Milt Schmidt

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Milt Schmidt
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1961
Miltschmidt.png
Milt Schmidt at a public signing on March 6, 2011
Born (1918-03-05) March 5, 1918 (age 96)
Kitchener, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Boston Bruins
Playing career 1936–1942
1946–1955

Milton Conrad Schmidt (born March 5, 1918) is a former Canadian professional ice hockey centre, coach and general manager, mostly for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. He is an Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Early years[edit]

Schmidt's early years were spent in Kitchener, where he attended King Edward Public School. In high school, he briefly attended Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, but dropped out at age 14 in order to work in order to support his family (his father had become too ill to work regularly), and took a job at a shoe factory. He made 18 cents per hour ($2.95 per hour in 2014 dollars[1]) while working there and claimed that he knew the value of the dollar. (NHL Network January 2009)[2] He continued playing junior hockey with the Kitchener Empires and Kitchener Greenshirts. Schmidt was a childhood friend of fellow Hall of Famers Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer.

Playing career[edit]

Playing[edit]

Milt Schmidt

Schmidt played junior hockey with Dumart and Bauer in Kitchener, Ontario before their rights were all acquired by the Bruins in 1935.[3] After playing a final year of junior hockey in Kitchener, Ontario, and half a year with the Bruins' AHL Providence Reds farm team, Schmidt would be called up to the Bruins during the 1937 season. He would quickly prove himself as a hardnosed centre, a skilled stickhandler and smooth playmaker.

Schmidt and his childhood friends Bauer and Dumart would be teamed together in the NHL as well. They formed the famous Kraut Line, and were a strong and dependable line for the Bruins for most of the following fifteen seasons. They were a key ingredient to the Bruins' success as they rampaged to the regular season title and a hard fought Stanley Cup victory in 1939. The following season would be Schmidt's true coming out party, as he led the league in scoring and guided the Bruins to another first place finish and the third most goals in team history to date.

The 1941 season saw Schmidt spearhead the Bruins to their second Cup win in three years. However, the powerhouse Brown and Gold were decimated by World War II the following year as Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart enlisted in the Canadian military and superstar American goaltender Frank Brimsek enlisted with the United States Coast Guard. The Kraut Line found success playing hockey for the Ottawa RCAF team by winning the Allan Cup before heading overseas. Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart would end up missing three productive NHL seasons due to their service in the War.

Schmidt returned for the beginning of the 1946 season. He resumed his starring ways and finished fourth in league scoring in 1947. Named captain in 1951, Schmidt won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player that year. He retired as a player partway through the 1954–1955 to take over head coaching duties, replacing Lynn Patrick.

Coaching[edit]

He coached the Bruins up to the 1966 season with a year and a half hiatus. He also was Boston's assistant general manager. After coaching the Bruins for 11 seasons Schmidt was promoted to the general manager position in 1967 just as the league ushered in six new franchises, doubling in size. Schmidt proved to be a great architect in the new era of the NHL, acquiring and drafting several key players to build a Bruins team that won two more Stanley Cups titles in 1970, 1972. His biggest deal was a blockbuster as he acquired youngsters Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago Black Hawks in exchange for journeymen Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris.

After his long and loyal career in the Bruins organization, Schmidt left the team to become the first General Manager of the expansion Washington Capitals for the start of the 1975 season. Unfortunately for Schmidt, the Capitals set a benchmark in futility that still stands as an NHL record today, as the new franchise finished the year with a minuscule 21 points with the worst record in the 18 team league (8 wins - 67 losses -5 ties).

Career playing statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1936–37 Providence Reds IAHL 23 8 1 9 12
1936–37 Boston Bruins NHL 26 2 8 10 15 3 0 0 0 0
1937–38 Boston Bruins NHL 44 13 14 27 15 3 0 0 0 0
1938–39 Boston Bruins NHL 41 15 17 32 13 12 3 3 6 2
1939–40 Boston Bruins NHL 48 22 30 52 37 6 0 0 0 0
1940–41 Boston Bruins NHL 45 13 25 38 23 11 5 6 11 9
1941–42 Boston Bruins NHL 36 14 21 35 34
1945–46 Boston Bruins NHL 48 13 18 31 21 10 3 5 8 2
1946–47 Boston Bruins NHL 59 27 35 62 40 5 3 1 4 4
1947–48 Boston Bruins NHL 33 9 17 26 28 5 2 5 7 2
1948–49 Boston Bruins NHL 44 10 22 32 25 4 0 2 2 8
1949–50 Boston Bruins NHL 68 19 22 41 41
1950–51 Boston Bruins NHL 62 22 39 61 33 6 0 1 1 7
1951–52 Boston Bruins NHL 69 21 29 50 57 7 2 1 3 0
1952–53 Boston Bruins NHL 68 11 23 34 30 10 5 1 6 6
1953–54 Boston Bruins NHL 62 14 18 32 28 4 1 0 1 20
1954–55 Boston Bruins NHL 23 4 8 12 26
NHL totals 776 229 346 575 466 86 24 25 49 60

Career coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Division Rank Result
Boston Bruins 1954-55 40 13 12 15 (41) 4th in NHL Lost in Semi-Finals
1955-56 70 23 34 17 59 5th in NHL Missed Playoffs
1956-57 70 34 34 12 80 3rd in NHL Lost in Cup Finals
1957-58 70 34 34 12 80 3rd in NHL Lost in Cup Finals
1958-59 70 32 29 9 73 2nd in NHL Lost in Semi-Finals
1959-60 70 28 34 8 64 5th in NHL Missed Playoffs
1960-61 70 15 42 13 43 6th in NHL Missed Playoffs
1962-63 56 13 31 12 (38) 6th in NHL Missed Playoffs
1963-64 70 18 40 12 48 6th in NHL Missed Playoffs
1964-65 70 21 43 6 43 6th in NHL Missed Playoffs
1965-66 70 21 43 6 48 5th in NHL Missed Playoffs
Washington Capitals 1974-75 8 2 6 0 (4) 5th in Norris Missed Playoffs
1975-76 36 3 28 5 (11) 5th in Norris (fired)
Total 770 250 394 126

Retirement[edit]

Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. After his retirement from hockey management, Schmidt remained involved with the Bruins through their alumni team and as manager of the Boards and Blades Club at the Boston Garden. Milt Schmidt's jersey #15 was retired by the Boston Bruins on March 13, 1980. On October 6, 2010 the Bruins celebrated Schmidt's 75 years with the team during Milt Schmidt Night. On this night he received 2 commemorative Stanley Cup miniatures to represent the two cups he had brought to the club, plus he personally raised his number to the rafters inside TD Garden.

Awards and achievements[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2013-12-20. Retrieved January 8, 2014
  2. ^ Hicks, Jeff (November 4, 2006). "Kitchener's Great One". The Record, Kitchener, Ontario. p. A1, A8, A9. 
  3. ^ Diamond, Dan (ed.) (1998, 2000). Total Hockey: Second Edition. Total Sports Publishing, Kingston, New York. pp. 655, 698, 802. 

NESN October 28, 2010

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hap Emms
General Manager of the Boston Bruins
196772
Succeeded by
Harry Sinden
Preceded by
Lynn Patrick
Phil Watson
Head coach of the Boston Bruins
195461
196366
Succeeded by
Phil Watson
Harry Sinden
Preceded by
Position created
General Manager of the Washington Capitals
197476
Succeeded by
Max McNab
Preceded by
George Sullivan
Head coach of the Washington Capitals
1975
Succeeded by
Tom McVie
Preceded by
John Crawford
Boston Bruins captain
195054
Succeeded by
Ed Sandford
Preceded by
Chuck Rayner
Winner of the Hart Trophy
1951
Succeeded by
Gordie Howe
Preceded by
Toe Blake
NHL Scoring Champion
1940
Succeeded by
Bill Cowley