By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
Born on June 25th, 1944, Boston Bruins legend Ken Hodge was brought into the world. Today the Bruins legend turns 77! Ken Hodge spent his career playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers. Hodge played a career total of 652 games, scoring 289 goals while racking up 385 assists for a combined 674 points. That means that Hodge would at least get one point for every game he played in. Now that’s impressive!
Ken Hodge was one of the few British-born players to step foot into the NHL and was signed by the Blackhawks as a young kid. Before coming up to the Blackhawks, Hodge played for their junior league team, the St. Catherine Black Hawks. Hodge had a stellar year for their team, leading the league in goals and points in the 1965 season. Because of that, the Blackhawks called Hodge up. Hodge played three years for Chicago before being traded to Boston in a blockbuster trade that led to Hodge, Esposito, and Stanfield coming to Boston. The trade made Boston into a powerhouse. In Hodge’s first season in Boston, he scored an incredible 45 goals and 45 assists to compliment Esposito’s record season of 126 points. In the next few years, Hodge’s play fell off a bit, but the Bruins would still end up winning two Stanley Cups (1970, 1972).
Injuries and Success
Despite being riddled by injuries in the 1971-1972 season, he managed to recover and help Boston win their second Stanley Cup in three years. In the 1973-1974 season, Ken Hodge played the best season of his career. He managed to score a whopping 50 goals and 55 assists, leading to a 105 point season. He wasn’t the only one having success on the Bruins that season though Hodge alongside Esposito, Orr, and Cashman all finished 1,2,3,4 in league scoring for the only other time in NHL history that the season’s top four scorers all played for one team.
Life After the NHL
After being traded to the Rangers in 1976, Hodge’s remarkable play took a dramatic downfall, and Hodge soon retired from the NHL in 1978. Hodge would retire as a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and a three-time NHL all-star. To this day, Ken Hodge still lives in the Boston area and remains active with the Bruins alumni team and activities. In more recent events, Hodge was working as a broadcaster in Boston. He was the color commentator for the Boston College men’s hockey team and worked alongside Jon Rish. Also, Ken Hodge’s son (Ken Hodge Jr) was an NHL player from 1987 to 1998. His son would then go on to coach the Tulsa Oilers. Nonetheless, though, Ken Hodge was a remarkable player for the Boston Bruins, and we wish you a very Happy Birthday Ken Hodge!