That is definitely one of my all-time favorite GM quotes. All that said, I probably won’t miss Sinden much and I know for sure my dad won’t.