NHL Boston Bruins

Today in Boston Bruins History: June 15

1969: Sheldon Kennedy is born in Brandon, Manitoba. Drafted by Detroit in 1988, he eventually found his way to Calgary and his contract was coming up for renewal when he revealed that he had been sexually abused by his coach Graham James as a junior player. (He was not the only victim of James’ abuse, though when he came forward, he was the only one named; another victim chose to remain anonymous.) The Flames didn’t renew his contract and so he came to the Boston Bruins as a free agent for his last NHL season. Meanwhile, James was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Later Kennedy played for a minor league team and a German team before devoting himself to raising awareness about abuse. He wrote an autobiography in which he detailed what had happened to him and said that he still has nightmares about James (who claimed that his relationship with Kennedy was consensual and is now serving a second jail sentence for assaulting Theoren Fleury, who came forward in 2010) sometimes.

1978: The last NHL draft to be referred to as an Amateur instead of an Entry draft is held at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Here are the Boston Bruins’ selections.

Al Secord  (16th overall): Secord had a great rookie season with Boston–16 goals and seven assists–and improved to 23 goals the following year, but then in his third season when he did not score a single goal in his first 18 games, the Bruins dealt him to the Chicago Black Hawks. With Chicago, he set a record as the only NHL player to get 40 goals and 300 penalty minutes in the same season. Later he would also get into the 50-goals club, though injuries started to curtail his playing and dent his scoring touch. After stopovers in Toronto and Philadelphia, he returned to Chicago and retired in 1990. He did have a brief comeback in 1994 with the Chicago Wolves too. Now he is a pilot with American Airlines and lives in Texas, continuing to do work with the Blackhawks’ alumni association and coach youth hockey in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Graeme Nicolson (35th overall): Nicolson played just one game with the Bruins and a season each with the Colorado Rockies, plus the New York Rangers, along with some minor league play before retirement.

Brad Knelson (52nd overall):

George Buat (68th overall):

Daryl MacLeod (85th overall): Not much information is known of these three players.

Jeff Brubaker (102nd overall): Brubaker never played with the Bruins. He’d been selected concurrently by the WHA New England Whalers in 1978 as well and joined them instead. The next season, the Whalers joined the NHL. His NHL career included Hartford, Montreal, Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, the Rangers and Detroit, though. After retirement, he went into coaching.

Murray Skinner (119th overall):

Bobby Hehir (136th overall): Not much is known of these two players.

Craig MacTavish (153rd overall): After first splitting time between Boston and the minors, MacTavish cracked the Bruins lineup in 1982-83 and spent two years there. However, he missed 1984-85 because he was convicted of vehicular homicide after hitting and killing a woman when he was driving under the influence. He spent a year in jail, watching the televised games, and when he was released the Bruins offered to let him out of his contract, which he did. Then, Glen Sather, GM of the Edmonton Oilers, did a personal favor to his friend and Bruins GM Harry Sinden by signing MacTavish for 1985-86. This worked out well for the Oilers and MacTavish won three Stanley Cups. Then a 1994 trade to the Rangers saw him win a fourth Cup. He also played in Philadelphia and St. Louis before retiring in 1996-97. When he retired, he was the last player to have played without a helmet–he was allowed to do so under a grandfather clause on the helmet rule. He then took up coaching, for the Rangers and then the Oilers, eventually becoming head coach. The Oilers reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2006 under his watch, but he was let go in 2009 after three straight years outside the playoffs. He coached the Chicago Wolves and did some TV commentary, but is now back with Edmonton as senior vice president of hockey operations.

1985: In the first NHL draft held outside Montreal (this one is at Metro Toronto Convention Centre), here are the Bruins’ selections.

Alain Cote (31st overall): Cote debuted with the Bruins in 1985-86, putting up six assists in 32 games. Over the next three seasons, he spent the majority of his play time in Maine with the Bruins’ minor league team, and in 1989-90 he was traded to the Washington Capitals for a season. He also played for Montreal, Tampa Bay and Quebec, the minors and even internationally (Japan, Germany and Finland) before returning to Quebec and playing for lower-level pro leagues until 2009.

Bill Ranford (52nd overall): Ranford, a goalie, spent two seasons in the Boston system shuffling between minor and major before a 1988 trade to Edmonton. It was with Edmonton that he won the Stanley Cup twice and the Conn Smythe once (1990). After that 1990 Cup win, he played for the Oilers until 1996, when he was traded back to Boston. Once again, his time with the Bruins was short, less than two seasons. This time he went to Washington, Tampa Bay and Detroit and closed out his playing career with Edmonton. He’s actually the one who plays Jim Craig in the on-ice only scenes of the movie Miracle. He was the goaltending coach for the Vancouver Giants from 2004 to 2006 and was hired to do the same for the Los Angeles Kings in 2010. He still holds that job, so he just won his third Stanley Cup.

Jamie Kelly (73rd overall):

Steve Moore (94th overall): Not much information available.

Gord Hynes (115th overall): Hynes played one season each with the Bruins and Flyers, though he did win silver at the 1992 Olympics. Most of his career was spent either in the minors or abroad in Germany, where he played until 2001.

Per Martinelle (136th overall): Not much information available.

Randy Burridge (157th overall): Known as “Stump” because of the way he celebrated scoring goals, Burridge played for Boston for six seasons and scored 223 points in 359 games. This kind of performance led to him winning the Seventh Player Award twice and the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy once.  He was traded to Washington in 1991, spent some time in LA and ended his NHL career with Buffalo. After that, though, he played in the IHL with Las Vegas and in the German leagues before hanging the skates up altogether. Now he coaches youth hockey in Vegas.

Gord Cruickshank (178th overall):

Dave Buda (199th overall): Not much information available.

Bob Beers (210th overall): After cracking the Boston lineup in 1989, Beers played for three seasons but put up just seven points in 50 total games. He was traded to the new Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992, where he spent a year before heading to a very different climate in Edmonton. He also played for the New York Islanders, but he returned to Boston and closed out his career as part of the Bruins organization. Today he is part of the Bruins radio team.

John Byce (220th overall):  Byce spent two seasons with the Bruins and played 21 total games. However, he had quite a longer play career with minor league teams and organizations in Sweden and Britain, spanning until 2000.

Marc West (241st overall): Not much information available.

2011: The Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 and win the Stanley Cup. Patrice Bergeron scores twice–the Cup-winning goal and a shorthanded tally he scores while sliding on his stomach–and Brad Marchand adds two more, including an empty-netter to seal the deal. Tim Thomas wins the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP, only the second American to do so and the oldest player to do so in NHL history. Further league history is made with the fact that the Bruins had three seven-game series to get to the top of the mountain.

When Zdeno Chara receives the Cup, he passes it first to Mark Recchi, who took his last shift before hanging up the skates as a three-time Stanley Cup champion. Although he is injured and unable to play, Nathan Horton is able to attend and raise the Cup. (Marc Savard, however, is not able to make the long flight.) Before the game, he also pours a little water melted down from TD Garden ice onto the sheet at Rogers Arena in a stunt no one else really knew about beforehand, declaring to the room “it’s our ice now.”

The Vancouver crowd also gives respectable cheers when hometown boy Milan Lucic has the Cup.

Though there are riots in the city following the win, the team is able to safely celebrate in the visitors’ dressing room and then fly home, where team president Cam Neely rushes to the mayors’ office to plan the parade with his suit still smelling of cigar smoke and champagne.

Enjoy a variety of videos from the game below.

CBC is known for its artistic introduction videos for each playoff game. This one features “Fragile Birds” by City and Colour.


This is a highlight reel from the game with NBC commentators.


This is a mashup of the TV video and the radio commentary.


This one shows the Bruins raising the Cup and the video uploader has turned down the NBC commentary so you can better hear the players. Please note that some of the players, including Recchi, Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley, utter a certain swear word when they have the Cup, so this video is not safe for work:


Finally, here’s an NHL Network look into the Bruins’ locker room.



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