Boston Bruins history for August 3 goes way back to the early days of the NHL:
1895: Gerry Geran (full name George Pierce Geran) was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He was the first American player to make the NHL–long before the days of organized drafts–and played for the Montreal Wanderers in the NHL’s very first season. But when the Wanderers’ arena burned down, the team disbanded. Geran won a silver medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics (yes, a Summer Olympics had ice hockey) and then he didn’t play in the NHL again until 1925-26, when he spent 33 games with the Bruins. His retirement meant the retirement of the last member of the Wanderers’ active roster. He died in 1981.
1911: George Abbott (full name George Henry Abbott) was born in Sydenham, Ontario. He was a goalie with just one game to his name–with Boston. However, he was the practice goalie, in the age before a proper backup was required, for Toronto. While with the Maple Leafs, for a 1943 game against the Bruins, the Boston goalie fell sick and couldn’t play. In the spirit of sportsmanship, Toronto allowed Bruins coach Art Ross to borrow Abbott for the night. He faced 52 shots, was actually unconscious for a few minutes after facing a certain shot and Toronto won 7-3. Abbott had played before that time, but faced a career-ending injury after a puck hit him in the eye. He was only part of the Maple Leafs in 1943 because, after that injury, he’d become a Baptist minister and was assigned to preach in Toronto. His date of death is unknown.
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