In the interest of not having three concurrent series of off-season profiles running at the same time, I instead wanted to put an emphasis on the greats throughout the history of the Boston Bruins. For the next five weeks, I will be counting down the 25 best players to ever sport the black and gold!
25. Milan Lucic - As a left winger, Lucic played for eight seasons in Boston before he was traded in 2015 to the Los Angeles Kings. Currently a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Lucic's best seasons definitely came in Boston. He was never a major player in statistical categories or awards, but the energy he brought to the ice can be traced back to his first game in Boston when he immediately started a fight. He recorded 342 points throughout his Boston career and his best season was timed perfectly with the Bruins' march to the 2011 Stanley Cup championship.
24. Derek Sanderson - Sanderson was a center for nine years with the Bruins and he was one of the cornerstones of the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup campaigns. He recorded 135 goals and 159 assists in nine years with Boston, which was good for 294 points. When Sanderson retired, he was the all-time leader in shorthanded goals in NHL history. Now ranking 11th, there is no denying his impact, especially in the early years when he won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1968.
23. Ken Hodge - Hodge played a couple seasons as a right winger with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to Boston along with Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield. With this trade, Boston experienced one of the league's top runs of dominance and Hodge was a crucial part of that. Playing in Boston from 1967 to 1976, he recorded 674 points along with 289 goals with 81 points coming from nine years of post-season play. He is currently eighth all-time in points scored for the Bruins and he was a clutch piece of the 1970 and 1972 championship teams, as well as being an All-Star in 1971, 1973, and 1974.
22. Wayne Cashman - A left winger, Cashman ranks seventh on the all-time Bruins points list with 793. He posted these numbers after an astonishing 17 years with the team. His play alongside Esposito and Hodge made them one of the league's most formidable lines. His longevity and tenacity make him beloved in Boston, as he was a member of the aforementioned title teams, as well. Cashman was also a 1974 All-Star.
21. Bill Cowley - Cowley is one of Boston's many famed old-timers who made a big impact with the team in the early days. He played twelve seasons with the Bruins from 1935 to 1947, scoring 537 points during that time as a center. Cowley was a part of two title teams, in 1939 and 1941, but he was at his most clutch in the former season when he racked up 14 points en route to the championship. A five-time All-Star and 1941 scoring title winner, Cowley is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Check back next week for #20 - #16!
Image via Wikimedia / Hendrick Seis