By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue
Many players have worn the spoked B for the Boston Bruins throughout the franchise’s history. Many guys get forgotten somewhere in the middle, from fan favorites to draft busts or players that did not fit in well in Boston. It’s always fun to remember the guys who often get forgotten, especially the ones who produced.
The Bruins are about to head into their 100th season, so let’s take a trip down memory lane. Here is a look at three former Bruins who had productive seasons for the black and gold that you probably forgot about.
Jason Allison was acquired in a blockbuster trade at the 1997 NHL trade Deadline with the Washington Capitals that would send center Adam Oates, forward Rick Tocchet, and goalie Bill Ranford to Washington. Boston would also receive forward Anson Carter, goalie Jim Carrey, a 1997 third-round pick, and a 1998 second-round pick.
Allison’s production would skyrocket the following season after finishing the 1996-97 season with 34 points. In 1997-98 he tallied 33 goals and 50 assists for 83 points, the second-highest of his NHL career. His career-best came during the 2000-01 season, where he scored 36 goals and had 59 assists for 95 points.
Allison played five seasons with Boston, suiting up for 301 regular season games. He recorded 105 goals and 189 assists for 294 points dawning the black and gold. He would only have two playoff appearances in 1998, where he had eight points in six games, and in 1999, where he had 11 points in 12 games. Despite leading the team in points in three separate seasons, Allison’s success with the Bruins hid behind the shadows of rising young guns and fan favorites Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov after both were selected early in the first round of the 1996 NHL draft.
Brad Boyes spent a brief time with the Bruins but often found himself on the scoring sheet. Boyes was originally a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2000 NHL draft. Still, after putting up impressive numbers in the OHL and AHL, he could only crack an NHL lineup once, playing one game for the San Jose Sharks during the 2003-04 season. Later that season, Boston acquired him and immediately assigned him to AHL affiliate Providence in a trade with San Jose for defenseman Jeff Jillson.
Boyes would finish the season with Providence tallying 12 points, six goals, and six assists in 17 games. He would then be forced to spend the entire 2004-05 season in Providence because of the NHL’s lockout. However, the opportunity was taken advantage of. Boyes had impressive numbers, scoring 33 goals and 42 assists for 75 points in 80 games. His performance would lead to him earning an NHL roster spot in Boston for the 2005-06 season.
Boyes was a flash in the pan. He finished the season second on the teams in total points with 69, which included 26 goals and 43 assists, trailing only Patrice Bergeron. Boyes’s production dropped off the following season, having just 34 points in 62 games. He was then dealt at the 2006-07 trade deadline to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Dennis Wideman. Boyes would go on to have a very respectable NHL career recording a total of 505 points. It would have been interesting to see how he would have fared in Boston if he had never been traded.
Vladimir Ruzicka was originally a fourth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1982 but played five seasons in the Czech league, where he put up huge numbers, recording 300 points in 203 games. The Bruins acquired him in a one-for-one trade just before the 1990-91 season with the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Greg Hawgood. The forward became the first Czech player to play for the Boston Bruins but had a hard time staying healthy his first season playing just 29 games dealing with tendinitis in his left ankle.
The 1991-92 season, however, was a much different story. Ruzicka exploded offensively, scoring 39 goals and 36 assists for 75 points which was second on the team only behind Ray Bourque. A very productive season for the forward that gets buried in the Bruins record books. He played in 30 playoff games, with Boston registering 18 points.
Unfortunately, the production would not carry over to future seasons with the Bruins and in the NHL. In the following season, he still did produce but nowhere near the numbers from the 91-92 season. Ruzicka missed 22 games once again, battling injury, and tallied 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points. He would not return to Boston for the 1993-94 season and signed a one-year contract with the Ottawa Senators, where he played 42 games and had 18 points. Eventually, he would return to his native country and finish his career in the Czech League.