It was announced on Wednesday that legendary Boston Bruins player Milt Schmidt has passed away. Schmidt, also known as “Uncle Milty” to the fans, was 98 years old and the oldest living NHL veteran. He is the only person to have served the organization as a player, captain, coach, and general manager.
Bruins Legend Milt Schmidt Dies
Milt Schmidt played played 16 seasons for Boston, winning the franchise’s second and third Stanley Cup Championships in 1939 and 1941. He finished his playing career with 229 goals and 346 assists for 575 points in 776 career games, good for fourth of all time at the time of his retirement in December of 1954. He was an All-Star four times, won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring, and was chosen as the Hart Trophy winner in 1952. Along with childhood friends Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer on his wings, the “Kraut Line” were the first line of players to finish in the top three in scoring (Schmidt with 52 points, Dumart and Bauer tying with 43 each). The trio left the game to enlist in the Canadian military, with Schmidt returning to the Bruins in 1946 after the conclusion of World War II.
Almost immediately after retiring from play, Schmidt stepped behind the bench, coaching the Bruins from December 25th, 1954 to 1966, with a short hiatus during the 1961-62 season where he served as the team’s Assistant GM. He took over as GM in 1967, the year that the NHL doubled in size. His work helped bring players like Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Bobby Orr to the team, leading to their next two Stanley Cup wins in 1970 and 1972.
The “Ultimate Bruin’s” Legacy
Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, and his number 15 was retired by the team in 1980. His final public appearance was on October 20, 2016 when he joined Orr in a ceremonial puck drop for the team’s first home game of the season. The occasion marked the 50th anniversary of Orr’s first game, and the 80th of Schmidt’s. His legacy as the “Ultimate Bruin” will help him live on in the hearts and minds of Bruins fans for generations to come.