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Reagle Declares Bid for Bruins

Millionaire playboy Jinks Reagle has declared his intention to buy out the current owners of the Chicago Bruins, and foreshadows major changes if the takeover goes ahead.

The 1996 season has seen the Bruins perform well below expectations, finishing 4th in their Division with a 7-9 record. Poor team play has been widely blamed for the losses, but inside sources indicate that there is a feeling of disatisfaction within the team.

"The don't give a damn how well we perform as long as they get the gate reciepts," a Bruins player was reported to have said on the weekend, and there are rumours that a number of high-profile players are considering freeing themselves from contracts they describe as draconian.

"If the management is unwilling to do something to fix the problems that this team has on defense, I won't be staying on," stated an angry Lyndon Jeffereys yesterday, "I put in a good season - all of the offense did - but we saw too many games slip away from us. I can't see wasting another five years on a team that can't turn good scores into wins."

Jeffereys is right to be fuming, his 865 yard rushing season is a personal best, and sets him firmly at 17th in the league, two places above Mohammed Melborne, his avowed rival at Minnesota, a result he has sought since the two were drafted at the start of the 1995 season.

But even greater changes could be in store for the Bruins. When questioned today about Jinks Reagle's plans to buy the team, Jarrett Bray had this to say: "I doubt that he has any idea what it is to own a major league team. I have several offers on the table now, and if this deal goes ahead I can't see any reason for me to stay with this organization."

As the 7th ranked QB in the league, Bray is of critical importance to the offensive engine of the Bruins. Despite Bray's on-going public feud with WR Nate McDowell, the team has racked up 4,434 yards, the third largest total for the year (behind the dismal Cleveland and Tampa Bay teams). But this impressive total is due to over 2,000 yards passing to WR Braden Babb and Lyndon Jeffereys combined, with only a disappointing 786 yards from McDowell.

In his press conference this afternoon Mr. Reagle assured the media that his bid would see these problems ironed out. "There is nothing going on out there that a flash of green paper won't fix," claimed the mogul, "I'm sure that we can all come to an arrangement that will see this team back on top where it belongs."

The Bruins have not been Division Champions for over 35 years now, and have not won a Championship since the heady days of 1958, and the feared Chicago Bulldozer defence, all before Jinks Reagle was even born.

"The most important thing will be to impart a sense of belonging to all the fans who have stuck it through the lean years," continued Mr. Reagle, "Once we cement the deal we will be looking at marketing a range of T-Shirts and mugs especially for the true-believers."

Also on the agenda, according to Mr. Reagle, is the possibility of changing the team's name. "Fifty-seven years is a long time to be weighed down by the same name. I think Chicago needs a new name to reflect the changes which are coming - a new identity for a new future."

Reagle was quick to add that the change would be only cosmetic: "Even Superman has a secret identity," the businessman pointed out, "all we are talking about is changing the name on the door and the colors on the uniforms."

Sources indicate that representatives of Mr. Reagle's Facto Corporation have approached several industry leaders about licensing product names, inlcuding ID Software, Image comics, Universal Studios, and Christian Dior. The exact nature of the proposals put forward is not clear at this stage, nor is there any clear picture which names might be involved.

The Bruins front office declined to comment on Mr. Reagle's announcement, venturing only to say that his words were "perhaps a little premature." None of the coaching staff could be reached for comment. A full public announcement is expected later this week when the financial situation of the team is resolved.

Whether or not the Reagle bid goes through, it is clear that a lot of work remains for the Chicago Bruins. Perhaps some new blood is required, or maybe a change of head coach. Something is required, though, to rescue the Bruins from the inevitable decline they have suffered for the past three years. Whether that something can be found in Jinks Reagle's flash of green paper remains to be seen.

- Casey Kluskens

Version May 19, 1997 / Liam Routt /