Legends of Hockey - Induction Showcase - Bobby Bauer
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1996 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

Bobby Bauer
Veteran Players' Category

Robert Theodore Bauer fused skillful play and sportsmanship very successfully during ten years spent with the Boston Bruins. He earned much acclaim as the right winger on the famed "Kraut Line" with Milt Schmidt and Woody Dumart. Bauer totalled 260 points in 328 NHL contests in a career that was interrupted by his service with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.
Born in Waterloo, Ontario on February 16, 1915, Bauer played city league hockey before heading to Toronto. Once there he gained valuable training by splitting the 1932-33 season between the British Consols and Toronto National Sea Fleas of the Toronto Mercantile League. Bauer helped the latter outfit win the league championship that year. This was followed by a rewarding stint with the St. Michael's College juniors in 1933-34. Bauer's stellar play was an integral factor behind the club's Memorial Cup triumph that season. Bauer returned to his roots by spending the 1934-35 campaign with the Kitchener Greenshirts which he led to the OHA Junior championship.
The Boston Bruins were aware of Bauer's talent and moved quickly to sign him. He was then dispatched to the Boston Cubs of the Canadian-American Hockey League where the Bruins could monitor his development over the 1935-36 season. Bauer did not look out of place during his first year of professional hockey. He accumulated 15 goals and 28 points and was considered good enough to play with the Providence Reds of the International American Hockey League the following year. Bauer tallied fourteen times for the Reds in 1936-37 and earned an emergency call up to Boston where he scored a goal in his only NHL contest. It was also in Providence that he was first teamed with Milt Schmidt and Woody Dumart to form a potent troika.

Bauer enjoyed a promising twenty-goal rookie campaign in 1937-38 while becoming a necessity in the Bruins line-up. That same year the Kraut Line debuted and contributed significantly to Boston finishing atop the American Division standings. During each of the following three seasons Boston finished first in the NHL standings and won the Stanley Cup in 1939 and 1941. Bauer himself won consecutive Lady Byng Trophies in 1940 and 1941 as the NHL's most gentlemanly player.

Towards the end of the 1941-42 season, Bauer's career shifted dramatically. With World War II raging, he and linemates Schmidt and Dumart became the first big league players to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. Initially they were based in Ottawa and played for the RCAF Commandoes who were participating in the Quebec Senior Hockey League. That spring they led the club to the Allan Cup championship. The following year the Kraut Line was stationed in Halifax where they won the city championship. The next season this squad continued to function but as an independent outfit. Bauer and his linemates spent the 1943-45 period in service to their country.

Bauer returned to Boston for two more seasons from 1945-46 to 1946-47. In the former his play was particularly strong during the post-season when he aided the Bruins' drive to the Stanley Cup Final. In the latter he enjoyed a personal best 30 goal season and won his third Lady Byng Trophy.

On retiring in 1947, Bauer returned to his hockey origins by coaching the Guelph Biltmore Juniors. Later that year he regained his amateur status and embarked on a highly successful career with the senior Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. Bauer's strong influence took the squad to the OHA Senior finals three straight years between 1948 and 1950. He retired as a player at the conclusion of the 1949-50 season but did return for one game with Boston in 1951-52. On March 18, 1952, Bauer scored a goal and an assist as the Kraut Line reunited for one night to lead the Bruins to victory over the New York Rangers.

A talent for communicating with players was evident throughout Bauer's career. Thus it was a natural progession for him to step into the realm of coaching when his playing days were completed. Beginning in 1952, he went on to serve as general manager, coach and president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. Under his tutelage the club won two OHA Senior championships and two Allan Cups. The second Allan Cup triumph resulted in the Dutchmen being chosen to represent Canada at the 1956 Cortina Olympics where they won the bronze medal. On returning to Canada, Bauer retired from coaching. Four years later he was convinced to coach the Dutchmen at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics where the team won the silver medal.

Following the 1960 Olympic tournament, Bauer passed along his experience during countless sessions with his younger brother, Father David Bauer. Prior to his death in 1964, Bobby Bauer helped devise the concept and implementation of Canada's future national team program.

 1996 Inductees