BOSTON (CBS) — Former Boston Bruins player, coach, and general manager Milton “Milt” Schmidt passed away on Wednesday. The Hockey Hall of Famer was 98 years old.
A monumental figure in not just the Bruins organization but in the entire hockey community, Schmidt played 16 seasons for the Bruins from 1937-55, scoring 576 points in 776 games and winning the Stanley Cup in 1939 and 1941. He led the NHL in scoring in 1940 and won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1951.
Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, the same year as Montreal Canadiens legend Maurice “Rocket” Richard. He had his jersey number 15 retired by the Bruins in 1980. At the time of his retirement as a player, Schmidt was fourth in NHL history in career points and third all-time in assists.
Schmidt was the last surviving member of those Stanley Cup-winning Bruins teams, for which he centered the famous “Kraut Line” with Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer. Similar to fellow Boston sports legend Ted Williams, Schmidt served three years in the Canadian military during World War II along with Dumart and Bauer.
As the Bruins’ general manager from 1967 to 1975, Schmidt was the architect of the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup-winning Bruins teams led by Hall-of-Famers Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. His 1967 trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, in which he acquired Esposito, Ken Hodge, and Fred Stanfield for Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte, and Jack Norris, still stands as one of the most famous franchise-changing moves in NHL history.
Soon after retiring as a player, Schmidt coached the Bruins and served as assistant general manager for 11 seasons from 1954-66. He compiled a 257-410-127 career record as a coach, which also included two seasons with the Washington Capitals from 1974-76.
Schmidt dropped the ceremonial first puck along with Bobby Orr at this past October’s Bruins home opener at TD Garden.