The Kraut Line was a trio of Boston Bruins hockey players who played on the same NHL forward line: center Milt Schmidt, left wing Woody Dumart, and right winger Bobby Bauer. The name was devised by Albert Leduc, a player from the Montreal Canadiens between 1925 and 1933, and references the German descent of all three players, all of whom grew up in Kitchener, Ontario.
The three were famously attached and lived together in a single room in Brookline, Massachusetts. This line was so accomplished that in the 1939–1940 season, the trio was 1–2–3 in NHL scoring. Center Milt Schmidt led the league in scoring with 22 goals and 30 assists; left wing Woody Dumart was second in the league with 22 goals and 21 assists; and third in scoring was right wing Bobby Bauer with 17 goals and 26 assists. While the line was intact, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup championship in the 1938–1939 and 1940–1941 seasons.
In the midst of World War II, the line enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force as a trio from 1942 to 1946. On February 11, 1942, their last game before reporting for duty, the line accounted for half of the 22 points in goals and assists the Bruins accumulated on the way to an 8–1 victory over Montreal. During the war, contests were held to change towards a non-Germanic name for the line, with The Kitchener Kids one of the favorites, but at the war's end the name returned.
Bobby Bauer's retirement in 1947 ended the line. On March 18, 1952, the line participated in a special reunion game in which Schmidt scored his 200th career goal and Bauer had a goal and an assist, despite having been retired the five previous years, in a victory over the Chicago Black Hawks.
Schmidt is the only surviving member of the Kraut line. Bauer died in September 1964 at age 49. Dumart died October 19, 2001 at age 84.
All three were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Bauer in 1996 Dumart in 1992, and Schmidt in 1961.
Note: These are statistics from the seven regular seasons in which the three players generally played on the same line.
- GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty in Minutes