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Milt Schmidt passed away today at the age of 98. He was one of the great players to play in the early days of hockey. He also helped the Boston Bruins organization become what it is today.
There are a lot of things that can be said about Milt Schmidt. He was regarded to be the ‘ultimate Bruin’. He was a player, coach, and general manager for the Boston Bruins. He also the only member of the Boston Bruins organization to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup four times.
Schmidt was the oldest living NHL veteran. He is survived by his son, Conrad and his daughter Nancy. Members of the Boston Bruins organization, and even NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered their thoughts on the life of one of the greatest players to strap on skates. Courtesy of the Boston Bruins website, here is what some of the Bruins, the front office, and even the NHL Commissioner had to say about the passing of Schmidt.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
“It would be a challenge to find anyone who took greater pride in being a Boston Bruin than Milt Schmidt did – be it as a player, an executive or an ambassador over the 80-plus years he served the franchise, the City of Boston and the National Hockey League.
Milt’s respect for the game was matched by his humility and was mirrored by the great respect with which his opponents, and generations of Bruins players, treated him through the years. An ultimate competitor, a mainstay of two Bruins Stanley Cups as a player and architect of two more as the Bruins’ General Manager, Milt was a landmark presence in Boston’s sports landscape. The NHL family cherishes his contribution to our history and sends deepest condolences to his family, fans and all whose lives he touched.”
Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs
“Milt’s impact in Boston, as both a player and a coach, will forever be felt amongst hockey fans.
He was a legendary personality in the Bruins organization and goes down in history as the ultimate Bruin. We should all be envious of the longevity and meaningfulness of his life.”
Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our dear friend, Milt Schmidt. Milt embodied everything it meant to be a Boston Bruin both on and off the ice.
Milt has impacted the Boston Bruins organization in many different capacities, as a player on the ice, a coach behind the bench and as a general manager, cementing himself in NHL history as one of the all time greats.
Anyone who knew Milt personally know he was one of the all time greats off the ice as well. His beaming smile, sharp wit and infectious laugh could light up a room with such an incredible presence that can’t be matched. We extend our condolences to all of Milt’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Bruins President Cam Neely
“I got to know Milt when I arrived in Boston, and I quickly learned that he was an outstanding ambassador for the game of hockey, a true gentleman, and that he epitomized what it means to be a Bruin.
When people today talk about ‘Bruins Hockey’ they talk about the style that Milt created, and generations of Bruins after him tried to emulate. After his playing and coaching days were over, he remained incredibly giving of his time and the wealth of knowledge that he had accumulated over his career to everyone associated with the Bruins and the game of hockey. He will be dearly missed. On behalf of the Bruins organization, I would like to extend our most sincere condolences to Milt’s family and friends.”
Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer John Bucyk
“He was like a big brother to me in his coaching days and his GM days and ever since after that we were very close friends.
He just loved the Bruins, to this day. He watched the games and we’d bring him to games. He was just a great man. [I consider him] right on top [as the greatest Bruin] along with Bobby [Orr] – to me, they’d be the two favorites. Milt was my first coach, my first GM. He was such a great person, I just can’t say enough about him.”
Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara
“Today is a very sad day to find out about losing one of our own breed, Mr. Milt Schmidt.
Milt has been one of the most respected and friendly human beings that I have ever met and spent time with. Losing Milt, who spent his life dedicated to the game of hockey, is a great loss for the Boston Bruins organization and the entire hockey community. I will always cherish the times we had together listening to him reminisce about old-time hockey as well as our conversations on today’s style of the game – the game that he just loved so much. My deepest condolences go out to his entire family and closest friends. Milt will be greatly missed but never forgotten.”
Bruins Alternate Captain Patrice Bergeron
“When you think about the Bruins, you think about Milt Schmidt.
It has been amazing for me to see the impact that he has had, and continued to have on the organization. The last time I saw him, he was on the ice with Bobby (Orr) earlier this year. He shook my hand and said ‘Go get ’em.’ He was always rooting for the Bruins and in our corner. He lived an amazing life and I am very proud to have known him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Milt Schmidt is ranked 12th on the Bruins all-time scoring list.
Everyone here at Causeway Crowd (and I dare say all hockey fans around the world) offer our regrets and sympathies to his family. He was a legend in hockey. I’m glad he got to see the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup one more time in his life.