Today in Boston Bruins History: May 18
1960: Brent Ashton (full name Brent Kenneth Ashton) is born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His time as part of the Boston Bruins was not a long time, but it was just another location change on a resume studded with them. Overall in his career, he played for nine different NHL teams–Boston was team number eight–setting a league record that has since been tied but not exceeded. It’s an unusual place in Boston Bruins history, to be another stop on this player’s long list of teams, but there it is.
1963: Marty McSorley is born in Hamilton, Ontario. He’d already had a long storied career by the time he became part of the Bruins: he was well-known as Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard in both Edmonton and Los Angeles, and he’d played in a few other cities before arriving in Boston in 1999. It was as a Bruin, though, that his playing career would effectively come to an end. During a February 2000 game with the Vancouver Canucks, with just seconds left to play, he swung his stick and hit the Canucks’ Donald Brashear in the back of the head. Brashear fell unconscious and suffered a Grade 3 concussion. Not only was McSorley suspended for the rest of the season (23 games), he was charged with assault and answered for the stick hit in a court of law, where he was found guilty of assault with a weapon and given 18 months probation. This conviction caused the NHL to extend his league suspension for another year and he never played again in the league. He tried to play in a British league, but they blocked him out, and so did a German league. He also expressed a desire to purchase a team in Cardiff, Wales and be a player-owner, but that never happened. He did coach an AHL team from 2002 to 2004 (long after his suspension ended) and provided color commentary for two of his old teams (Kings and Sharks) for a time, and he’s also appeared in a few TV shows, mostly in hockey-related roles. His incident with Brashear also provided the inspiration for a similar incident shown in the movie Goon.
1984: Hannu Toivonen is born in Kalvola, Finland. Drafted by the Bruins in 2002, he first spent a year with the Providence Bruins and then became the Boston backup while Andrew Raycroft was unable to play because of a contract dispute. In his first NHL game in October 2005, though he got the win, conversely he allowed Sidney Crosby’s first goal as well. Just two months later, he earned his first shutout against the Ottawa Senators, and he had a fairly good record going before hurting his ankle and ending his season early. The next year, he was up against Tim Thomas for the starter spot, but he had a rough start and was returned to Rhode Island. Eventually he fell back into a pattern of recalls, returns, recalls, returns–but he did sign an extension with the Bruins in April 2007. Just three months later, though, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues. Mostly he stayed with their AHL team, and after a trade to the Chicago Blackhawks, the same thing continued to happen. Today he plays in Sweden.
1988: The Bruins open their Final series against the Oilers with a 2-1 loss.
1990: Reggie Lemelin stops Petr Klima of the Oilers on a penalty shot, but the Bruins lose 7-2 in Game 2 of the Final.
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