History of the Boston Bruins: 1944-1954

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QUICK RECAP

Last time we spoke, we ventured through the 30’s and learned of legends who are still remembered and spoken of today. We ended with discussing the meaning of, “Original Six.”

WORLD WAR II LEAVES TALENT THIN

After World War II in the 1945-1946 season, the stars returned with Dit Clapper to lead the Bruins back to the Stanley Cup Final as Player-Coach. In doing so and retiring after the following season, Clapper became the first Bruin to play 20 NHL Seasons, then continued as Coach for two more years.

Dit Clapper, Image Credit: The Hockey News

With more star players retiring the following few years after World War II, Frank Brimsek being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1949, not much got better for the Bruins. It got worse with Don Gallinger’s lifetime ban from the NHL.

Don Gallinger was a Bruins Star Player beginning in 1942. Talented in many sports, Gallinger had regularly gotten offers from the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. In junior hockey, his friend, Hockey Hall of Famer, and teammate, Teeder Kennedy, and himself were talented football players as well.

As a natural scorer, Gallinger was voted third for the Calder Rookie of the Year Award. He was also a member of Bruins‘, “Sprout Line,” with Bill Shill and Bep Guidolin. Don then missed a large part of the 1943-1944 season and all of the 1944-1945 season while serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Upon Gallinger’s return in the 1945-1946 seasons, he led the Bruins in points. The same season, finishing second in the NHL, the Bruins went on to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the Montreal Canadiens.

In 1948, Don Gallinger and teammate, Billy Taylor, were found guilty of gambling on their own team and was banned from the NHL for life by then-NHL President, Clarence Campbell.

In 1970, the bans on Gallinger and Taylor were lifted, and remain the longest suspensions in NHL History.

With Don Gallinger and the Sprout Line as a younger rendition of Boston’s famous, “Kraut Line,” elsewhere on the ice, you would find Johnny Peirson, who during his career would put away 153 goals with 173 for 326 in 545 games.

Peirson retired from play in 1958, after playing in the NHL All-Star Game in 1950 and 1951. Following his retirement, Johnny became a well-known broadcast color analyst for the Bruins. First with Fred Cusick on WBZ Radio, then went on to Television with Don Earle initially, then many years with Cusick.

HISTORIC DETAILS TO BRAG ABOUT

After Charles Adams’ son, Weston, was forced to accept a buyout from Boston Celtics and Boston Garden owner, Walter A. Brown, due to financial trouble, the Bruins struggled for success, having only four winning seasons between 1947 and 1967.

The season prior in 1950, the famed Bruins logo, the “Spoked-B,” entered its almost final form (with the exceptions of proportion changes) until the 1993-1994 season.

A few years later in 1954, with hockey and technology becoming more advanced, a demonstration was held for the Boston Garden Management by Robert Skrak, assistant to Frank Zamboni. The demonstration held was for an early model ice-resurfacing machine, later to be known as a, “Zamboni.”

Image Credit: Fenwick with HFboards

As a result, the Bruins became the first NHL team in history to acquire a Zamboni for their own use. The Bruins‘ Zamboni “Model E,” Serial# 21, was in use all the way up through the 1980’s and is now on display in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Jacob Parker

As a life-long Hockey fan, I've always found myself either on the ice as a Left Wing or holding Season Tickets for the WHL's Tri-City Americans. I've always been a fan of a team with a rich history and an underdog vibe, so the Bruins was the natural and only choice, considering my Father has been a Bruins fan my entire life. As a fellow Hockey fan, it is my pleasure to bring you the latest in Bruins news, analysis, and predictions, as well as tell you the rich history that comes with our illustrious Hockey Club.

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