( Photo Credit: Patriot Ledger )

By: Neil Simmons / Follow me on Twitter: @NSimmz

Hundreds of National Hockey League players have donned the iconic Boston Bruins black and gold sweater throughout the team’s history. Some played night in and night out for decades, becoming franchise legends. Many former players were just around for a quick cup of coffee, while others went on to thrive after leaving the organization. Many players came to Boston after already having long, successful NHL careers, and you may have forgotten that they were Bruins.

Whether they were chasing the Stanley Cup or trying to squeeze in one more year before retiring, there’s a laundry list of ex-Bruins whose tenure in Boston was lost in the shuffle. One of those players who left an indelible mark on the franchise with a memorable playoff performance was Miroslav Satan, AKA “Miro The Hero.”

Miroslav Satan was drafted 111th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1993 NHL Draft and debuted during the 1995-96 NHL season. After recording 63 points in 128 games with the Oilers, he was traded to Buffalo, where he broke out as an elite winger. Satan led the Sabres in scoring in six of his seven full seasons with the team, putting up 456 points in 578 games with Buffalo. Satan added 35 points in 51 playoff games, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 1999.

Following the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, Satan signed with the New York Islanders as a free agent. Satan spent three seasons on Long Island and recorded 166 points before signing with Pittsburgh during the 2008 off-season. Satan played more of a veteran depth role than a leading man, scoring just 36 points in 65 games, sacrificing individual production for a shot at the Stanley Cup. Satan’s sacrifice would pay off, contributing six points in 17 playoff games as the Penguins captured the Stanley Cup, defeating the reigning champion Red Wings in seven games.

Satan did not sign with a new team right away that summer after winning the Cup. Opting to bide his time until another Cup-contending team came forward in search of a similar veteran depth, he remained unsigned heading into the 2009-10 season. It wasn’t until January that a team finally approached to sign him, desperately looking for help up front. That team was the Boston Bruins, captained by Satan’s close friend Zdeno Chara.

Immediately following the Winter Classic victory against Philadelphia, Satan signed a one-year deal with the Bruins. At the time, the Bruins struggled to score goals, ranking 25th in the league in offense, and badly needed extra punch in the lineup. Satan stepped in immediately, chipping in 14 points in 38 games as the Bruins scraped into the playoffs as the sixth seed, facing off against Satan’s former Buffalo Sabres.

As soon as the playoffs started, Satan proved everything Boston hoped for in January. He assisted on Zdeno Chara’s game-winner in Game Two, helping the Bruins steal a road victory. He then etched his name into Bruins playoff lore with a memorable 2OT winner in Boston, putting the Bruins up 3-1 in the series.

The overtime goal sparked Satan and the Bruins’ offense, and he recorded at least one point in every game for the rest of the series. Boston would upset the division-winning Sabres in six games, with Satan adding the clinching goal as Jack Edwards forever anointed the veteran forward as “Miro the Hero.”

Satan extended his hot streak into the second round against Philadelphia, recording five points in the series’ first three games. After Game Three, Satan had five goals and 10 points in the Bruins’ first nine playoff games, but that would be all he could muster. Satan was held off the scoresheet for the rest of the series as the Flyers infamously came back from a 3-0 series deficit to eliminate the Bruins in front of a stunned Boston crowd.

Game Seven would be Satan’s last NHL game. The following offseason, he would return to his native Slovakia for the remainder of his career and retire in 2014. Satan skated in 1,050 NHL games, scoring 363 goals and 735 points, adding 54 points in 86 playoff games and a Stanley Cup. Only a fraction of those contributions came while wearing the Black and Gold, but he made them count, and they are forever a part of Bruins history.