By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
On December 6th, 2020, we take a look in the Boston Bruins history to honor the Birthdays of the B’s Alumni. The player mentions below are from two separate decades of growth in the National Hockey League. One player a member of the original six and the other the “big-bad” expanding 1970s. Our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast staff hopes you enjoy the read below and come back daily for future honored mentions.
Pentti was born in Karijoki, Finland, in 1925 and, per Wikipedia, is often credited as the first Finnish player in the National Hockey League. Moving from Finland to Canada at the age of six, he and his family landed in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lund would end playing for a junior program (TBJHL) called the Port Arthur Bruins in the 1942-43 season as a 17-year-old and a year later, the team named changed to the Port Arthur Navy. In 28 games with the TBJHL Bruins/Navy he posted 52-44-96 numbers which caught the attention of the NHL’s Boston Bruins.
Lund would report to the Eastern Hockey League to join the Boston Olympics, one of several minor-pro teams the NHL B’s had in their developing system. The Finnish native would go onto post 63-62–124 numbers in 90 games with the Boston affiliate from the 1945-46 season to 1946-47 before the Bruins affiliation moved south to Pennsylvania with an agreement with the Hershey Bear. With Hershey, he appeared in 75 games, contributing 27-37-64 totals.
After a stellar minor-pro career in the 1956-47 and 1947-48 seasons, the Boston Bruins traded Lund in February of 1948 to the New York Rangers and Ray Manson to complete a transaction that sent Grant Warwick to Boston. With the Rangers, Pentti posted 36-41-74 numbers in 182 games.
In September of 1951, the Bruins traded for his rights in a two-player and cash deal, making him part of the Boston team again. Unfortunately, in his early return to the Bruins organization, he suffered an eye injury from a high stick in November of 1951. He would never quite recover or get back to his game in the minor-pros or his time with the Rangers. Pentti would play his last two seasons in the NHL, with Boston appearing in 77 games and 8–14-22 totals offensively. In July of 1953, the Bruins traded the forward to the Western Hockey Leagues Victoria club, where he’d spend his last playing days even coming back to Ontario to end his career in the North Ontario Hockey League with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Per Wikipedia, Lund was inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 and in 1992 was honored from his native Finland country with an induction into the Finnish Ice Hockey Hall of Fame. Pentti passed away in April of 2013 and also had some impressive Awards and Achievements below, once again per Wikipedia.
- Led the TBJHL in scoring in 1944, and 1945.
- EAHL champion in 1946.
- Selected to the EAHL First All-Star Team in 1947.
- EAHL Top Scorer in 1947.
- Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1949.
- Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
- Inducted into the Finnish Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.
- First Finnish-born player to score a goal in the NHL.
Originally selected in the fourth round (37th Overall) of the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft from the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the 5′-10″ 175-pound right-shooting right-winger never played for the NHL North Stars. Fred was traded to the Boston Bruins in May of 1971 and would play two seasons for the B’s, posting 15-11-26 numbers in 115 games.
O’Donnell, a Gananoque, Ontario native, played all his NHL career games with the Boston Bruins, but in February of 1972, he was selected by the rival World Hockey Association Winnipeg Jets, who flipped his rights to the WHA’s New England Whalers in June of 1972. Fred would have the pleasure of playing on a club that had former Bruins defenseman Ted Green.
Fred retired from the game after the 1975-76 season and went into coaching in his native Ontario area and currently works in real estate as many former professional hockey players did in their post-playing career back in those days. O’Donnell was a proud induction of the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame.