Team Profile: The Boston Bruins

So the Boston Bruins…

They are a bit of a polarizing team, but as one of the Original Six, there’s no doubt they have a rich and impressive history. Legacy and whatnot…

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Founded in 1924
  • Based in Boston, MA at TD Garden
  • Owned by the Jacobs family
  • GM is Don Sweeney
  • Head Coach is Claude (pronounced Clode) Julien
  • Captain is the super huge and scary Zdeno Chara
  • Minor League Affiliate: Providence Bruins
  • Have won 6 Stanley Cups

And some more in depth history. I’ll try to keep it brief…

The Boston Bruins were the first NHL expansion team created in the U.S. The first General Manager in the team’s history was Art Ross, who was with the franchise for the next 30 years. Ross was also the one who established the Bruin as the official mascot. A bruin, fyi, means bear. It’s Old English for bear, derived from the Dutch word for brown (the more you know…).

Despite a poor pair of debut seasons, by the 3rd, they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, only to lose to the Ottawa Senators. They won their first cup in franchise history in 1929 after defeating the New York Rangers.

World War II caused a huge disruption throughout the League, and it wasn’t until the 1945-1946 season the Bruins returned to the Stanley Cup Finals.

In the 1950’s, the original owners, the Adams family, were forced to sell the team to Walter A. Brown, who was also the owner of the local NBA team, the Celtics.

The Bruins have the distinction of being the first NHL team to acquire and use a Zamboni after the inventor, Frank Zamboni, demonstrated it at Boston Garden to the management team in 1954. The original Model E was used until the 1980’s (although mostly on an emergency basis at that point) and was eventually given to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

On January 18, 1958, the first black player in NHL history stepped onto the ice as part of the Boston Bruins. Willie O’Ree played 45 games with the team from 1957-1961.

In the 60’s, the Adams family repurchased the Bruins from Brown and ushered in a new era for the team. From the 60’s through the 80’s, the “Big Bad Bruins” were one of the top teams in the league. The roster included notable players Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, along with several others. In 1970, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years by defeating the St. Louis Blues in 4 games. The game was won in OT by Bobby Orr, and “The Goal” is one of hockey history’s most iconic moments.

In 1974, Don Cherry became the new head coach. Under his guidance, the Bruins adopted a more physical and grinding style.

Through the 1980’s the Bruins made the playoffs every year led by Ray Bourque and Rick Middleton. They did not make a Finals appearance until 1988, where they were swept in 4 games by the Oilers. In 1990 they once again lost in the Finals to the Oilers.

In the 1987-88 season the Bruins finally broke the Montreal Canadiens 57 year-long playoff win streak against them.  The Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens have one of the bitterest rivalries in all of sports to this day.

In 1991 and 1992, the Bruins lost 2 consecutive Conference Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins (led by Mario Lemieux). From that season on, the Bruins would not make it past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs until they won in 2011.

Getting into some more recent history, 2005 and onward saw the Bruins making several moves that led to the foundation of the team we see today. Chiarelli was hired as the GM, Zdeno Chara was acquired from the Senators. In 2007 Claude Julien was hired as the head coach.

In 2011, the Bruins won their 6th Stanley Cup and the first in 39 years by defeating the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games. Yes, this led to the Vancouver Riots…

2015 saw the firing of Chiarelli, replaced by Don Sweeney.

Since their Stanley Cup win in 2011, the Bruins have made one Finals appearance in their defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. The past 2 seasons the Bruins have failed to make it into the playoffs.

Notable Players:

Basically a whole lot, but here are just a few.

  • Bobby Orr
  • Phil Esposito
  • Ray Bourque
  • Eddie Shore
  • Johnny Bucyk
  • Cam Neely
  • Milt Schmidt
  • Zdeno Chara
  • Patrice Bergeron
  • Tuukka Rask
  • Joe Thornton
  • Phil Kessel
  • Tyler Seguin

I know there are quite a few more, but for the sake of brevity (yeah right), I’ll stop there.

The Bruins have been criticized for some of the moves they have made with some of their players, (as tends to happen in general), the most recent example being the trade of our beloved Tyler Seguin. I’m not complaining, though…

The Bruins are an interesting team to watch. Their recent frustrations in missing the playoffs should really be a motivator to come out fighting next season.

This has been a (not so) brief history on the Boston Bruins. Stay tuned for the next profile coming soon!

bobby_orr_in_mid-air_28197029
Bobby Orr and “The Goal”
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