Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 25
The Stanley Cup Journal


Through 776 regular season games, all played as a Bruin, Milt Schmidt collected 229 goals and 346 assists for a total of 575 points. He was a four-time All-Star, won the scoring race in 1939-40 and, in 1951, was selected the NHL's most valuable player. (Frank Prazak/HHOF)
From the debut of the Boston Bruins in 1924-25, there have been an extraordinary number of players who proudly pulled the team's sweater over his head. Greats like Eddie Shore, Dit Clapper, Bill Cowley, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ray Bourque and, projecting ahead, Joe Thornton. But among the greatest players ever to wear the sweater of the Boston Bruins is Milt Schmidt.

Schmidt starred with the Boston club for sixteen years between his first games in the 1936-37 season and his final contests in 1954-55. Milt's most productive years were interrupted by four years serving his country during the Second World War.

With the absence of a Stanley Cup champion this year, there has been no opportunity to give each member of the championship team his own day with the Stanley Cup. Instead, veteran Stanley Cup champions are getting to relive past glories by enjoying a day with the Cup.

Lorne Carr, now 95 years old, has been the oldest player to enjoy a day with the Stanley Cup. But Milt Schmidt, a spry 87 years old, comes from the earliest Stanley Cup championship team. In his third season with the Bruins, Schmidt helped Boston win the Stanley Cup in 1938-39. The next earliest champions are three members from the 1939-40 Stanley Cup-winning New York Rangers who enjoyed a day with the Cup this summer — Dutch Hiller, Alf Pike and Clint Smith.

* * *

Boston met the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup final of 1938-39. It took just five games for the Bruins to defeat Toronto to win the Stanley Cup. It was their first championship since winning in 1928-29.

Milt was the playoff scoring leader in 1940-41, carrying the Boston Bruins to their second Stanley Cup win in three years. His valuable contributions to Boston during that era were just partial reason for his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
During the regular season in 1940-41, the Bruins finished on top of the 7-team NHL standings. Bill Cowley led the league in scoring with 62 points, while the Kraut Line remained hotter than July. Bobby Bauer collected 39 points and finished ninth in scoring, Milt Schmidt was twelfth with 38 points and Woody Dumart was seventeenth in scoring, finishing with 33 points.

Boston faced the Maple Leafs in the opening playoff series. Bruins fans gasped in horror when Bauer and Schmidt collided, leaving Bobby with a bad skate cut that forced him to leave the game. The Bruins shut out the Leafs 3-0, despite missing Bill Cowley with a bum knee and Bobby Bauer with his cut.

Toronto bounced back with a 5-3 win in Game 2 with Schmidt potting one of the goals in a losing cause. Toronto won Game 3 in a landslide with Schmidt again scoring during the 7-2 loss.

The Bruins took Game 4 by a 2-1 score. Milt Schmidt again made a difference by scoring the opening goal. Toronto reversed the tables with their own 2-1 win. But Boston completed the elimination of the Maple Leafs with consecutive 2-1 wins to push Toronto aside in seven games.

The Stanley Cup final pitted the Boston Bruins against the Detroit Red Wings, who had beaten Chicago in the semi-final. In Game 1, Milt Schmidt scored a goal to help his Bruins defeat Detroit 3-2. Detroit jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Game 2 but late in the third, Boston's Terry Reardon and Roy Conacher potted goals to give the Bruins the win and a 2-0 lead in the series. Boston smelled blood and doubled Detroit 4-2 in Game 3, then wrapped their arms around victory in Game 4 with a 3-1 win that gave them the Stanley Cup! Captain Dit Clapper accepted the championship trophy on behalf of his Bruins' teammates.

* * *

Milt Schmidt was the playoff scoring leader in 1941, collecting 11 points on 5 goals and 6 assists. In 2005, he was still thinking of his teammates first and foremost. On Wednesday, August 24, Milt Schmidt took the Stanley Cup to the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts for the second annual Boston Bruins Golf Tournament, raising funds for the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Boston Bruins Alumni Association.

The weather prognosticators were calling for a rainy day, the result of Hurricane Katrina's fury. But the sun shone down through the course of the day (if you'll excuse the pun) and the 300 participants enjoyed an outstanding day with the Boston Bruins' alumni.

The Stanley Cup was placed just outside the clubhouse and duffers took time to get their photos taken with the trophy that has been won by Boston five times through the history of the franchise. Current Bruins Brian Leetch, Brad Boyes and Ian Moran were joined by such Boston legends as Ray Bourque, Gerry Cheevers, Ken Hodge, Johnny McKenzie, Willie O'Ree, Terry O'Reilly, Brad Park, Derek Sanderson, Bob Sweeney and, of course, Milt Schmidt. Former NHL official Paul Stewart was also on hand for the golf tournament.

Once the greens emptied into the clubhouse, the participants enjoyed cocktails while examining the many items up for auction. Long-time Bruins' fan, actor Denis Leary, donated an opportunity for a successful bidder to fly to New York for a small role on his television series 'Rescue Me.' The Bruins also offered to the highest bidder the chance to fly to Toronto on Monday, November 7 to personally witness Cam Neely's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

* * *

Friday, we'll hit the links with Johnny Bower and spend a day with Fleming Mackell in the next installment of Stanley Cup Journal.

* * *

Kevin Shea is the Manager of Publishing and Editorial Services at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Spirit Of Hockey, shop online now!
Find out about renting the facilities at the Hockey Hall of Fame
Donate your hockey artifacts to the Hockey Hall of Fame
The Weston Harbour Castle Toronto