The oldest NHL team in the United States and one of the Original Six, the Boston Bruins proudly helped bring the Canadian game of ice hockey to America! In 1924, the team was able to form after a lot of hard work by owner Charles Adams. Hired as the initial general manager, a former great player Art Ross would help start the new team. He continued with the side for 2 decades, sometimes even coaching the team as well. During his tenure, the Bruins would win 3 of their 6 all time Stanley Cup titles!
While the early seasons were very lean for the Bruins, they eventually moved to their longtime home of the Boston Garden in 1928. Excellent players like Fort Qu’Appelle, Harry Oliver, and Eddie Shore also helped the cause, and Boston won the Stanley Cup in 1929, just 5 years into their history! Their dominance continued into the next year, where they won all but 6 games, though they fell in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Bruins’ next title would come in 1939, led by the wondrous play of young goalkeeper Frank Brimsek and others like Mel Hill, Bill Cowley, and Milt Schmidt. The success was followed by another Stanley Cup win in 1941, but the team would then fall into a decline for the next 3 decades.
While still competitive, the club simply couldn’t win a title, despite housing great players like Johnny Peirson, Tommy Williams, Johnny Bucyk, Don McKenney, and the first black NHL player, Willie O’Ree. But things would certainly brighten up in Boston with the signing of defenseman Bobby Orr in 1966.
Orr revolutionized the position, scoring goals and assists from the back on a regular basis. His heroics brought the Boston Bruins two more Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972, breaking all sorts of scoring records for a defenseman. Other key Bruins players at this time included Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers, Fred Stanfield, Wayne Cashman, and Ken Hodge. Boston would remain a strong team throughout the 70s.
In the 80s, the Boston Bruins found a new hero in Ray Bourque and a strong cast around guys like Pete Peeters and Rick Middleton. The team was competitive and was regular contenders in the NHL Playoffs but another Stanley Cup failed to materialize. Several times late in the decade and in the early 90s the team reached the Finals with guys like Bobby Carpenter, Craig Janney, and Andy Moog, only to lose each time. A new stadium, TD Garden, was erected in 1995 and is the team’s current home.
Another lean period persisted for the next 2 decades until 2011, when a miraculous season culminated in another Stanley Cup victory for the Boston Bruins. Heroes that season included David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Tim Thomas, helping to bring a 6th title to one of the most prosperous clubs in the entire NHL!
Boston reached another Stanley Cup Finals in 2013, but they would lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in a thrilling series. After a powerful regular season in which they won the Eastern Conference standings in 2014, the future certainly looks good for the Boston Bruins, who introduced America to professional ice hockey in 1924 and have largely played well ever since!
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