By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh
Bob Armstrong was born on April 7th, 1931, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He began playing juniors as a 17-year-old defenceman for the Stratford Kroehlers (OHA-Jr.) from 1948-1951. During the 1950-1951 season, he caught the attention of the Boston Bruins and ended up playing his first three NHL games of his career. The Bruins saw potential in the physical stay-at-home defenceman and signed him to a deal. After signing his first pro-deal, he was assigned to play for the Bruins minor-pro affiliate, the Hershey Bears (AHL).
Armstrong spent the 1951-1952 season developing with the Bears, playing in 67 games with 6-15-21 numbers and 61 PIM. The Bruins were impressed with his gritty brand of play and called up the defenceman the following season. Armstrong quickly solidified his position in the line-up and never looked back. He ended up becoming a staple for the Bruins blue-line, never backing down from a fight and became one of the toughest defensemen to play against in the league during that time. Bob went on to play his entire 11-year NHL career with the Bruins, bringing the team to three Stanley Cup Finals appearances in 1953, 1957, and 1958 but ultimately losing each time to the Montreal Canadiens.
Armstrong played his final nine games with the Bruins at the start of the 1961-1962 season before having his rights loaned to Montreal with the loan of Dallas Smith and cash for Wayne Connelly. He never played a game with Montreal that season and instead was named playing-coach for Montreals’ EPHL affiliate, the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens, for the remainder of the 1961-1962 season. The team ended up finishing with a record of 38-21-11 and went on to win the EPHL championship. Armstrong retired from the hockey world in 1962 before moving on to his second career.
During his tenure with the Bruins, Armstrong ended up graduating from the University of Western Ontario. After retiring from hockey, he decided to begin his next career teaching history and economics at Lakefield College in Peterborough, Ontario and coached their hockey team.
Bob Armstrong passed away on November 6th, 1990, at the age of 59. The big bad bruin finished his NHL career playing in 541 games, producing 13-86-99 numbers. Happy Birthday, Bob Armstrong!