Today in Boston Bruins History: July 29
Boston Bruins history for July 29:
1931: Jerry Toppazzini (full name Jerome J. Toppazzini) was born in Copper Cliff, Ontario. He signed with the Bruins in 1952 and spent time with the Hershey Bears at first, where he got to play with his brother Teddy. 1953 saw his Bruins debut and he had 23 points in 69 games. But his time with the Bruins would soon be interrupted by a trade to Chicago and a subsequent send-off to Detroit as part of an eight-player transaction that was, back then, the largest in the league. However, he was traded back to Boston in 1956 and hit the ground running: the last-place Bruins made a mad dash for the playoffs and missed out by just one win. He stayed with Boston for nine seasons, won the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy twice in a row, played in three All-Star Games and was pretty chatty in the locker room too. He also once minded the net for a short time in 1960, before teams were required to have a backup goalie just in case. The Bruins goalie was hurt with just 30 seconds left in a game and Toppazzini didn’t want to wait for the other team’s backup to get dressed, so he got between the pipes. He didn’t face any shots, but was the last position player to be a goalie in a pinch because the rule about having a backup was instated by 1965. His Bruins career ended in 1964, but he continued to play in minor leagues until 1968. After playing, he coached, opened a menswear store and opened a Bruins-themed bar in Sudbury, Ontario. He died in April 2012 from illness.
1975: Evgeny Shaldybin (also spelled Yevgeny) is born in Novosibirsk, Russia. Drafted by the Bruins in 1995, his playing career in Boston extends to just three games in 1996-97. He did play more for Providence from 1996 to 1999, as well as with some now-defunct North American teams, but much of his success has come from playing in Russia, where he played until 2010-11.
2011: Gregory Campbell has his first day with the Stanley Cup in Kitchener, Ontario. The day begins at his house in Kitchener, where he greeted the Stanley Cup with his mom, dad and sisters. He headed over to the arena of his junior team, the Kitchener Rangers, and went to sit in his old dressing room with his new reward, seeing who’s been at his stall since his days. Then he visited a children’s hospital and the home of the family who billeted him while he was with the Rangers, a family that still displays pictures of him on the mantle. His sister Lauren has a son and so Campbell paid him a visit to show off a really neat treat. Following that was a trip to Tillsonburg, where Campbell grew up and where his parents still live. His mom made yellow bean soup, his dad came over in a beloved old pickup truck and soon more than 100 guests came over for dinner. Among them were former teammates of Campbell’s from his days with Florida. Also, during this day with the Cup, he washed it three different times.
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