BOSTON — Milt Schmidt, the oldest living former NHLer, has died. He was 98.
He was the only person in Boston Bruins franchise history to serve as player, captain, coach and general manager. A native of Kitchener, Ontario, Schmidt had been living in an assistant living facility in Westwood, Mass.
On Oct. 21, the commemorate the anniversary of their 50th and 80th rookie seasons, respectively, Bobby Orr, 68, and Schmidt dropped the ceremonial puck before the Bruins’ home opener against the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden. Orr pushed Schmidt in a wheelchair to center ice as the 17,565 gave both a standing ovation. Prior to that ceremony, the two legends held court with the media and it was evident that Schmidt was still sharp and his memory was remarkable.
During that session, Orr described Schmidt as the greatest Bruin of all-time.
He began his pro hockey career with the Providence Reds of the AHL, in 1936-37. His time in the minors was brief. He was called up to the Bruins midway through the season and spent the next 15 seasons in the NHL, all with Boston. He missed three seasons to serve in World War II for the Royal Canadian Air Force. He won two Stanley Cups as a player and another two as the organization’s general manager. He retired in 1955 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961 and his No. 15 was retired by the Bruins.
As a member of the famous “Kraut Line” with Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, Schmidt once held the team’s career scoring record (575 points) until John Bucyk broke it on Dec. 7, 1961.