has been just about everything to the Boston Bruins
-- he's the only man in team history to serve as player, captain, coach and general manager, and he's been involved in four of the Bruins' five Stanley Cups. On Thursday, he joined an elite group of players who've raised their numbers to the rafters of the TD Garden, highlighting "Milt Schmidt
Night" prior to the Bruins game against Toronto.
Schmidt, now 92, received miniature replicas of the two Stanley Cups he won as a player, in 1939 and '41 -- he was GM of the 1970 and '72 teams. Then he told the crowd: "The spoked 'B' is practically my family crest. And I wouldn't have it any other way."
His No. 15 was among the first retired by the Bruins, but as team President Cam Neely
noted, the retirement came before the era of the banner-raising ceremony began -- and invited Schmidt to help raise his own banner to the rafters. He was accompanied by other Bruins legends who've had their numbers retired, including Bobby Orr
, Terry O'Reilly
and Johnny Bucyk.
Schmidt was the center on the "Kraut Line" with Woody Dumart
and Bobby Bauer
that in 1939-40 became the first line in NHL history to finish 1-2-3 in league scoring. Schmidt retired in 1955 and was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame six years later.