March 08, 2016

The Greatest Players In Boston Bruins History

Yesterday we looked at the greatest players in Chicago Blackhawks history. Today's let do the same for the Boston Bruins:

Frank Brimsek - Boston's legendary "Mr. Zero" made quite the debut in 1938-39. He won the Vezina Trophy and the Calder Trophy, then helped the Bruins all the way to their second Stanley Cup Championship. He won the Cup again in 1941 and the Vezina Trophy again in 1942. The Hockey Hall of Famer still ranks second among goalies in franchise history in minutes wins (230) and shutouts (35).

Tiny Thompson - The Bruins original superstar of the nets was Cecil "Tiny" Thompson. He backstopped the team to their first Stanley Cup championship in 1929. He won four Vezina Trophies in the 1930s and still ranks first in franchise history in minutes played (28948), wins (252), goals-against-average (1.99) and shutouts (74). 

Gerry Cheevers - "Cheesey," famous for his stitches mask, was in goal for the Bruins two Stanley Cup championships in the 1970s. His 416 games played is the fourth most by a goalie in Bruins history, while his 229 wins rank him third.


Bobby Orr - Considered by many to be the greatest hockey player in hockey history ever, Bobby Orr holds the NHL single-season records for points by a defenseman (139) and plus-minus (plus-124). He won the Norris Trophy eight times, the Hart Trophy as league MVP three consecutive times, and is the only defenseman in history to lead the league in scoring - something he did twice! He was named as the MVP both years he led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup - 1970 and 1972.

Raymond Bourque - Boston's longest serving captain played in more games in Boston than any other player - 1518 games. In that time he registered franchise best 1506 points - from the blue line! In fact the 19 time NHL All Star is the highest scoring defenseman in NHL history. 

Eddie Shore - The original star in Boston certainly set the standard for hockey excellence in Bean Town. Combining excellent play with a pugnacious attitude, Shore won the Hart Trophy four times in the 1930s. He led the Bruins to their first two Stanley Cups - in 1929 and 1939.

Zdeno Chara - The most intimidating NHL defenseman of his generation - of any generation - is a regular Norris Trophy candidate, winning the award in 2009. The 6'9" giant was a tower of power in 2011 when he, as team captain, hoisted the Stanley Cup higher than it has ever been hoisted before.

Dit Clapper - Clapper was a NHL all star at both forward and defense. He led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1929, 1939 and 1941. The Hockey Hall of Famer played 20 seasons in Boston, serving as a long time team captain.

Brad Park - Generally considered to be the second best defenseman of his era - behind Bobby Orr - the Bruins traded none other than Phil Esposito to their arch-rivals from New York to land Park.


Phil Esposito - One of the NHL's greatest offensive forces, "Espo" is almost underrated in this regard. The Hockey Hall of Famer led Boston to two Stanley Cups while winning two Hart Trophies as league MVP. He still ranks 2nd all time in goals scored (459) in Boston, and 3rd in points (1012).

Milt Schmidt - Schmidt was the face of the Boston Bruins from 1936 through 1955. He led the league in scoring in 1940 and was named as the league MVP in 1951. The center of the famous Kraut Line with Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, Schmidt was a four time NHL All Star. He won two Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

Bill Cowley - This Hockey Hall of Famer was the Wayne Gretzky of his day. A two time winner of the Stanley Cup and of the Hart Trophy, Cowley led the league in points in 1941 and in assists three times. The five time NHL All Star retired as the NHL's all time leading scorer in assists and points.

Adam Oates - Oates only played in 5 seasons in Boston, but what a 5 seasons it was. In 1992-93 he set team records with 97 assists and 142 points. In 368 regular season games with the Bruins he tallied an impressive 499 points. His 1.35 points-per-game average was only bettered by Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr.

Left Wing:

Johnny Bucyk - "The Chief," two time Stanley Cup champion in Boston, is the franchise's all-time leading goal-scorer (545) and ranks second in assists (794), points (1339) and games played (1436).

Wayne Cashman - One of the NHL's top power forwards before there was such a term, Cashman was an intimidating presence. One of only four players to play 1000 games in a Bruins jersey, Cash scored 277 goals, 516 assists and 793 points while helping the Bruins win Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972.

Woody Dumart - The Hockey Hall of Famer was a Boston Bruin from 1935 through 1954. In 772 games he scored 211 goals and 429 points, but just 99 PIMs.

Don McKenney - A terrific two way player, Don McKenney once led the NHL in assists. He scored nearly 600 points in his NHL career, despite often checking the opponents top players. And he did so cleanly, picking up only 211 PIMs in nearly 800 games, and winning the Lady Byng trophy in 1960.

Right Wing

Cam Neely - His physical game - amazing even by Boston standards - took it's toll on Cam Neely, shortening his brilliant career. The Hockey Hall of Famer managed to score 344 goals, good for fifth all time.

Rick Middleton - "Nifty" was not your typical Bruin in that he was one of the most sportsmanlike players of his era. But he became a Bruins fan favorite nonetheless thanks to his great speed and skill. He scored 402 goals and 496 assists for 898 points in 881 games with the Bs.

Terry O'Reilly - Perhaps the quintessential "Big Bad Bruin," Terry O'Reilly terrorized the NHL during the 1970s, hockey's roughest era, as his franchise leading 2095 PIMs suggest. But "Taz" could play too - 204 goals, 402 assists and 606 points. 

Ken Hodge - Long time Bruin still ranks high in all time scoring categories such as goals (289), assists (385) and points (674). 


blmeanie said...

good recap, what a history of great defensemen. If Brad Park is your franchises 3rd all time best defenseman you are doing ok.

Like that you included Middleton. Was our lone player of "Lafleur" type skills (no, not comparing them, settle down).

Chazac said...

Only glaring omission I see here is not including Patrice Bergeron on the all-time centers list. Always in the running for the Selke Award as best defensive forward. Underappreciated and under-recognized in his earlier days but has emerged as one of the best two-way players in the NHL today. Consistently is on the leaderboard for faceoff wins and percentage, takeaways, and plus minus. Perhaps the biggest compliment of Patrice's game is that despite relatively low scoring statistics compared to his more illustrious fellow Canadians, Patrice is always selected as a representative of his country in international competition as is usually chosen to be on the ice to protect leads in the 3rd period or to kill penalties.

bigmountie said...

nels stewart is missing

Axxellein said...

Don McKenney was a Center more than a winger...Smooth and Clean, the Gallant forward was a main driving force on offence during the halcion period of the late 1950s