Boston Bruins history for July 2–
1970: Brett Harkins (full name Brett Alan Harkins) is born in North Ridgeville, Ohio. Drafted by the New York Islanders in 1989, he became part of the Bruins in 1994 after four years at Bowling Green University, playing 80 games with Providence and one with Boston. After a year’s stint with the Florida Panthers and their AHL affiliate, he returned to Boston in 1996 and played another year that was a little more Boston-centric: 44 games, 18 points. After time in the IHL, he joined the ‘hometown’ Columbus Blue Jackets for a season in 2001-02, but after that he went to Europe, playing in Sweden and Finland before his retirement in 2007. Today he coaches the Cleveland Barons midget minor team.
1979: Joe Thornton (full name Joseph Eric Thornton) is born in London, Ontario. The Bruins’ first overall pick in 1997, he joined Boston for 1997-98, though he was gradually eased into the lineup and often made a healthy scratch. He earned more and more ice time over the years, was named captain in 2002 and had his first 100-point season in 2003. However, his production dropped off the year after that and he struggled under the pressure of criticism for his play. He also wasn’t happy with the direction of the franchise. The Bruins decided that they did need a change and that change involved sending Thornton to the San Jose Sharks. There he won the Art Ross, was named alternate captain and then later captain, won the gold medal at the 2010 Olympics and had 77 points in 82 games last season.
1987: Vladimir Sobotka is born in Trebic, Czechoslovakia. He was selected by the Bruins in the 2005 draft, though he spent two more years playing in the Czech Republic before coming to America and splitting 2007-08 between Providence and Boston. For all three years he spent with the Bruins, he split time between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and he was most productive in 2008-09 with the P-Bruins, scoring 44 points. In June 2010, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues for David Warsofsky, and he’s played and scored more often in Missouri. He signed a three-year deal with the Blues in 2011.
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