Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Hal Gill

( Photo Credit: Phillip MacCallum / Getty Images )

By Joe Chrzanowski  |  Follow Me on Twitter @jchrz19

Happy 45th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Defenseman Hal Gill!

Gill was born on April 6th, 1975, in Concord, MA, and was drafted by the Bruins in the eighth round (207 overall) of the National Hockey League Entry Draft in June of 1993. The 6′-7″, 243-pound behemoth of a man was drafted out of Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton, MA before attending Providence College.

He was a four-year starter for the Friars and captained the team his senior year before turning pro for the 1997-98 NHL season. The four years of NCAA play apparently served him well as he would play only four games in the AHL before being called up to the big club, and never looked back. Gill would spend the next 16 years in the NHL, logging more than 1100 games with the Bruins and five other organizations.

He was a fixture on the Boston defense for the next eight seasons, playing with guys like B’s legend Ray Bourque, and current GM, Don Sweeney before they moved on. Gill was a steady, stay at home defenseman who did not put up many points, but was very solid defensively. It was my experience that Gill was a bit of a whipping boy in his years in Boston. I think that was because despite his massive size he was never much of a fighter, although he did fight some heavyweights like Kocur, Godard, and Chara (when he was with OTT). His teams made it past the Quarterfinals only once during his tenure (1998-99) and failed to qualify for the playoffs three times, which was unacceptable to a fanbase that was accustomed to winning.

Gill would move on to Toronto in 2006-07, but not before accumulating 626 games with Boston, more than three times as many games as he would play for any other team. He spent only a year and a half with the Leafs before being dealt to Pittsburgh in 2008 for their playoff run. Like his former teammate, Bourque, Hal Gill would find postseason success outside of Boston. He won a Cup the following year (2009), raising Lord Stanley’s hardware with the Penguins. After that, he played with Montreal, Nashville, and closed his career with a brief stint in Philadelphia.

Hall Gill 2

( Photo Credit: NBC Sports )

While Gill did not enjoy much playoff success in Boston and was underappreciated here, personally I will always think of him as a Bruin. I could never get used to him in a Hab uniform in particular and felt bad that he was wearing that uniform while the B’s went on to win their Cup in 2011. Hopefully, he had an enjoyable 45th birthday today and remembers only his good times here in the Black and Gold.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Terry Reardon

( Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder | Stanleycupchowder.com )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Terry Reardon was born on April 6th, 1919, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He began playing for the St.Boniface Seals (MJHL) as a 16-year-old forward from 1935 until 1937, playing a total of 29 games with 31-13-44 numbers. In October of 1937, his rights were traded to the Boston Bruins by the NY Americans, sending Reardon to the Brandon Wheat Kings (MJHL) for his final year in juniors. He appeared in 16 games and won the league scoring title with 29-16-45 numbers. After that season, he was assigned to the Bruins’ minor-pro affiliate, the Hershey Bears (IAHL).

During the 1938-1939 season, Reardon suited up for 50 games with the Bears, posting 7-20-27 numbers, before being called up to the Bruins for his first National Hockey League appearance at 19-years-old. He played four regular-season games but failed to register a point. The Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup that season in 1939 and engraved Reardon’s name on the cup, making him a Stanley Cup champion. The following season, the right-winger continued to develop with the Bears, playing 55 games with 13-24-37 numbers and played just one game for the Bruins during the playoffs, registering an assist. In 1940, he appeared in 19 games with the Bears until he was called back up to play for the Bruins, and this time suited up for 35 games, scoring six goals and 11 points. The Bruins went on to sweep the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup in 1941, with Reardon assisting on the winning goal in the final game.

The 5’10, 170-pound forward had his journey in Boston come to a screeching pause the following season when Boston loaned his rights to the Montreal Canadians in exchange for the loan of Paul Gauthier’s rights. Reardon was productive for Montreal during the 1941-1942 season, playing in 33 games with 17-17-34 numbers. That season, Montreal advanced to the playoffs but quickly were eliminated in the first round. He continued the following season with Montreal, playing in only 13 games, posting 6-6-12 numbers before joining the military. While serving in the military, he played for teams such as the Montreal Army (MCHL) and Nanaimo Army (NNDHL) before being deployed to France. Unfortunately, Reardon was wounded while taking part in D-Day in 1944. Reports at the time described the injury as a severe shoulder injury, leaving many to think his days of playing professional hockey were coming to an end sooner rather than later. The big bad Bruin did not let the injury stop him as he rehabbed his way back, playing another two seasons with the Bruins from 1945-1947.

In 1945, Reardon re-joined the Bruins and played 49 games that season, producing 12-11-33 numbers, and led the Bruins to another Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1946. The forward scored the overtime game-winning goal in game-four, but the Bruins ended up losing the series to Montreal in game-five. He spent his final season with Boston in 1946-1947, suiting up for 60 games and contributing 6-14-20 numbers. Reardon retired from the NHL in 1947 and was then named playing-coach for the Bruins minor-pro affiliate, Providence Reds (AHL).

( Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune | Chicagotribune.com )

Reardon coached for the Providence Reds from 1947-1953, winning the Calder Cup in 1949, and finishing with a record of 202-184-22. He did not coach again until 1966 when he was named head coach of the Baltimore Clippers (AHL). He coached Baltimore for three seasons, finishing with a record of 103-74-29. During his final season as head coach in 1971, he received the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award for coach of the year. According to the Hockey Database, he continued as a co-coach for Baltimore from 1971 until 1976 before retiring. Reardon coached a total of 794 games in the American Hockey League and is currently fifth on the all-time list.

Terry Reardon passed away on February 14th, 1993, at the age of 73 in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada. In his six-year tenure in the NHL, he suited up for 194 games and finished with 47-53-100 numbers. Happy Birthday, ‘Terrible Terry’

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Kris Vernarsky

( Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios / Getty Images )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Happy 38th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Kris Vernarsky!

Vernarsky was born on April 5th, 1982, in Detriot, Michigan and was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the National Hockey League Entry Draft. The 6′-3″ 201-pound center was a product of the United States National Development Program before heading to the Ontario Hockey League to play for the Plymouth Whalers. In Kris’s time with the now-defunct Whalers club, he appeared in 169 career games and posted 52-93-145 numbers.

Although drafted by the Maple Leafs, Vernarsky never put on the historical Blue and White jersey and on May 13th, 2002, his rights were traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for 6′-2″ 214-pound defenseman Ric Jackman who played in only two games for the Bruins in the 2001-02 season. Kris only appeared in 17 career NHL games all the Bruins registering one goal in that timeframe. Vernarsky would spend the majority of his time with the Boston organization with their top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins. With the American Hockey League team from Rhode Island, the forward who was in his early 20’s at the time posted 20-25-45 in 125 games with Providence. During the 2004-05 campaign, he appeared in only five games and the Providence club would reassign him to the East Coast Hockey Leagues Florida Everblades ending his time with the Bruins organization.

Vernarsky would continue to play minor-pro hockey in the lower International Hockey League and the United Hockey League before giving the higher ECHL another go. In the 2010-11 season as a 28-year-old, he played in 51 games for the Wheeling Nailers posting 8-13-21 numbers in his final season of hockey before retiring.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Brent Hughes

( Photo Credit: Fleer Ultra Trading Cards )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Happy 54th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Brent Hughes!

Brent Hughes was born on April 5th, 1966, in New Westminster, British Columbia. As a 17-year-old forward, he began playing for the New Westminster Bruins (WHL) and continued to play with the team until the 1986-1987 season when he suited up for only eight-games before being traded to the Victoria Cougars (WHL). That season, he played 71 games with the Cougars and posted an impressive 38-61-99 numbers. After going undrafted, the 5’11 195-pound forward signed as a free agent to the Moncton Hawks (AHL) in 1987.

In the 1987-1988 season, Hughes played 77 games, posting 13-19-32 numbers with 206 PIM for the Moncton Hawks and caught the attention of their pro-affiliate, the Winnipeg Jets. During the 1988 off-season, Hughes agreed to a three-year deal with Winnipeg and started the next season playing for the Moncton Hawks, appearing in 54 games with 34-34-68 numbers and a whopping 286 PIM before being called up for this first National Hockey League action. He went on to play 28 games with the Jets that year, posting 2-3-5 numbers. The next season, he would only appear in 11 games with Winnipeg, collecting a goal and two assists, before being sent back down to the Moncton Hawks for the next two seasons until he was traded to the Washington Capitals in 1991.

The forward never saw ice-time with Washington that season, playing 67 games with 31-33-64 numbers and 224 PIM split between the Baltimore Skipjacks (AHL) and Maine Mariners (AHL), before being traded to the Boston Bruins in February of 1992. Hughes finished the 1992 regular-season playing eight games with Boston, collecting a goal and an assist with 38 PIM, and played his first ten games in the playoffs, contributing two goals. For the next three seasons, he wore the Spoked-B with pride and played a role in helping the Bruins to the playoffs each year, appearing in 19 playoff games with 2-1-3 numbers. The physical forward played a total of 191 games with the Bruins, contributing 25-22-47 numbers with 511 PIM and 27 fighting majors. After the 1994-1995 season, his time in Boston expired, and in October of 1995, he was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres from Boston in the NHL Waiver Draft.

Hughes would go on to play 76 games with Buffalo that season, producing 5-10-15 numbers. After his contract with Buffalo expired in 1996, he was signed as a free agent by the New York Islanders. During the 1996-1997 season, he would end up playing his last 51 games in the NHL, posting 7-3-10 numbers before being sent to the International Hockey League (IHL) to play for the Utah Grizzlies for the remainder of the season. The left-winger continued to play in the IHL and split his time between the Utah Grizzlies and Houston Aeros (IHL) until he retired from hockey in 1999 at the age of 32. Hughes ended his eight-year NHL career with 357 games played, 41-39-80 numbers and 831 PIM.

After Hughes announced his retirement, he was named head coach of the Austin Ice Bats (WPHL). According to the Hockey Database, he coached the Ice Bats in the WPHL for two seasons until the team merged with the Canadian Hockey League in 2001, and brought his team to the Ray Miron President’s Cup final their inaugural season. Hughes spent the majority of his coaching career with the Austin Ice Bats until 2008 before becoming head coach for the Corpus Christi Stingrays (CHL) near the end of the 2009 season. He eventually retired from coaching in 2011, finishing with a career record of 257-174-43 and two Ray Miron President’s Cup Final appearances.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Brandon Bochenski

( Photo Credit: GameWornAuctions | Gamewornauctions.com )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Happy 38th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Brandon Bochenski!

Brandon Bochenski was born on April 4th, 1982, in Blaine, Minnesota, and was drafted in 2001 by the Ottawa Senators in the seventh round. As an 18-year-old forward, he played for the Lincoln Stars (USHL) for one season and caught the Senators’ attention after he led the league with 47 goals. After being drafted, Bochenski played three seasons with the University of North Dakota, and in each of his final two years, he led his team in goals, power-play goals, and points.

After the 2003-2004 season, the 6’0 187-pound forward signed with the Ottawa Senators and played for the Binghampton Senators (AHL) from 2004-2006. Bochenski put up impressive numbers his rookie year, tallying 34 goals and 70 points in 75 games played. The next season he played just 33 games with 22-24-46 numbers before being called up for his first National Hockey League appearance with the Ottawa Senators. He appeared in his first 20 games with the Senators and put up 6-7-13 numbers before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for the remainder of the season. In 2006-2007 though, Bochenski struggled to cement his position in the line-up with Chicago, and just after ten games, he was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Kris Versteeg and a conditional draft pick.

During the 2006-2007 season, Bochenski suited up for 31 games with the Bruins and scored 11 goals and 22 points. After a promising start, Bochenski inked a one-year deal with the Bruins during the 2007 off-season. Still, his journey in Boston lasted only 20 games that season, notching only two assists before he was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Shane Hnidy and a sixth-round draft pick. He continued playing in the NHL until 2010 and finished his career playing for a total of six different NHL teams. He played 156 career games and posted 28-40-68 numbers.

After his five-year tenure in the NHL, Bochenski relocated across the world to play in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2010. He played with Barys Astana (KHL) and served as captain of the team for several seasons. He made his first retirement announcement in May of 2017, but later returned to the team in 2018 for one more season, then officially retired from hockey in July of 2019. He played 419 career games in the KHL, posting 169-237-406 numbers.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher!

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Lorne Duguid

( Photo Credit: Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Duguid was born on April 4th, 1910, in Bolton, Ontario. At the age of 17, Lorne started his junior hockey career with the Montreal Victorias where he appeared in 31 games contributing 21-0-21 numbers. After his three seasons of juniors, he signed as a free agent to play in the International Hockey League in November of 1930 with the Windsor Bulldogs. The 5′-11″ 185-pound left-winger started his National Hockey League career in the 1931-32 season with the Montreal Maroons and would stay in the organization for a better part of three years going up and down from the NHL to the club’s minor-pro system. With Montreal in 66 games, he posted 4-8-12 numbers.

After his short stay with the Marrons, Lorne was traded to Detriot on October 28th, 1934 for cash and played in only five games for the Redwings before he was on the move again to another NHL franchise. On December 29th after his cup of coffee in the Motor City, the then 25-year-old Duguid was traded to the Boston Bruins for Gene Carrigan who never donned the Brown and Gold sweater for Boston but was in the Bruins minor-pro system with the Boston Cubs.

In two years of service for Boston, Duguid would appear in 31 games posting 2-4-6 as another utility player when needed from the farm team. Lorne would finish his professional NHL career in Boston but his hockey career would carry on in minor hockey until the 1940-41 season in the American Hockey League with the Pittsburgh Hornets. Duguid passed away on March 21st, 1981 at the age of 70. In his six-year NHL career, he would go down in the record books posting 9-15-24 numbers.

( Photo Credit: Flickr – Duguid To The Right )

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Jim O’Neil

( Photo Credit: HockeyGods.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Jim O’Neil was born on April 3rd, 1913 in Semans, Saskatchewan and played a majority of his junior hockey in his home province with the Saskatoon Crescents (N-SSHL) and Wesleys (N-SJHL). Before joining the National Hockey League Boston Bruins team in the 1933-34 campaign the 5′-8″ 160-pound versatile forward played 46 games for the Bruins minor-pro team the Boston Cub posting 13-17-30 numbers.

O’Neil played a better part of four seasons with the Bruins organization totaling 6-26-32 numbers in 140 games with his first NHL club from the ages of 20 to 23. He would leave Boston to play two seasons appearing in 16 games and tallying four assists with the Montreal Canadiens organization bouncing up and down from the NHL club to below minor-pro affiliates. After leaving the Habs team, O’Neil would return to the Bruins organization but never to return to the NHL. Jim would be of service to the Boston club as a “break glass in case of emergency” scenario playing in the American Hockey League with the Providence Reds, and Hershey Bears until the end of his professional hockey career.

O’Neil passed away at the age of 84 on October 17th, 1997 and in his time making stops in Boston and Montreal through his six-year career he posted 6-30-36 numbers. In his time in the American Hockey League contributed 109-311-420 numbers before retiring after the 1945-46 season.

( Photo Credit: HockeyGods.com )

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Ray Getliffe

( Photo Credit: LondonSportsHallOfFame.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Ray Getliffe was born on April 3rd, 1914, in Galt, Ontario which is located just outside of the Greater Toronto area (Now Cambridge, Ont). Getliffe played his junior hockey for nearby London and Strafford communities before turning pro in the 1935-36 season only playing in one game that season. During the first year with the Bruins organization, he like so many young players back then would play at the minor-pro level getting accustomed to the higher skill around them. With the Bruins minor-pro affiliate Boston Cubs, Getliffe would appear in 29 games in his first year of professional hockey posting 16-14-30 numbers.

Getliffe would get into full National Hockey League action when he appeared in 48 games in 1936-37 as a rookie and contributed 16-15-31 numbers. As a member of the Bruins, Ray would be with the organization for four seasons spending three of them with full-time work at the NHL level. In that timeframe, the 5′-11″ 175-pound forward posted 37-40-77 numbers in 128 games with Boston. After a 36-10-2 record, the Bruins captured the regular-season title in the 1938-39 campaign and would go onto win the team’s second Stanley Cup with a 4-1 series victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. During the 1938-39 regular-season, Getliffe posted 10-12-22 numbers during the regular and in 11 games in the postseason that year had a goal and an assist for his first career Stanley Cup.

( Photo Credit: LondonSportsHallOfFame)

After celebrating his first league championship, the following season the Bruins traded Getliffe to the Montreal Canadiens along with Charlie Sands to the Habs for Herb Cain in October of 1939. Ray would only need four seasons before capturing his second career Stanley Cup when the Habs won it all after the 1943-44 hockey season. Getliffe ended his 10-year NHL career at the close of the 1944-45 season. In six years with the Canadiens organization after the trade from Boston, he posted 99-97-196 numbers in 269 games with the Habs. Getliffe would live another 64 years after retiring from the game of hockey passing away at 94 on June 15th, 2008. Ray would post 136-137-273 career numbers in 397 NHL games in his ten years at the highest level of hockey in the world.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher!

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Shawn Bates

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Happy 45th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Shawn Bates!

Shawn was born on April 3rd, 1975, in Melrose, Massachusetts. He attended High School in Medford, Massachusetts and per the great folks at HockeyReference.com he played three seasons posting 105-130-235 numbers in 69 career games for the Mustangs. His best High School season came in the 1992-93 campaign when he contributed 49-46-95 numbers in 25 games. As an 18-year-old Bates would attend Boston University where he’d appear in 160 career games posting 73-71-144 numbers. As a 19-year-old right-shooting center he joined the IIHF World Junior Championships Team USA Under-20 team in the middle of his collegiate years where he appeared in seven games for his home nation posting 5-1-6 totals.

Bates was drafted by the Boston Bruins after completing his final year of High School at Medford going in the fourth-round (103 Overall) in the 1993 National Hockey League Entry Draft. After completing four years at Boston University the then 22-year-old forward signed an entry-level contract with Boston. Shawn would spend the next four seasons with the Bruins organization playing in 98 games for the B’s top minor-pro affiliate Providence Bruins contributing 45-48-93 totals. His time in the NHL with Boston he played in 135 games only posting 14-14-28 numbers in those four years.

After having five points in 45 games in Boston during the 2000-01 season, Shawn and the Bruins parted ways with the 26-year-old signing a free-agent deal with the New York Islanders. By looking at his stats with the NHL Islanders club, Bates seemingly had a better fit in their system playing in the organization for a better part of six years. In his time with the Islanders, he posted 58-112-170 totals finishing his NHL career after the 2007-08 campaign.

Bates would give International Hockey a try when he went overseas to play in Finland for the HIFK Helsinki team. As a 33-year-old in the SM-Liiga Finnish League, the Massachusetts native put up some decent numbers in 20 games contributing 5-16-20 totals in his first time playing for another country as a free agent. Bates would make another attempt at the North American professional league with another shot at the American Hockey league level this time in the 2009-10 season with the Manchester Monarchs signing as a free agent in early December of 2009. Shawn only managed to get into ten games for the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings where he contributed only one assist.

Shawn would retire from the game after the 2009-10 season posting career totals of 72-126-198 with his stops in Boston and New York in ten years of NHL service. In his time in the AHL, Bates would post career 48-49-97 totals.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-2-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

On This Day In Bruins History: Birthday Boy Bernie Parent!

Bernie Parent Gallery | The Trading Card Database

( Photo Credit: Trading Card Database )

By: Evan Michael  |  Follow Me On Twitter @00EvanMichael

“It’s been a beautiful ride. It’s just awesome. You have to remember to be grateful.”

That’s how Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender (class of ’84) Bernie Parent described his award-winning — and Cup-winning — career during the NHL Awards ceremony in 2017 — a career that began in Boston when he debuted for the Bruins way back during the 1965-66 season.

And on April 3rd, 1966, during the last game of his rookie season, Parent led the B’s to victory over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. In doing so, Parent became the first EVER Bruins goaltender to win a game –as a rookie– on his birthday.

And with today being April 3rd, members of the Parent family have been celebrating Bernie’s B-day week with some wonderful posts and pictures online from his B-spoked and storied playing past, making this both a momentous and celebratory OTDIBH feature!

Of course, Parent would go on to celebrate an even bigger milestone years later as one of the best goaltenders in Philadelphia Flyers history (not to mention NHL history where he’s ranked No. 63 on the “All-Time” list according to the Hockey News): winning the Stanley Cup.

And he did it against his former club in Black N’ Gold. From an article written for Philadelphia Magazine in 2008:

It’s May 19, 1974, game six of his first Stanley Cup finals, and he’s nine seconds away from shutting out the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum. Nine seconds away from Philadelphia’s first hockey championship and his own immortality. There’s a face-off at the opposite end of the ice from Parent’s net, leaving Boston almost no hope of breaking the 1-0 shutout and forcing overtime — until the puck ends up on the stick of Bobby Orr, the Bruins’ fearsome sniper. Parent didn’t see Orr blast a shot the length of the rink, just wide of the Flyers goal, because Parent was staring up at the clock, watching time run out (SEE BELOW).

“I didn’t know where the puck was, man!” he says. “If his shot is on net, it’s a goal. Who knows what happens then. Maybe we don’t win a championship. It just shows you how the universe works — you believe, you believe, you believe! The question is, is there a power that takes over? My answer is, absolutely yes!”

                                         Philadelphia Magazine – “Legends: Bernie Parent Has A Secret”

How’s this for a powerful takeaway: all great careers have to start somewhere. And the Bruins can be quite historically happy and proud that hockey legend Bernie Parent’s began in Boston!

Stay tuned to the Black N’ Gold blog for more OTDIBH (On This Day In Bruins History) articles as our break from hockey continues into the Spring — but hopefully not all Summer!

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