By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
Today, Bruins Alum Randy “Stump Pump” Burridge will celebrate his 56th birthday. Randy was drafted by Boston in the eighth round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. Throughout Randy’s career, Burridge played for four teams in 13 years (six years with Boston). With the Bruins, he was a two-time Seventh Player Award winner (the award is given to the player performing above and beyond expectations). In the ’91-’92 season, Burridge made his first and only All-Star game while playing for Washington. Since Burridge is celebrating his 56th birthday today, let’s take a look back at the former left-winger’s career.
Career in Boston
Burridge was drafted by Boston in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft with the 157th pick. In his first season with the Black and Gold, Burridge played 52/80 games, scored 17 goals, and assisted on 25 goals. However, it wasn’t until the ’87-’88 season when Burridge would find his stride. That season he went on to score 27 goals and account for 55 points. Burridge added 12 points in 23 games in that year’s playoff run as the Bruins came up short on winning the cup vs. Edmonton. The following season, Burridge hit the peak of his career. He ended up playing every game of the ’88-’89 season, scored a career-high 31 goals, assisted on 30 goals, and enjoyed a +/- of 19. However, injury problems took their toll on the Fort Erie, Ontario native. He would only tally 32 and 28 points in the following two seasons in Boston, and Boston was getting ready to part ways with Randy.
Riding the Trade Bus
In the offseason of 1991, Boston traded Burridge to the Washington Capitals for Stephen Leach. The Capitals decided to take a chance on Burridge in hopes that he could stay healthy and reignite his scoring touch. In his first season with the Capitals, Burridge scored 23 goals and a career-high 67 points. Off the bat, the gamble was paying off for Washington. Disaster struck in training camp 1992, however. Burridge blew out his knee and was forced to undergo surgery which cost him four games in the regular season. He returned to the lineup in time for the playoffs, where he scored one goal in 4 games, although clearly, he lacked the extra step because of his long layoff. Typically a blown-out knee can mean the end for a small player who relied on his wheels to succeed in the NHL like Burridge, but Randy made a successful comeback in 1993-94. He played in 78 games and scored 25 goals but added 17 assists for 42 points.
After playing three seasons with Washington and helping them reach the playoffs each time, Washington parted ways with Burridge and traded him to the Los Angeles Kings for Warren Rychel. Unfortunately, Burridge was unable to find his wheels in L.A as he scored just four times in 38 games. Because of that, Burridge was released by the Kings and later picked up by the Buffalo Sabres. The move paid off handsomely as Randy, who was seemingly written off by the rest of the league, regained his form when he scored 25 goals and 58 points in 74 games, good enough for second on the Sabres scoring charts. In his last season with the Sabres, Buffalo was going through changes with coaching and management. A result of that was Burridge being left out of the Sabres plans. He would play sparingly and, at the end of the ’97-’98 season, had his contract bought out by the Sabres.
Randy couldn’t find an NHL contract in 1998-99. He ended up splitting the year between Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL and the Hannover Scorpions in Germany. He was all set to hang up the blades after that season when the Detroit Red Wings offered him a training camp try-out. Randy went to the camp with the idea that he would retire if he couldn’t make the team. Unfortunately, the great depth of the Red Wings meant that he would not make the NHL team. Burridge stuck to his word and retired from the game of hockey. Burridge retired playing a total of 706 games, scoring an impressive 199 goals, 251 assists, 450 total points, and accumulating 458 penalty minutes.
On behalf of the entire BNG Hockey Organization, we hope you have a wonderful 56th birthday Randy Burridge!