Boston Bruins Legend Milt Schmidt Passes Away at 98 Years Old
2016 was a tough year for the world. Many legendary actors, singer, performers, and athletes passed away, leaving the world aching. While the page has now turned to 2017, time still moves on, the grains of sand still fall, and tough times still occur. Unfortunately, reports coming out of Boston on Wednesday say that the legendary Milt Schmidt has passed away. Schmidt was the oldest former-NHL player at 98 years old.
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Schmidt played in a generation long before this one. In fact, Schmid’s first season with the Bruins’ organization came in the 1936-37 season. The then-18-year-old Schmidt joined the Providence Reds, and halfway through the season joined the Boston Bruins. Upon joining the Bruins, Schmidt was able to join a line with his former teammates from Kitchener, Ontario when he played junior hockey, Bobby Bauer, and Woody Dumart. The three made up arguably the most famous Bruins’ line of all time, known as the “Kraut Line” due do their German roots.
Serving His Team and His Country
The center spent his entire 16-year NHL career in Boston, though it wasn’t without interruption. Boston won two Stanley Cups in three seasons with Schmidt leading the way in 1939 and 1941, but duty called. During Schmidt’s time in the league, there were some bigger issues occurring in the world. The Second World War was taking place, and Schmidt, along with Bauer and Dumart, left to serve the Canadian military. Superstar goaltender Frank Brimsek also enlisted with the United States Coast Guard at the time to help in a time of need.
Schmidt returned following the conclusion of the war in 1946 and played until his retirement during the 1954-55 season. He retired from playing midway through the year to take over as the coach of the Bruins. He served as the team’s head coach until 1966.
In addition to being a superstar player and a highly respected coach, Schmidt also served as a stellar general manager. His efforts brought the city of Boston two more Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972 due to his ability to acquire good, young talent. His biggest trade as general manager of the Bruins came when he traded Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte, and Jack Norris to the Chicago Blackhawks for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, and Fred Stanfield. Schmidt also was responsible for finding Bobby Orr, one of the greatest hockey players to ever lace up a pair of skates.
In 766 NHL Games, Schmidt scored 226 goals and 575 points. He also recorded 24 goals and 49 points in 86 playoff games. Schmidt’s No. 15 jersey will forever live in the rafters at TD Garden, and his memory will forever live on in the hearts of Bruins’ fans everywhere.