1912: Flash Hollett (full name Frank William Hollett) was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. He started out with the old Ottawa Senators and then went to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but had his rights purchased for $16,000 at the time–the most expensive buyout at that time in Boston Bruins history. Boston got value for its buck, though, because Hollett became a very good offensive defenseman, setting and tying his own record for goals by a blueliner at 19. He was also part of the 1939 and 1941 Stanley Cup seasons. After some time with the Detroit Red Wings and a disagreement with Jack Adams, he chose to retire–the last of the original Senators to hang up the skates. He died in 1999.
1944: Ken Hodge (full name Kenneth Raymond Hodge, Sr.) is born in Birmingham, England. Hodge was signed by the Chicago Black Hawks and started his NHL career with them, but then was traded to the Bruins along with Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield. Hodge became part of the record-breaking points-scoring forward line in 1969–he matched Esposito’s 126-point campaign. 1971 was another banner year for him as he put together 105 points, the most for a right-winger, and was one of the four Bruins to lead the league in scoring. He was also part of two Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1970 and 1972. After a decline in production, he was traded to the New York Rangers for Rick Middleton and eventually retired. But, he remains a part of the Boston community, especially the Bruins’ alumni realm. His son Ken Jr. was a player, his other son Dan was drafted by the Bruins and saw a lot of success in the minor leagues and his youngest son Brendon wears his dad’s number 8 on the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL–which is coached by Dan.
1972: Mariusz Czerkawski is born in Radomsko, Poland. He was the first person born and trained in Poland to enter the NHL, which he did when Boston drafted him in 1991 and he made his debut in 1993. He played just four games as a Bruin that season, but produced well in those four contests: two goals and an assist. He produced well in the shortened season that followed, too, but then was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 1996. A whirlwind of teams followed: Edmonton, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Islanders again, Maple Leafs and a short return trip to Boston. He left the NHL with the team he started with and went to the Swiss leagues for a time before retiring altogether in 2008.
1996: Though he doesn’t finish it out at home, the away crowd still knows how to pay its respects–Mario Lemieux plays his last NHL regular season game and the Bruins honor him in pregame ceremonies. The 7-3 Bruins win against the Pittsburgh Penguins bookends Lemieux’s career, which began against the Bruins in 1984.
2002: Boston clinches first place in the East with a 7-1 win over the Penguins to close out the season. Glen Murray has a hat trick.
2004: Mike Knuble ties the game against Montreal at 19:29 of the third and then Murray strikes again, scoring in overtime to secure a Bruins 4-3 win.
2006: Patrice Bergeron scores twice against Montreal, becoming in the youngest Bruin to score 30 goals in a season at age 20. (Note that his youngest-Bruin-to-win-the-scoring-race crown was just taken off by another 20-year-old, Tyler Seguin.)
2008: Marc Savard scores at 9:25 in overtime to get a 2-1 Bruins win over the Montreal. This snaps a 0-12-1 winless streak against the Habs, in both regular season and playoffs, that dates back to March 2007. Savard scores his first career NHL playoff goal in overtime, the fifth Bruin to do so.
A year ago today: More practice is needed before the series against Montreal–hey, four entries in a row in this post have mentioned the Habs!