|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
185 lb (84 kg)
|Born||March 5, 1918,|
Kitchener, ON, CA
|Died||January 4 2017 (aged 98),|
Boston, MA, US
|Pro Career||1936 – 1942 |
1946 – 1955
|Hall of Fame, 1961|
Milton Conrad Schmidt (born March 5, 1918, died January 4, 2017) was a Canadian professional center, coach and general manager, mostly for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. He is an Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Early Years[edit | edit source]
Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Schmidt's early years were spent there. He played junior hockey with the Kitchener Empires and Kitchener Greenshirts. Schmidt was a childhood friend of fellow Hall of Famers Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Schmidt played junior hockey with Dumart and Bauer in Kitchener, Ontario before their rights were all acquired by the Bruins in 1935. After playing a final year of junior hockey in Kitchener, and half a year with the Bruins' AHL Providence Reds farm team, Schmidt would be called up to the Bruins during the 1937 season. He would quickly prove himself as a hardnosed center, a skilled stickhandler and smooth playmaker.
Schmidt and his childhood friends Bauer and Dumart would be teamed together in the NHL as well. They formed the famous Kraut Line, and were a strong and dependable line for the Bruins for most of the following fifteen seasons. They were a key ingredient to the Bruins' success as they rampaged to the regular season title and a hard fought Stanley Cup victory in 1939. The following season would be Schmidt's true coming out party, as he led the league in scoring and guided the Bruins to another first place finish and the third most goals in team history to date.
The 1941 season saw Schmidt spearhead the Bruins to their second Cup win in three years. However, the powerhouse Black and Gold were decimated by World War 2 the following year as Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart enlisted in the Canadian military and superstar American goaltender Frank Brimsek enlisted with the American Coast Guard. The Kraut Line found success playing hockey for the Ottawa RCAF Flyers by winning the Allan Cup in 1942 before heading overseas. Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart would end up missing three productive NHL seasons due to their service in the War.
Schmidt returned for the beginning of the 1946 season. He resumed his starring ways and finished fourth in league scoring in 1947. Named captain in 1951, Schmidt won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player that year.
Bobby Bauer's retirement in 1947 ended the line. Kraut Line night was celebrated at the Boston Garden before the March 18, 1952 game versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Having last played in the NHL 5 years previously, 37 year old Bobby Bauer came out of retirement and played in the game. With the Bruins up 1-0, Milt Schmidt scored his 200th career goal, assisted by Woody Dumart and Bauer. Bauer then added a goal (assisted by Schmidt and Real Chevrefils) and then Schmidt assisted on a goal by Chevrefils in Boston's 4-0 blanking of Chicago. Dave Creighton wore jersey #4 so that Bauer can wear the #17 he made famous.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
Coaching Career[edit | edit source]
He would coach the Bruins up to the 1966 season with a year and a half hiatus. After coaching the Bruins for 11 seasons Schmidt was promoted to the General Manager position in 1967 just as the league ushered in six new franchises, doubling in size. Schmidt would prove to be a great architect in the new era of the NHL, acquiring and drafting several key players to build a Bruins team that won two more Stanley Cups titles in 1970, 1972. His biggest deal was a blockbuster as he acquired youngsters Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago Black Hawks in exchange for journeymen Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris.
After his long and loyal career in the Bruins organization, Schmidt left the team to become the first General Manager of the expansion Washington Capitals for the start of the 1975 season. Unfortunately for Schmidt, the Capitals set a benchmark in futility that still stands as an NHL record today, as the new franchise finished the year with a minuscule 21 points with the worst record in the 18 team league (8 wins - 67 losses -5 ties.
Retirement[edit | edit source]
Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. After his retirement from hockey management, Schmidt remained involved with the Bruins through their alumni team and as manager of the Boards and Blades Club at the Boston Garden. Milt Schmidt's jersey #15 was retired by the Boston Bruins on March 13, 1980. On October 6, 2010 the Bruins celebrated Schmidt's 75 years with the team during Milt Schmidt Night. On this night he received 2 commemorative Stanley Cup miniatures to represent the two cups he had brought to the club, plus he personally raised his number to the rafters inside TD Garden. He was the last surviving member of both the Bruins' 1939 and 1941 Stanley Cup teams.
Upon the death of Elmer Lach on April 4, 2015 he became the oldest suriving NHL player.
On October 20, 2016, Schmidt along with Bobby Orr dropped the ceremonial puck at the Boston Bruins' first home game of the season.
Schmidt died after a recent stroke on January 4, 2017 in Boston at the age of 98; at the time of his death he was the oldest living former NHL player.
Career Achievements[edit | edit source]
- Stanley Cup champion - all with Boston (1939, 1941 player), (1970, 1972 Manager)
- Finished his career with 229 goals and 346 assists for 575 points in 776 games.
- At the time of his retirement, was third in NHL history in points scored and second in assists.
- Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1940, 1947 and 1951.
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1952.
- Played in All-Star Game in 1947, 1948, 1951 and 1952.
- Won the Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to hockey in 1996.
- Was the last active NHL player who played during the 1930s.
- In 1998, he was ranked number 27 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Schmidt wore #14 for his first two games as a Bruin (December 8 and 13, 1936) until switching to #15, which would be retired in his honour. He received a game misconduct in his second NHL game.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Video[edit | edit source]
A minute worth of video of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals which the Bruins won 3-1, sweeping Detroit and winning the Cup. This was the first sweep in a 7 game series in NHL history. The Cup winning goal by Bobby Bauer which put the Bruins ahead 2-1 at 8:43 of the second period and the Bruins third goal by Eddie Wiseman are shown. The game end with the players shaking hands concludes the video.
Highlights of the December 21, 1952 game between the Bruins and the Habs. This was the third game of a tryout for Jean Beliveau (who wears #12) and he scores twice in Montreal's 4-3 win. A first period fight between Jack McIntyre and Bernie Geoffrion (in response to McIntyre breaking Billy Reay's cheek), a dust-up between Milt Schmidt and Maurice Richard as well as goals by Dave Creighton and Beliveau are shown. The end has highlights of the December 7, 1952 Toronto Maple Leafs versus Chicago Blackhawks game including a goal by George Armstrong.
Nearly three hours of video from the Bruins-Maple Leafs game on January 6, 1968. All goals are shown including one by Bobby Orr which tied the game 3-3. An interview with Derek Sanderson is shown in the first intermission. During the second intermission, highlights from the December 27, 1967 Bruins-Black Hawks game are shown including a Hat trick by Phil Esposito. Milt Schmidt is then interviewed.
External Links[edit | edit source]
|Boston Bruins General Managers
|Boston Bruins Head Coaches
|Boston Bruins Head Coaches
first general manager
|Washington Capitals General Managers
|Boston Bruins Captains
|Winner of the Hart Trophy
|NHL Scoring Champion
|Boston Bruins Head Coaches|
|Ross • Denneny • Ross • F. Patrick • Ross • Weiland • Ross • Clapper • Boucher • L. Patrick • Schmidt • Watson • Schmidt • Sinden • Johnson • Guidolin • Cherry • Creighton • Sinden • Cheevers • Sinden • Goring • O'Reilly • Milbury • Bowness • Sutter • Kasper • Burns • Keenan • Ftorek • O'Connell • Sullivan • Lewis • Julien • Cassidy|
|Washington Capitals Head Coaches|
|Anderson • Sullivan • Schmidt • McVie • Belisle • Green • Crozier • B. Murray • T. Murray • Schoenfeld • Wilson • Cassidy • Hanlon • Boudreau • D. Hunter • Oates • Trotz • Reirden • Laviolette|