August 12, 2013

Bobby Bauer

"Bobby Bauer was many things to many people. To his opponents of the late 30s and the early 40s, he was a gnat, a buzzing, flying, stinging gnat - too fast to swat, too tiny to hate and too skilled to ignore. To the Boston Bruins, he was the thinking part of the Kraut line."

That's how a 1964 Vancouver Province article remember the great Bobby Bauer.

His linemates would attest. "Bobby was the brains of the line," said linemate Woody Dumart.

"He was always thinking and a very clever playmaker," stated Milt Schmidt. "Bobby was our team. He was my right arm."

The Hockey Hall of Famer was a hustling winger who was equally adept at scoring goals and setting them up. He only played in 7 full NHL seasons, thanks to the interrupt of service in World War II and a career shortening shoulder injury thanks to Detroit's Black Jack Stewart. But what a seven seasons it was. The Bruin was a four time 2nd Team All Star (1939, 1940, 1941, 1947) and three times Lady Byng winner (1940, 1941, 1947). Four times he finished top ten in goals a 2nd place finish in 1947 as runner-up to only Rocket Richard.

He was also a champion. In addition to winning the Memorial Cup (with St. Mikes in 1934) and the Allan Cup (with the Ottawa Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942) he helped the Boston Bruins win two Stanley Cups - 1939 and 1941. He scored the cup-clinching goal in '41.

Bauer and his linemates came out of retirement to play in game that Kraut Line had their sweater numbers retired, Boston versus Chicago on march 18, 1952. He registered a goal and an assist in a 4-0 victory

Bobby Bauer is the brother of Father David Bauer, one of the most significant contributors to Canadian amateur and international hockey. Bobby followed that lead and became a successful coach in his own right. He led his the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen of the OHA. With the Dutchies he won two Allan Cup and a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics. He also won a silver medal in the 1960 Olympics.

Bobby Bauer died of a heart attack on September 16, 1964. He was just 49 years old.

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