Bruins Legend John McKenzie Passes Away At 80

Photo Credit:  Flickr.com

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Last night the Boston Herald reported that Boston Bruins legend John “Pie” McKenzie passed away at the age of 80 with his family by his side from his Wakefield, Massachusetts residence. The popular Bruin was a key member of the old Big, Bad, Bruins team that was a thorn in the side of many National Hockey League teams from the mid-1960’s to the early 1970’s.

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The two-time Stanley Cup Champion spent seven of his twelve years in the NHL with the Boston Bruins appearing in 453 games contributing 169-227-396 numbers. As a skilled agitator, the 5′-9″ 170-pound forward was always there to stick up for his teammates and wasn’t afraid to get physical with his 700 penalty minutes in his Bruins career. His NHL totals are 206-268-474 with 917 penalty minutes in 691 career games. McKenzie would leave the Bruins after he helped the organization win it’s fifth Stanley Cup (second in three seasons) to land an opportunity in the World Hockey Association where he spent time with five teams before hanging up the skates after the 1978-79 season where he posted 47 points in76 games for the New England Whalers.

Born in High River, Alberta, Canada, the rugged, crafty right winger caught the eye of Chicago Blackhawk scouts after he posted 48-51-99 in his second season with his Ontario Hockey Association’s St. Catherines Teepees Junior team. His first year after playing second tier time in the Western Canadian junior programs he made an immediate impact posting 70 points in 52 games. After his 99 points 1957-58 season he would play 32 games in the show only posting seven points in his limited role in Chicago.

After retirement, McKenzie was the Head Coach of the Berklee College of Music Ice Cats that were newly formed in 2007. He was also a hockey developmental advisor for the NCAA University of Massachusetts Lowell Riverhawks for a short time.

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Below Are McKenzie’s Career Acheviements And Facts Per The Great Folks At Wikipedia.com

  • Played in 691 NHL games, totaling 206 goals, 268 assists and 917 penalty minutes
  • Played in 477 WHA games (7th all-time), totaling 163 goals, 250 assists and 413 points (16th all-time)
  • Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1970 and 1972
  • Played in the Summit Series for Team Canada in 1974 against the Soviet Union
  • His #19 was retired by the Hartford Whalers, making him — unusually — one of only three players whose number was retired by an NHL franchise for which he never actually played (the other two being J. C. Tremblay by the Quebec Nordiques and Frank Finnigan by the modern-day Ottawa Senators). It was widely believed at the time since McKenzie’s contributions to the WHA Whalers were modest, that the honor was a public relations sop to the Boston Bruins’ fan base for which Whalers management was competing.
  • In 2010, he was elected as an inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame in the “Legends of the Game” category.[2]

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