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Schmidt is One of a Kind

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- On Thursday, the Boston Bruins will honor the legendary Milt Schmidt in a pregame ceremony to commemorate the start of his 75th season serving as an NHL player, captain, coach, general manager and one of the game's great ambassadors.

The first 10,000 fans will receive a commemorative, limited edition Milt Schmidt Night lithograph presented by TD Insurance.

Schmidt, now 92, often talks about his experiences with the Bruins and frames them in the context of his feeling priviliged to have worn the Black & Gold.

"From day one the Boston Bruins meant an awful lot to me," said Schmidt before an appearance in Montreal in 2007. "And to be invited to the training camp of the Boston Bruins, I really can’t emphasize how I really felt the first time I got on the ice...when I was 17 at training camp and being on the same ice surface as guys like Eddie Shore, Dit Clapper, 'Red' Beattie, and you can go on and one.

"What a thrill that was...[and] I cannot emphasize that fact enough to any 17 or 18 year old invited to a training camp today, what a privilege and an honor it would be."

Anyone who has spoken to Schmidt knows how lucky he feels to have played in the NHL, and he's not afraid to tell any modern player how lucky they should feel, as well.

"Don’t forget it," said Schmidt. "That there’s very few that make the National Hockey League.

"Work hard in order to stay there."

Anyone who aspires to a career in hockey would do well to pay heed to the Bruins legend. As a player, captain, coach and GM, Schmidt, a 1961 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, figured in four of the Bruins five Stanley Cups. As a player, the center was on the ice for the 1939 and 1941 championships and was the B's GM in 1970 and 1972.

"We worked every bit as hard from the first day that we stepped on that ice until the day we all retired," said Schmidt. "We never, ever gave up because we were always afraid of somebody, always looking over our shoulder.

"They’re just trying to take your position away from you.

"But overall, we worked hard, and that’s what you’ve got to do in order to stay in the National Hockey League today," he said.

Schmidt has stayed in the minds and hearts of Bruins fans since he was signed by Boston in 1935. Last season, when he was invited back to take part in the ceremonies surrounding the Winter Classic at Fenway Park, Schmidt talked about that honor.

"Every morning I count my blessings now. I’m 91 years of age so time’s catching up to me, but I’m very pleased that I’m able to participate...[and] to see a lot of the fellas that I haven’t seen for a few years," said Schmidt.
"To be still recognized and invited to these different places is an honor and a privilege.

"You [make] a lot of memories over the years and I’m very pleased about the situation, plus the fact I’m pleased with the way that the city of Boston accepted me."
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