Boston Bruins’ snub of Frank Brimsek is ridiculous

Slap Shots.

Exposing one injustice at a time.

One and just one of the Original Six has not retired No. 1, and that staff is the Bruins, who apparently are laboring beneath the misapprehension that Mr. Zero, Frank Brimsek, wore 0 on his uniform.

Because the snub is mindless. Brimsek, a Hall of Famer, was the preeminent goaltender of his time — successful the Stanley Cup twice in 1939 and 1941, named to the first- or-second All-Star staff in every of his first eight seasons of his profession, and winner of the Calder and two Vezina Trophies whereas ending within the high 5 of Hart voting 3 times.

It doesn’t line up. The Bruins aren’t one of these franchises to disregard something that occurred within the NHL’s formative, pre-World War II days. They have retired No. 2 for Eddie Shore (1926-40), No. 3 for Lionel Hitchman (1925-34) and No. 5 for Dit Clapper (1927-47).

Brimsek, born in Eveleth, Minn., was the primary American goaltender to be inducted within the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was among the many inaugural class of gamers inducted into the U.S. HHOF. So what offers?

A trusty well-informed observer in Boston studies that upon returning to the B’s following his service for the Coast Guard in WW II, Brimsek had private points and repeatedly clashed with administration earlier than he was despatched to Chicago for his closing season in 1949-50, so he might be nearer to dwelling.

Art Ross, sure, Mr. Trophy himself, was GM for 3 many years into the mid-’50s and oversaw the quantity retirements of the three classic Bruins. But not Brimsek. When the goaltender’s longtime teammate, the beloved Milt Schmidt, served as GM for the 5 seasons that included the 1970 and 1972 Cup championships, he did nothing to rectify the improper.

It is time for present membership president Cam Neely, steeped within the custom of his franchise, to make issues proper and put No. 1 up within the rafters in Boston.

Frank Brimsek (center)
Frank Brimsek (middle)
Getty Images

We’re listening to that it is no positive factor in any respect that Alain Vigneault will return for his third season in Philadelphia subsequent yr. Hasn’t 2020-21 in Philly smelled so much like 2017-18 in New York? And if not Vigneault, who within the group is going to reply for the debacle that grew to become Carter Hart?

Told too, however we are able to’t cross our coronary heart and swear on it, that the Devils is likely to be in search of a youthful man than Lindy Ruff to shepherd the flock of kids flowing via the group.


Meanwhile, Brimsek wasn’t simply the primary U.S. born goaltender inducted into the HHOF, he stays the one American netminder to be enshrined. Which brings us to the introduced retirement on the finish of the season of Ryan Miller, whose 390 victories rank first in NHL historical past amongst Yanks and has an important declare to the most effective of the group.

Miller had a exceptional profession at Michigan State and is the final goaltender to win the Hobey Baker because the nation’s greatest collegiate participant. He was the spine of these contending Sabres groups of the 2000s and earned event MVP honors for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver during which the USA introduced dwelling silver within the Sidney Crosby golden aim closing defeat to Canada.

I hoped to make a HHOF case for Mike Richter off his 1994 Cup win, 1996 World Cup win and 2002 Olympic Silver Medal. But simply 301 profession victories and never a single vote in any season for a serious award, although he most actually might have gained the Conn Smythe that as an alternative went to Brian Leetch and he most actually might have been named MVP of the World Cup as an alternative of, once more, Leetch. So although the guts says sure, the top is aware of it’s no.

Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
NHLI by way of Getty Images

But Tom Barrasso, unpopular fellow although he was, gained 369 video games, was on three postseason first- or second- All-Star groups, gained a Calder, gained a Vezina, gained a Jennings Trophy, positioned sixth one yr in Hart voting and gained back-to-back Cups with the Penguins.

So a robust case could be made for Barrasso as a Hall of Famer. A case might be made for Jonathan Quick with two Cups, a Smythe, a pair of Jennings, 335 wins (and counting). But the choice committee that operates in secret behind closed doorways, has a factor about goalies. That factor is, they don’t allow them to in.

Ranking the Americans: 1. Keri Russell. No, no, wait.

Ranking the Americans: 1. Brimsek; 2. Barrasso; 3. Richter; 4. Miller; 5. Quick; 6. John Vanbiesbrouck.


So whenever you’re speaking about General Manager of the Year, the dialog begins with Billy Guerin of the Wild, am I proper?

And although Winnipeg’s Kevin Cheveldayoff has achieved meritorious work in repairing the protection that misplaced righties Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers inside three months of 2019 with solely Neal Pionk (and first-round choice Ville Heinola) to point out for it, the dialog just about ends with Guerin, too.


So Connor McDavid simply went via a stretch during which he recorded 14 factors in 14 durations and Auston Matthews is scoring targets at a per-game clip (.783) that hasn’t been reached since 2007-08 when Alex Ovechkin was at a .793 clip, and what a time to be alive.

McDavid and Matthews, this technology’s Gretzky and Lemieux. Except at warp pace.

Remember when the widespread knowledge concerning the highest two prospects getting into the 2016 draft was that Matthews was most likely the higher all-around participant at middle however that Patrik Laine was positively the higher goal-scorer?

Me neither.


Finally, the continued omission of Stan Fischler from the writers’ wing of the HHOF is as a lot a stain on the PHWA voting physique because the indefensible snub of Pat Burns till after the coach’s dying was on the members of the Hall’s choice committee.

OK. Exposing two injustices at a time.

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