1918: Milt Schmidt (full name Milton Conrad Schmidt) is born in Kitchener, Ontario. Along with childhood friends Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, he formed the Bruins’ famous Kraut Line, which was a standout line for the team for more than a decade. During this time, he won two Stanley Cups. He served in World War II and returned in 1946 to continue his winning ways as a player. In 1951 he became team captain and won the Hart Trophy. In the 1954-55 season, he retired and took over Bruins coaching duties, which he did until 1966. He became general manager in 1967, just as the league was expanding, and helped craft the team to winning the Cup in 1970 and 1972. His time trying to start up the Washington Capitals wasn’t as effective. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, his number was retired in 1980 and 2010 saw his 75th year of involvement, in one way or another, with the Bruins. He raised his number to the TD Garden rafters.
1932: Ken Yackel (full name Kenneth James Yackel) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Yackel, a right wing, played for Team USA in the 1952 Olympics and appeared only briefly in the NHL, but played every game as a Bruin. At the time in the NHL, he was only the second American-developed player in the league. He died in July 1991.
1969: Phil Esposito sets a then-NHL record for single-season assists when he helps out for the 62nd and 63rd times during a 2-2 tie with the Detroit Red Wings.
1977: Bryan Berard (full name Bryan Wallace Berard) is born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. A defenseman, he won the Calder Trophy with the Islanders, played in the 1998 Olympics and was with Toronto when he suffered a terrible eye injury. At one point, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep the eye, but he promised friends he would play again no matter what. He did keep the eye, having operations to improve the sight in it so he could meet the league’s minimum requirement, receiving a $6.5 million settlement from his insurance company that was eventually returned when his eyesight was well enough to play again. To stay close to home, he went to the Rangers but was released, at which time he came to Boston for a year. In 80 games, he scored 38 points before going to Chicago and then Columbus. After testing positive for steroids and being banned from international play for two years, he returned to the Islanders for one more stint on the Island. That was followed with playing as a trying-out Flyer in their final game at the old Spectrum and some time in the Russian league before retiring in 2009. Because of his dedication regardless of the eye injury, he also won the Bill Masterton Trophy.
A year ago today: The Bruins lose in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2. Zdeno Chara and David Krejci scored while Tim Thomas made 36 saves.