Milton Conrad Schmidt (March 5, 1918 – January 4, 2017) was a Canadian professional ice hockey centre, coach and general manager, mostly for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL), where he was a member of the Kraut Line. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. In 2017 Schmidt was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.
|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1961|
March 5, 1918|
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
January 4, 2017 (aged 98)|
Westwood, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Boston Bruins|
Schmidt's early years were spent in Kitchener, where he attended King Edward Public School. In high school, he briefly attended Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, but dropped out at age 14 in order to work to support his family (his father had become too ill to work regularly), and took a job at a shoe factory. He made 18 cents per hour ($3.20 per hour in 2018 dollars) while working there and claimed that he knew the value of the dollar. He continued playing junior hockey with the Kitchener Empires and Kitchener Greenshirts. Schmidt was a childhood friend of fellow Hall of Famers Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer. At the age of 20, while playing for the Boston Bruins' AHL farm team, the Providence Reds, Schmidt was invited to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals pro baseball team, but knew himself well enough from his youth baseball experience that while he could hit the ball out of the park, he would strike out many more times than hitting home runs.
Schmidt played junior hockey with Dumart and Bauer in Kitchener, Ontario before their rights were all acquired by the Bruins in 1935. After playing a final year of junior hockey in Kitchener, Ontario, and half a year with the Providence Reds, Schmidt was called up to the Bruins during the 1937 season. He quickly proved himself to be a hardnosed centre, a skilled stickhandler and smooth playmaker.
Schmidt and his childhood friends Bauer and Dumart were teamed up together in the NHL as well. They formed the Kraut Line, and were a strong and dependable line for the Bruins for most of the following fifteen seasons. They were a key ingredient to the Bruins' success as they rampaged to the regular season title and a hard-fought Stanley Cup victory in 1939. The following season Schmidt became a star, as he led the league in scoring and guided the Bruins to another first-place finish and the third-most goals in team history to date.
The 1941 season saw Schmidt spearhead the Bruins to their second Cup win in three years. However, the powerhouse Brown and Gold were decimated by World War II the following year as Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart enlisted in the Canadian military and superstar American goaltender Frank Brimsek enlisted with the United States Coast Guard. The Kraut Line found success playing hockey for the Ottawa RCAF team by winning the Allan Cup before heading overseas. Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart ultimately missed three productive NHL seasons due to their service in the War.
Schmidt returned for the beginning of the 1946 season. He resumed his starring ways and finished fourth in league scoring in 1947. Named captain in 1951, Schmidt won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player that year. He retired as a player partway through the 1954–1955 season to take over head coaching duties, replacing Lynn Patrick.
Schmidt coached the Bruins up to the 1966 season with a year and a half hiatus. He also was Boston's assistant general manager. After coaching the Bruins for 11 seasons Schmidt was promoted to the general manager position in 1967 just as the league ushered in six new franchises, doubling in size. Schmidt proved to be a great architect in the new era of the NHL, acquiring and drafting several key players to build a Bruins team that won two more Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972. His biggest deal was a blockbuster as he acquired Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago Black Hawks in exchange for Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris.
After his long and loyal career in the Bruins organization, Schmidt left the team to become the first General Manager of the expansion Washington Capitals for the start of the 1975 season. Unfortunately for Schmidt, the Capitals set a benchmark in futility that still stands as an NHL record today, as the new franchise finished the year with a minuscule 21 points with the worst record in the 18-team league (8–67–5).
Career playing statisticsEdit
|1941–42||Ottawa RCAF Flyers||OCHL||—||—||—||—||—||6||4||7||11||10|
|1941–42||Ottawa RCAF Flyers||Al-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||13||6||17||23||19|
* Stanley Cup Champion.
Career coaching recordEdit
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|Boston Bruins||1954–55||40||13||12||15||(41)||4th in NHL||Lost in Semi-Finals|
|1955–56||70||23||34||17||59||5th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|1956–57||70||34||34||12||80||3rd in NHL||Lost in Cup Finals|
|1957–58||70||34||34||12||80||3rd in NHL||Lost in Cup Finals|
|1958–59||70||32||29||9||73||2nd in NHL||Lost in Semi-Finals|
|1959–60||70||28||34||8||64||5th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|1960–61||70||15||42||13||43||6th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|1962–63||56||13||31||12||(38)||6th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|1963–64||70||18||40||12||48||6th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|1964–65||70||21||43||6||43||6th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|1965–66||70||21||43||6||48||5th in NHL||Missed Playoffs|
|Washington Capitals||1974–75||8||2||6||0||(4)||5th in Norris||Missed Playoffs|
|1975–76||36||3||28||5||(11)||5th in Norris||(fired)|
Retirement and deathEdit
Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961 and his #15 jersey retired by the Bruins. After his retirement from hockey management, Schmidt remained involved with the Bruins through their alumni team and as manager of the Boards and Blades Club at the Boston Garden. On October 6, 2010 the Bruins celebrated Schmidt's 75 years with the team during Milt Schmidt Night. On this night he received 2 commemorative Stanley Cup miniatures to represent the two cups he had brought to the club, plus he personally raised his number to the rafters inside TD Garden. He was the last surviving member of both the Bruins' 1939 and 1941 Stanley Cup teams. Schmidt was also the last living NHL player to play in the 1930s and the last to have played against the Montreal Maroons (a team that folded in 1938).
Schmidt died after a stroke on January 4, 2017 in a retirement facility in Westwood, Massachusetts at the age of 98; at the time of his death he was the oldest living former NHL player, and the last living player to play in the AHL's inaugural season. Following Schmidt's death, Chick Webster became the oldest living NHL player. Schmidt is buried alongside his wife at the Highland Cemetery in Dover, Massachusetts
Awards and achievementsEdit
- Stanley Cup champion - all with Boston (1939 and 1941 as a player), (1970 and 1972 as general manager)
- Finished his career with 229 goals and 346 assists for 575 points in 776 games.
- At the time of his retirement, was fourth in NHL history in points scored and third in assists.
- Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1940, 1947 and 1951.
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1952.
- Played in NHL All-Star Game in 1947, 1948, 1951 and 1952.
- Won the Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to hockey in 1996.
- Was the last active NHL player who played during the 1930s.
- In 1998, he was ranked number 27 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
- Won the Hart Trophy in 1951.
- NHL Scoring Champion in 1940.
- In January 2017, Schmidt was part of the first group of players to be named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.
- "100 Greatest NHL Players". National Hockey League. January 1, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
- Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada tables 18-10-0005-01 (formerly CANSIM 326-0021) "Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted". Statistics Canada. January 18, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019. and 18-10-0004-13 "Consumer Price Index by product group, monthly, percentage change, not seasonally adjusted, Canada, provinces, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit". Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- Hicks, Jeff (November 4, 2006). "Kitchener's Great One". The Record, Kitchener, Ontario. p. A1, A8, A9.
- Bailey, Arnold (September 10, 2008). "Pesky, Schmidt share a Boston bond for life". sportscollectorsdigest.com. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
"It was around 1938 that I was invited to a tryout by the St. Louis Cardinals," Schmidt recalled. "I had been an outfielder, and at bat, I’d either hit the ball out of the park or end up walking back to the dugout (after a strikeout). Unfortunately, I ended up walking back to the dugout more than I ended up running around the bases." Schmidt never followed up on the Cardinals invitation. "In Boston, we were in a fight for the Stanley Cup, anyway, and I was just too busy with that to give baseball much thought," he said.
- Diamond, Dan (ed.) (2000) . Total Hockey: Second Edition. Total Sports Publishing, Kingston, New York. pp. 655, 698, 802.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Скончался член Зала славы НХЛ Милт Шмидт
- Goss, Nicholas (October 20, 2016). "Bruins Legends Bobby Orr, Milt Schmidt Take Part In Special Puck Drop Ceremony". NESN.com. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- "Bruins legend Milt Schmidt dies at 98". Boston Globe.
- jreiser (January 4, 2017). "Milt Schmidt Passes Away at 98". Stanley Cup of Chowder. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Shinzawa, Fluto (January 7, 2017). "The state of the NHL leaves much to be desired. Here are 7 fixes to improve it". Boston Globe.
NESN October 28, 2010
- Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
| General Manager of the Boston Bruins
| Head coach of the Boston Bruins
| General Manager of the Washington Capitals
| Head coach of the Washington Capitals
| Boston Bruins captain
|Awards and achievements|
| Winner of the Hart Trophy
| NHL Scoring Champion