Today in Boston Bruins History: June 17
1952: Mike Milbury (full name Michael Milbury) is born in Brighton, Massachusetts. He was undrafted but joined the Boston Bruins in 1974, first spending time with the AHL before making his way into the parent club’s lineup. Known for an aggressive play style, he racked up the penalty minutes (twice surpassing 200 in a season and passing 100 six times) but appeared in 11 postseasons out of the 12 years he was a Bruin. In fact, he never played anywhere else. He’s also known for the infamous shoe incident right before Christmas 1979 at Madison Square Garden, when he barreled up into the stands and smacked an unruly spectator with his own shoe after the spectator cut Stan Jonathan’s face with a rolled-up game program. That incident is the reason for higher glass surrounding ice surfaces. After his retirement, he was head coach of the Bruins for a time, general manager of the New York Islanders (known for some rather ill-advised, in retrospect, decisions including trading away guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Roberto Luongo and even Zdeno Chara) and now he is in broadcasting.
1977: Trent Whitfield (full name Trenton Grant Whitfield) is born in Alameda, Saskatchewan. Drafted 100th overall by the Bruins in 1996, he initially refused to sign with the team and spent time with Washington and St. Louis before finally coming to Boston in 2009. However, he spends much of his time with the Providence Bruins, though he did join the Boston Bruins on the 2011 playoff run as a spare player. He didn’t meet the play requirements for his name to be engraved on the Stanley Cup, but he did receive a ring and a spot in the team photo. Just after the Cup win, he re-signed with Boston for two years.
1989: The NHL Entry Draft is held at the old Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Shayne Stevenson (18th overall): Stevenson played for the Providence Bruins for much of his Bruins tenure, though he did appear in 19 games with Boston, only scoring one assist. He was taken in the 1992 Expansion Draft that was held to stock the roster of the new Tampa Bay Lightning and scored an assist with them in eight games. For the most part, he found more play time in the minors and in the British leagues before his retirement.
Mike Parson (38th overall): Not much is known of Parson.
Wes Walz (57th overall): Walz did a lot of bouncing back between NHL and AHL, finding more success in the minors, including the AHL All-Star Game. He played 73 total games with the Bruins, including much of the 1990-91 season. However, in 1996 he quit North America altogether for the Swiss leagues, where he stayed for four seasons. He was persuaded back by the creation of the Minnesota Wild and signed on with them. Their coach saw something in him and he morphed into a quality defensive forward. He stayed with the Wild until 2007, when he retired due to unnamed personal reasons. After that, he became part of the Lightning’s coaching staff in 2008, including a time when he mentored Tampa Bay’s young draft pick Steven Stamkos, but he was let go in 2010. Walz now assistant coaches his son’s team in Minnesota.
Jackson Penney (80th overall):
Mark Montanari (101st overall):
Steven Foster (122nd overall):
Otto Hascak (143rd overall): Not much is known of these four players.
Rick Allain (164th overall): Allain never played for the Boston Bruins, though he did spend time within the Bruins’ minor-league system before the end of his playing career in 1993. He then took up coaching starting in 1997, first with the OHL and then the SPHL. As head coach of the Jacksonville Barracudas, he won SPHL coach of the year, but then the Barracudas asked to be suspended from the league for a year due to fanbase issues. Allain is now hockey operations adviser with the Augusta Blackhawks.
James Lavish (185th overall):
Geoff Simpson (206th overall):
David Franzosa (227th overall): Not much is known of these three players.
1993: Dougie Hamilton is born in Toronto, Ontario. Hamilton is from a sporty family; his mom and dad did basketball and rowing respectively in the 1984 Olympics, plus his brother Freddie plays hockey too. Though Hamilton has played for the hometown Niagara IceDogs for three years, won the bronze at the World Juniors and was drafted last year by the Bruins, he may soon attempt to crack the blueliners lineup for Boston.
2011: Three Bruins–Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas–do a little publicity in New York City. They appear on the Today Show and at the NHL store too. Here’s a video of the Today Show appearance (the audio is a little quiet):
Click here to read more Today in Boston Bruins History articles.