July 14, 2013

Frank Brimsek

Frank Brimsek was nicknamed "Mr. Zero." He earned that in his first 8 National Hockey League games.

Frank Brimsek was certainly a rarity back in the 1940's: He was an American superstar in a time when Canadians truly dominated hockey's ranks. The native of Eveleth, Minnesota got his chance with the Boston Bruins following the trade of Beantown favorite Tiny Thompson. Bruin fans and media questioned the move because they believed they could not win without Thompson between the pipes.

Brimsek quickly made them forget the name Thompson. In his first 8 NHL games, Brimsek recorded 6 shutouts and wiped out a league record for consecutive scoreless minutes. "Mr. Zero" had arrived.

That first year he sparked the Bruins to the regular season and Stanley Cup Championships, earning the Calder and Vezina trophies and a First Team All Star selection on the way. He would help the Bruins to two more regular season titles and one more Stanley Cup prior to being enlisted in the armed forces during WWII.

After 2 years of duty in the South Pacific, Brimsek returned to the National Hockey League, but never did regain his form. "My legs and nerves were shot" admitted Brimsek. He retired in 1949 as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks and was placed in the Hall of Fame in 1966.

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