Boston Bruins history for July 30:
1912: Jack Portland (full name Jack Frederick Portland) was born in Collingwood, Ontario. Before he started his NHL career, he actually played in the Olympics: he was part of the high jump and triple jump events at Los Angeles 1932. After his Olympic turn, he spent a full season with Montreal, but would soon become a Bruin for four full years and half of two other seasons. He was part of the 1939 Stanley Cup champion team, eventually spent time with Chicago and finished his career with Montreal. He died in 1996.
1956: Reed Larson (full name Reed David Larson) is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While in college, he played for Herb Brooks and was drafted by Detroit in 1976, the team he stayed with from his 1976-77 debut until 1986. During his time with Detroit, he went to three All-Star Games, nearly won the Calder Trophy and earned a reputation as an offensive defenseman with a big slap shot. A 1986 trade saw him become a Bruin and he put up two back-to-back seasons of more than 30 points with Boston. He also played for Edmonton, the Minnesota North Stars and Buffalo as well as teams in Italy (as a player-coach) and finished out his career in his native Minnesota. He’s been elected to the US Hockey Hall of Fame.
2005: The 2005 NHL Entry Draft is held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. It’s often referred to as the Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes because of the lottery style used in determining the draft order and the fact that he was ranked first by International Scouting. Of course, he was drafted first overall by Pittsburgh, but here are the Bruins’ selections. (Also drafted in the first round, by Toronto, was a certain goalie named Tuukka Rask.)
Matt Lashoff (22nd overall): Lashoff, an alumnus of the US National Team Development Program and the OHL, joined the Bruins organization for 2005-06. First, he spent time with Providence and then for 2006-07 began to split time between AHL and NHL. His first goal came on Dec. 31, 2007. He continued to seesaw between Boston and Providence, generally seeing more time with the P-Bruins, until a 2009 trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Mark Recchi. With the Lightning, he continued his pattern of splitting time and, following a 2010 trade to Toronto, he’s continued to do so yet again. During the offseason in 2010, he recorded an album called Living on Heart, an album on which his younger brother Brian (a Detroit prospect) plays guitar. He’s planning a second album with a different sound, too.
Mikko Lehtonen (83rd overall): Lehtonen spent time pre- and post-draft with his team in Finland before joining the Bruins in 2008-09, playing the majority of the time with Providence. In fact, he saw play time in just one Boston game that season, and in 2009-10 the exact same thing happened again. He decided to go to Europe for 2010-11 and was with Sweden while the Bruins traded his rights to Minnesota in exchange for Anton Khudobin. Most recently, Lehtonen has played for the KHL.
Jonathan Sigalet (100th overall): Sigalet played his college hockey at Bowling Green State, where he got to play in front of his brother Jordan. He played for two years in college, also earning honors for rookie of the week and being named to the conference’s scholar-athlete team in his sophomore year. Not long after his drafting with Boston, though, he forewent his last two years of college eligibility and followed his brother yet again into the Bruins system. He spent three seasons with Providence, aside from one Bruins game in 2007, and was lauded with awards for his dedication to community service. A trade to Columbus saw him continue to spend time in the minors, so for 2011-12, he took it overseas and went to the first KHL team established outside of what had been the old Soviet Union. Most recently, he’s signed with another upstart KHL team, this one in Slovakia.
Vladimir Sobotka (106th overall): Like fellow Finn Lehtonen, Sobotka took time in the European leagues post-draft prior to the Bruins. He debuted in 2007-08, playing more of the season in Boston, his first goal coming during that season as well. While he reversed it and played mostly for Providence the following year, he went back to mostly-Boston for 2009-10. However, he was traded to St. Louis in 2010 for David Warsofsky, a defenseman who played for Boston University. His first goal as part of the Blues came against the Bruins in November 2010, the first of seven goals that, along with 22 assists, provided his best season in terms of points. He had 20 points in 2011-12 and was re-signed for three years with the Blues in 2011.
Wacey Rabbit (154th overall): Yes, that is his real name. Rabbit, who is a Native Canadian, stepped up to the Bruins system for 2006-07. He spent time with Providence, but was demoted to the ECHL, leading the general manager of the junior Vancouver Giants to suggest that he needed more time in the juniors. So, he was traded from his former junior team in Saskatoon to Vancouver, where he proceeded to win the Memorial Cup as part of the 2007 host team. (Also on the Giants that year: Evander Kane, Spencer Machacek and Milan Lucic.) That performance was enough to send him back to Providence for 2007-08, where he improved from 26 points that first year back to 34 in 2008-09. The Bruins didn’t offer him a contract, so he went to the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville’s AHL club), but had an off season and went to Croatia for a career-high 2010-11. But he returned to America for the most recent season, joining the Florida system and playing primarily with their AHL team in San Antonio.
Lukas Vantuch (172nd overall): Vantuch has never seen time in the Bruins system. After his drafting, he has played for two Canadian junior teams, but has spent most of his time in his native Czech Republic. In fact, he is still with the Czech leagues today.
Brock Bradford (217th overall): After being drafted, Bradford went to college, playing for four years with Boston College. Though he missed much of 2007-08 due to an arm injury, he bounced back for a big senior year in 2008-09, captaining the Eagles team. He had his pro debut with the Lake Erie Monsters for 2009-10, the Colorado AHL affiliate, but that is his last season on record.
2011: Gregory Campbell has another day with the Stanley Cup and uses it well: first he visits a family friend with cancer, then he heads to the Tillsonburg community center for a celebration attended by more than 1,000 fans. Following that celebration was lunch at the family farm and photos with Lord Stanley around the farm, including some on a tractor. Before Campbell sent the Cup off to the next recipient, though, he washed it one more time, so for those keeping count at home, he washed the Cup a total of four times.
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